The strength of Textile Memories….

There is something very empowering about creativity.  Creating an item – like a pillow or a doll dress or a washcloth may seem simple but the process is so important.  From choosing the yarn, to remembering who this is being made for, to looking at the item years later or even passing it on  – Textile memory is something that nurtures and strengthens culture and family.

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What are your memories of the *black singer sewing machine*?

There are wonderful people from the American south that enriched my life with their textile talents.

The first two women in these photos are my Aunt Carrie and my grandmother Rosa Bertie Johnson, whose sewn clothing I wore during the Annie Hall days of the late 70’s. My aunt Carrie left me her sewing machine when I was 20 or so and all of her size 18 Simplicity patterns. She was a woman who specialized in finished ensembles that included matching hats, jacket and pants!

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My father is next, George Hargett -a professional presser and bowtie sharp! He always had his sewing machine up. Finally is my gorgeous cousin Lulu who was my plus size role model.  She had an exquisite fashion sense and my aunt made most of her wardrobe growing up!

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I thank them for their encouragement and the continued creative blessings!

What are your TEXTILE STORIES? Who were the aunties, grandmothers, abuelas, nanas, titis, papis and grandpas who were creative in your lives – Send the stories to us. Consider it rich nourishment……

Like the work of Sue Rock Originals Everyone? – consider making a tax-deductible donation!  Sue Rock Originals Everyone is a 501(c)3 not for profit organization committed to uplifting the lives of domestic violences survivors through the needlearts.  Every donation goes to support domestic survivors who have left the cycle of abuse!

We accept donations via paypal at suerockoriginals(at)yahoo.com or via regular mail
Sue Rock Originals
50 East 18th Street  A8
Brooklyn, NY  11226
USA

FOLLOW  Sue Rock Originals  on Facebook or Instagram!!

Sue Rock – NY1 New Yorker of the Week, April, 2016

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Sue Rock Originals Everyone, Inc. helps domestic violence survivors by providing them with the needlework tools to change their lives.  This 10 year journey has supported  thousands of domestic violence survivors across the five boroughs of NYC!

 

So you can imagine how surprised we were to receive this email from NY1 reporter Reena Diamante a few weeks ago:

“Hope this email finds you well. I produce NY1’s New Yorker of the Week segment and was interested in hearing more about your program to give back to survivors of domestic violence.”

AMAY – ZING!!!

Well I called Ms. Diamante and after a brief chat we scheduled time her to come to Bard High School Early College for their weekly knit crochet club and talk more about Sue Rock Originals Everyone.

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But there is more!

Songwriter Seidah Garrett (Can we all say Michael Jackson duets and writer of “Man In The Mirror”?!)  is an avid knitter and crocheter.  When she heard about our work she was more than happy to help – sending us a huge box of yarns this winter. A Los Angeles native, she happened to be in town at the same time we were filming.  I invited her to come and meet the students.  She was right at home, sharing some tips and lending support to our work!

Made for a GREAT Day!

Leadership, Empowerment, Social Responsibility – all with a few needles and some yarn!

On a beautiful November day, I the joy filled experience of meeting the students of Bard High School Early College, located in New York’s historic Lower East Side.

We came to Bard H.S. Early College to bring them yarn donation received from Smiley’s Yarn company.

 

20151120_131349Dr. Rene Marion, Professor of History and avid crocheter has been at the helm of this program.  She has designed a knitting club and selflessly introduced Sue Rock Originals Everyone to her students.  Their response has been extraordinary!  40 young people are  knitting and crocheting hats, scarves, bags and more for survivors of domestic violence who leave.

20151120_124205The enthusiasm and diligence of the president of the knitting club, Kira, was wonderful.  As a knitter, this experience opened up the opportunity to learn crocheting, which is now a second love!  Inventory coordinator Alejandro keeps track of the students new items and donated yarns.   Everything is really organized and well thought out!

 

The young people asked the most marvelous questions – they really wanted to know if it was possible to connect with the women we are donating to.  The group agreed to create a letter to share their concerns and support for these women’s lives.  Students were also interested in our empowerment program, which teaches the women how to make the things they left behind.

Next they all went through the pieces they made and modeled them. There were hats, bags, scarves and great sweaters!  They are now considering a Knit-A-Thon for December, which would include students, parents, teachers and administrative staff.

20151120_130511Developing a creative craft program has been a hit here at Bard High School Early College but even more exciting is he joy felt by these teens that their creativity will help the lives of people right now!

Leadership, Empowerment, Social Responsibility – all with a few needles and some yarn – Amazing!

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Sue Rock Original_HRES_-5Since the beginning it has been daunting to approach fundraising.  Programs YAY!  Donations – YAY!  Raising money…….(crickets!)  This year I decided to take the bull by the horns and reach out to the wonderful people who have loved the work we do!

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I also decided to trust my instincts that people would support such an organization!  This Domestic Violence Month, I decided to launch a Fall Scarf Fundraiser.  Using Facebook I put out a call for folks who would be willing to be Brand Ambassadors. Working with Brazilian photographer extraordinaire Anderson Zaca, we chose a beautiful sunny Fall day and took amazing photos of our Brand Ambassadors with Sue Rock Originals scarves.

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Each of our Brand Ambassadors agreed to place the photo as their Facebook profile picture for the month of October – bringing awareness to the plight of domestic violence survivors and information about how Sue Rock Originals supports their lives. A link was included for people to purchase the scarves.

Our Brand Ambassadors came from every walk of life and shared the unique understanding that we all are affected by domestic violence and we all have a hand in supporting the survivors~

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If you would like to support our Fall Fundraiser – you can purchase scarves here!  Only $20, 50% of the profits go to support classes for survivors of domestic violence in the textile arts!

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Sue Rock Originals Everyone EMPOWERMENT DAY – Urban Resource Institute!

I would like to share a truly moving week with you! Sue Rock Originals Everyone completed TWO donation Empowerment Days at URI Residences. If you do not know of URI, they are noted as the only the domestic violence residences in NY that support survivors AND their pets!! Volunteering with us was the wonderful Krestan Sattaur and the amazing Nyla Ham! Both women’s warmth and generosity helped these women and made them feel beautiful – THANK YOU LADIES! I could not have done it without you!!

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The Importance of the “Little Things” – Donations of Lingerie to NY DV Residences

On this quiet day, I take a moment to reflect on the donations drives we have been doing since February.  To date we have visited 10 domestic violence residences throughout New York City.  Voices of America, The Center Against Domestic Violence, Safe Horizon…….well we have been to residences from Rockaway Beach to the Bronx.

Alot of work goes into navigating the world of domestic violence service.  Residence directors may love a program but have neither time or space.  Scheduling is critical.  We have experienced going to residences with fewer women than expected because housing openings became available. Most of our visits are planned months in advance.  But with advance notice we can make these Empowerment Days something extraordinary.

Once we have the date, then we begin – sizing and sorting the bags and bags of donations.  And what donations they are!  Bras, Panties, Nightgowns – EVEN Swimwear has been donated!  All items are new and unused and ready for new ownership!

The most powerful experience is hearing the responses from women.  Many of the women are still living with the same items they left with. They share that these items are desperately needed.  Our donations go from the smallest to the largest sizes so every person can receive 5 or more garments.

We arrange the lingerie in such a way that the women feel as if they are shopping.  There is lots of laughter and chatting, with women taking the time to really make the choices that make them feel good!

We have more shelters to go, with swimwear donations coming up next and I am so happy to share this goodness with women in need!

Sue Rock Originals Apparel Showcase at Full Figured Fashion Week – June 19, 2015

It is will great pride that Sue Rock Originals Everyone will present our apparel line Sue Rock Originals at the upcoming fashion event – Full Figured Fashion Week.

Full Figured Fashion Week, now in its SEVENTH year is home to the plus fashion event internationally!  Established by visionary Gwen Devoe, FFFWeek hosts a week of conversations, events, and amazing fashion shows with a focus on the curvy customer!  Each year this event has grown with an extraordinary assortment of sponsors and plus celebrities and this year is no different!

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW for the Indie Showcase – Held Friday, June 19th at the Broad St. Ballroom in NYC!
Click HERE

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But Really WHY Don’t More Women Leave? Ten Reasons that Make Sense!

Great strides have been made in the domestic violence arena since the early 1970’s when women first advocated for domestic violence shelters and prosecution of batterers. But as we see time and time again, through the press, social media and for some of us in our own lives, women are still forced to stay in situations that are unmanangeable, insecure and at worst dangerous.

These are the top ten reasons indicated by the National Domestic Violence Hotline that are obstacles to a woman leaving her batterer

1. Advocate: The victim doesn’t have an enthusiastic supporter on their side so may feel discouraged or hopeless.

2. Batterer: The batterer is wealthy, famous, powerful in the community, etc., and can afford to hire private counselor and pressure decision-makers.

3. Believes Threats: The victim believes the batterer’s threats to kill them and the children if they attempt to leave.

4. Children’s Best Interest: The victim believes it is in the children’s best interest to have both parents in the home, especially if the abuser doesn’t physically abuse the children.

5. Children’s Pressure: The children put pressure (independently or by the abuser’s influence) on the abused parent to stay with their partner.

6. Culture and Race: Because of differences in race or culture, the victim worries about being treated unequally by the justice system if they come forward, or believes stereotypes about acceptable actions in their own culture.

7. Denial: The victim is in denial about the danger, instead believing that if they could be better partners, the abuse would stop.

8. Disabled: Victims who are disabled or physically challenged face obstacles in gaining access to court and social services, and may be isolated from basic info about resources.

9. Elderly: Elderly victims may hold traditional beliefs about marriage and believe they must stay, or are dependent on the batterer for care even in the face of physical abuse.

10. Excuses: The victim believes the abuser’s excuses to justify the violence, blaming job stress or substance abuse for example.

Understanding can help us all support the hurdles a woman may go through when making choices regarding her safety or the safety of her family.


Sue Rock Originals Everyone is a 501(c)3 not for profit organization.
Classes in sewing, knitting and crocheting happen through your financial support.
Give and give generously to keep this vital work going!
Donations can be received through Paypal at suerockoriginals(at)yahoo.com.

If you love to Crochet or Knit – WE NEED YOU!

CALLING FOR CROCHET AND KNITTING VOLUNTEERS! Sue Rock Originals Everyone is restocking hand crafted items for the domestic violence survivors we will be meeting throughout the spring and summer. Whether you love creating granny square shrink vests, ponchos or cute skirts – We Need You! Contact us at suerockoriginals@yahoo.com. All skill levels appreciated. Patterns and Yarn are available – Make a difference in the life of a woman who had the courage to leave!!

Domestic Violence Organization Spotlight – The VIOLENCE INTERVENTION PROGRAM, Inc.

Last week Sue Rock Originals Everyone had the pleasure of presenting our Empowerment Day to the women of the Violence Intervention Program’s Bronx shelter. Women who have left the cycle of violence are able to start a new life here, raise their children and gain some much needed perspective. I hosted the event with the wonderful and capable hands of fashion stylist Steffany Allen. Steffany has 20 years of experience in fashion, with special expertise in the Plus Size market.  When we told her about our lingerie themed Empowerment Events, she loved the idea of being able to give back!

The Violence Intervention Program, Inc. has been around since 1984 and has consistently helped women lead healthy, safe, and productive lives while advocating for systems and policies that protect all victims of abuse and violence.

Commitment to an Immigrant Population: During much of the 1980s, crime and poverty rates rose in New York City and the city suffered a shortage of affordable housing. Immigrant victims of domestic violence became especially vulnerable to homelessness because of the barriers that prevented many from accessing emergency shelters. For VIP and the NYC as a whole, 1988 was a monumental year: Morivivi—the first domestic violence shelter specifically targeting immigrant Latina victims—was established.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, the Violence Intervention Program is here to help – they can be reached here!


Sue Rock Originals Everyone is a 501(c)3 not for profit organization.
Classes in sewing, knitting and crocheting happen through your financial support.
Give and give generously to keep this vital work going!
Donations can be received through Paypal at suerockoriginals(at)yahoo.com.

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