It’s Time to Have a Conversation….

How has leaving an abusive relationship changed YOUR life?

In October, the nation will return to a conversation around the topic of Domestic Violence. On this day, let’s begin to open up – to friends, to family to one another. How have YOU been effected by domestic violence or abuse in a partner relationship. My friend Tyleasha did not make it out of her abusive situation. That was 12 years ago and I have never stopped seeking out and supporting those people who have been courageous enough to leave and not look back.

If you have left an abusive relationship – it does not matter how long it took.
Thank you for your courage – thank you for your strength – that you for your pacifism – thank you for saving your own life.

During the next six weeks, I will be opening up my blog to the conversation that needs to be had. How has leaving an abusive relationship changed YOUR life?

The Journey to Make SROE a Success !

In 2015, I wanted to make sure that the work that Sue Rock Originals Everyone did had an impact. You see we were homeless!

Let me backtrack – due to events beyond our control, in 2013 we were bamboozled out of our beautiful Brooklyn based design studio.  So we packed everything up from 9 years of donations and workshops and moved it into storage – However, working out of a 500 square foot storage in Cranford NJ was not going to work  –

But in the tradition of making Lemonade out of some REALLY sour stuff -maybe it was time to re-evaluate whether the work we were doing was even effective.

……And we did have 25 crates filled with lingerie….


With a clip board in hand, a list of newly acquired domestic violence contacts and a finely crafted questionnaire –

Do Domestic Violence Survivors deserve sexy Lingerie?

In 2015 I scheduled Ladies Empowerment days at domestic violence shelters throughout the NYC area.   The days focused on the women’s needs, provided snacks and the kicker – FREE LINGERIE!!  Bras and Panties and sleepwear Oh My!

And for the first 10 residences, things went well……….and then ONE residence we went to……

It seems that one of the directors was following me as I was laying items out and whisking off items that she found were,…….hmmmm, shall we say unacceptable for the ladies.    Everytime I went back over the layout, items were missing. So as I began to replace the pieces – this time it was sheer nightgowns –

She told me “Oh no they don’t need that!”

Curious.  So the abuse these women had already experienced in their home. And the abuse they are living through by not being home and living in a group setting.

Is only being reinforced by the GIFT that is being shared with them.

Women have the right to feel beautiful at every time of life.  Through the good and the bad, the ups and the downs – women deserve the opportunity to appreciate themselves and their own bodies. I spoke to women who had not had purchased a new bra for years – and were working women!  Having a beautiful nightgown, a great fitting  – and yes SEXY bra was not going to have them run back to abuse.  It will re –establish her self-esteem and self worth.

We continued to donate over 25,000 units of underwear, lingerie, sleepwear , jewelry and also received the most awesome news!

Throughout the five boroughs – survivors of domestic violence WANT the programs that Sue Rock Originals Everyone provides!



The past 12 months have been amazing for Sue Rock Originals Everyone!

Just to recap – we started in April of 2016 with being named New Yorker of the Week by news station NY1!

Then we had the wonderful opportunity of working with young people at Bard High School Early College in New York City.  They created dozens of bags, hats and accessories for survivors of domestic violence living in a local domestic violence residence!

During the fall we successfully donated over 1, 000 pieces of women’s undergarments to domestic violence residences throughout the five boroughs.

This is sure to be one of our strongest years ever – but I need some help!

Its YOU! – Send me your input, your feedback and your ideas of what things you feel would make the life of a survivor of domestic violence more vital and more self-sufficient.  What life hacks have YOU done when you were going through transition that strengthened you!

I am going to reach out more than ever and welcome the insights of people who have supported and nurtured survivors!  Lets make 2017, the beginning of the BEST decade ever for Sue Rock Originals Everyone~

If you like the blog and feel that you get value from it, if you believe in my work and want to support it, you can do a one-time contribution.  Donations are accepted via Paypal at

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at suerockoriginals at yahoo dot com!

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.

Sue Rock Original

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!


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!


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) or via regular mail
Sue Rock Originals
50 East 18th Street  A8
Brooklyn, NY  11226

FOLLOW  Sue Rock Originals  on Facebook or Instagram!!

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


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.”


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.


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!!








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

Sue Rock

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