Sue Rock Originals – "Keepers of the Craft"

Much of the work of Sue Rock Originals Everyone consists of donations.  Donations donations donations.   I often think that its beyond fortunate that my husband and I are crazy in the same ways – otherwise I can’t think of too many people who would allow for a storage as full of fabric and notions as ours is.  Needless to say the early morning runs into Manhattan or to the far reaches of Queens are some of our favorite moments.  Coffee in hand, maps and cell phones on my lap, his driver window open we are off on another adventure to discover what goodies life has to offer.

We have often marvelled at how we meet just the right people in our forays into the world.  The wonderful woman with bookcases up to the ceiling who needed to let go of a freezer to allow for more pet cages for her pet shelter/home……….the operations manager of a sample house in midtown who on my first trip to her home to pick up fabric has made us her favorite charity calling every three months or so for another pickup (I think we have met all the women working with her – they all want to help bring fabric downstairs to meet these people she has spoken about!).  

Then there are the costome companies – old and still in business (thank God) – located in midtown Manhattan and staffed by elder seamstresses who know their way around some sequins and extra heavy foam, I tell you!  These people and so many more have filled our lives for the past five years and though space quickly diminshes, I can’t resist going to the next “Come and get it” call!  Once folks hear about our work the open hearted generosity is tremendous. 

More often than not, relationships have been formed and repeat pick ups have happened.  The nicest experiences are with family members.  When you have a loved family member pass on it is difficult enough – but when you finally have the emotional courage to go through the apartment or building it is heartbreaking to have to pull teeth to donate things.  We have received wonderful fabrics from women whose lives were enriched by sewing and crochet.  

These women are the ones that no one knew treasured embroidery.  Or who were working on a red crepe dress with long sleeves and a full lining.  Or were finally mastering the double wedding rings quilt top.  These were civil service workers who loved bright florals and spicy leopard prints.  Women who just never got to putting the zipper in that one dress……

I love being “The Keeper of the Craft” – curious about it most of the time, wondering how folks find us (like the woman who just moved in upstairs from us and came down to see if we would accept some fabric she was giving away!) and endeared to their looks of appreciation and joy that we “get it” and understand the value of these beautiful things.

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