Meet Sue Rock Seven years ago, scraps of fabric took on a new life in the hands of our neighbor Sue Rock, a constituent of Assemblywoman Jacobs who happened upon free boxes of textiles and turned them into a successful nonprofit for survivors of domestic violence.
Rock’s brainchild, Sue Rock Originals, is a fashion design studio on Bergen Street that engages survivors of domestic violence in the process of designing and creating clothes for a cause. The goal of this is to teach them new skills as they try to make it on their own after choosing to leave an abusive relationship. Proceeds from the clothes support the studio’s work and upkeep. Survivors of domestic violence can also utilize the Sue Rock Originals design studio and free sewing and knitting lessons to create their own wardrobe free of charge. The organization, Rock says, is a “venture in the ‘yes we can’ idea.”
Sue Rock Originals is among one of the first sustainable design studios. According to Rock and her husband, tailor Jerome Babafemi Rock, everything in the studio has been donated, including fabric that would have otherwise been thrown out by major design companies with an excess of material. Rock has big plans for her organization, noting that its model can be duplicated. Neighbors can lend a helping hand by donating fabric, volunteering their time or signing up for an internship. Community service credit is available for students and fabric pick-ups can be arranged.
Assemblywoman Jacobs at Sue Rock Originals Studio with Sue Rock and her husband Jerome Babafemi Rock.