We had the good fortune of connecting with Samantha Bloom and Amy Russell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Samantha & Amy, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Because we were practically strangers when we decided to start StitchSpace LA, risk has been a part of our business since day one. Samantha realized that she and Amy were two sides of the same coin. All she knew about Amy was that she was a great teacher and all Amy knew about Samantha was that she was a go-getter. Being a former small business owner, for Amy it wasn’t about the risk of starting another new business, it was about whether she really wanted to take on that amount of responsibility again. Samantha’s personality is to self reflect and then eagerly get moving to make things happen. Besides moving to Los Angeles, opening StitchSpace was really the first big risk Samantha ever had to take. So when Amy said, “Well it either works or it doesn’t” that’s the first time the fear of risk really sunk in. However, you either do something or you don’t and we are definitely doers. So after a lot of planning, we made the calculated risk to create the place we wanted to work at. More than anything our studio is about inspiring creativity through making. We can’t help but become invested in our students’ success. The more you care the higher the stakes but we find it just as rewarding as it is difficult. The way we see it, risk is all about opportunity, and opportunity is ALWAYS important. Whether a decision has a positive or negative outcome, risk is the forward momentum of growth and change. We have big dreams for our little business and we know that risk will be with us every step of the way.
What should our readers know about your business?
StitchSpace LA is a sewing and fiber art studio with classes and events! Our shop is an outlet for people interested in textiles and other fiber arts to experiment and find what kind of “making” makes them happy. A part of our mission is to upcycle as much as possible and encourage our students to do the same in an effort to cut down on fiber waste. Our motto is Community, Collaboration and Creativity, which sums up our priorities in a nutshell. We feel passionately about supporting local artists and we have a gallery full of local art to inspire our students. What sets us apart you ask?! We emphasize the process of learning instead of concentrating solely on the finished project. At StitchSpace we cater to the individual at their own level. as opposed to other sewing classes who teach to the whole class to make the same thing. This makes fitting a class into your schedule a lot more convenient since we will teach you whenever you can make it in to the studio. We have hosted quarterly marketplace events where local artists and makers could come and sell their wares. We hold Sip N’ Stitches where adults have an evening with wine, socializing and art making of all kinds. Simply put we are most proud of the environment we have been able to foster and that our students continue to thrive in it. When a student suddenly realizes that they are capable of bringing their vision to life whether it be a pillow, prom gown or pom pom portrait that makes us extremely proud. Also, the Sherman Oaks neighborhood has been very welcoming from the beginning and we are proud to be a part of this community. As teachers Of course valuing your own time is always a challenge and one we continue to overcome. We really want the world to understand that the fear of imperfection is not a reason not to try. Not being afraid to make mistakes is such an important part of the process of creativity. Our philosophy is the old standby practice makes perfect and we are the happiest when our students show that they are advancing their skills while being patient with the process. As Amy always says “The more you sew the straighter you go!” which we try to remind people every step of the way. While we were brainstorming ideas far before we opened Samantha said ” We are humans who make things” and we made it our hashtag. We hope #humanswhomakethings can bring together people who share our philosophy and inspire them to find joy in the act of making.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Having visitors is always fun because not only do you get a chance to show them some of your favorite haunts but try out new ones also. While your own home is a fun place to hang, renting an AirBNB on the beach for a night would an incredible time. Watching the sunset over the ocean while relaxing on the patio of your rental is sure to impress any friend. Local to home eateries are fun to enjoy because walking allows good conversation time. One of Amy’s favorite restaurants is Tequilas. They have great Mexican food in a friendly environment whether dining indoors or out. Samantha loves to take her out of town guests to Chiba Sushi in North Hollywood. It has some of the freshest fish you can find and is owned by a lovely woman who comes to your table and makes sure you are having a good experience. When planning a trip Samantha tries to find new restaurants in different neighborhoods so her guests can see the diversity of the city which is what Samantha loves most about LA herself. For a colorful walk, she likes to bring her guests to the intersection of Melrose and La Brea to see the variety of cool vintage shops and eateries down Melrose. Of course a hike or two is always on the itinerary for visiting friends and family. It gives you time to enjoy the beautiful SoCal weather and take in some breathtaking views of the city. Hiking in a local canyon may offer up a celebrity sighting or two if you are lucky. It is amazing to live in a place where you can be on a hike in the mountains and then laying on the beach all in one day. The famous Griffith observatory allows the option to drive to the view if your visitors are not up for walking up from the Greek!! The Getty is always on the list. Its beauty is relaxing and inspiring. One of the next new stops to share with visiting friends and family are the Japanese Gardens in Lake Balboa. Los Angeles is rich in culture and this would be a wonderful stop to impress friends!! Ultimately there is so much to see that being the tour guide can be a bit tiring but its worth it to show off the amazing city we live in.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We dedicate our shoutout to our creative community that we continue to collaborate with and be inspired by. We have had an overwhelming amount of support since we opened in 2019 from students both new and old. Our community deserves credit for the success of our business and its continued growth! Thank you #humanswhomakethings !