We had the good fortune of connecting with Sue Stemp and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sue, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
For me work balance has always been a challenge. I work with my husband, and I’m passionate about what I do creatively, so it can be hard to stop and relax. However during the last year when we’ve really been stuck at home, unable to travel for work (which is a big part of my design and production process, working directly with our manufacturing partners and artisans both India and Peru) and having our kids with us remote schooling, one of the only positive things I think to have come out of our lockdown and Covid is it the slowdown. I’ve appreciated the much needed pull back from seasonal fashion calendar demands, and work on a more realistic and manageable time schedule. I’ve loved our endless family evenings cooking, streaming and hiking around the neighborhood and grateful for this unexpected extra family time.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
What makes St. Roche special, and sets us apart, is the level of handwork in our collections, and the fashion and cultural references which inspire my designs, based on spending my life in London, New York and LA. We work directly with skilled artisans and small family or women led manufacturers in India and Peru. Our passion is for high quality handwork, using traditional craft techniques designed with our modern approach and original textile designs. We include hand embroidery, hand block and screen printing, hand loom weaving, hand dyeing and hand knitting in our line. Supporting these artisan groups, their economic development and preserving skilled crafty is a priority.
My design influences for St. Roche draw upon my British heritage and youth culture, my time living and working in fashion in downtown New York, and now living in nature in the Hollywood Hills and embracing a more relaxed and healthy West Coast attitude. I think the fusion of these references give us a unique aesthetic.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love showing friends around LA, there are so many classic old school institutions here that make this city unique, I hope they will all return to their former glory once they re-open. With restaurants being closed for most of the last year it’s so exciting to go out to dinner again. My favorite new place to eat is Chifa in Eagle Rock, my local go-to is Pace in Laurel Canyon, and I’ve just discovered Izakaya Tora in WeHo, the food is amazing. Other fave things to do and places to hang out include the rainforest hike from the Nancy Hoover Pohl Overlook just off Mulholland, Hollywood Forever Cemetery for Cinespa summer film screenings, seeing a band at the Greek Theatre, watching a late night movie at Quentin Tarantino’s gem the New Beverly Cinema, the DTLA wholesale flower market then checking out Japan Town and the local art galleries, and a vintage clothing shopping trip in Los Feliz or to the Pickwick Vintage Show in Burbank. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a Shoutout to my ever supportive family, especially Paud Roche my husband, who first encouraged me to start my own line in New York after Kate Moss wore a dress I’d designed to her 30th birthday lunch. When we moved to LA, after I’d worked at a couple of corporate design jobs, I really wanted to launch a more meaningful brand, creating clothes that are thoughtfully designed, ethically made from eco-friendly natural materials and supporting skilled artisans. This was the beginning of St. Roche, 6 years ago. I also want to give a shout out to my parents, who let me follow my dream and study fashion, and then were cool about me moving to New York from London in search of new opportunities.
Lastly I want to thank my lovely friends and collaborators, who are constantly inspiring.

Website: https://www.st-roche.com

Instagram: @st_roche

Facebook: @st.roche.organic

Image Credits
Photographer: Martin Rusch

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