Our first featured business of the year is Remnants Design Studio. Susan Pass is the owner/design/lady extradonaire behind the beautiful, whimsical designs. Including Susan in this series was a no-brainer, I carry a number of her designs in the shop, like these adorable cloth button earrings & purses, wallets and clutches, her creativity and flawless execution of her original designs are a total inspiration and as an added bonus she looks smoking hot in these 50's-inspired styles! I mean seriously Susan, thanks for rocking these outfits so hard!
So without further ado, here's our little chat. Enjoy!!
1. Tell me a little about yourself.
I grew up in Clarenville, Newfoundland, and I'm so incredibly happy to have done so. I was raised by my amazing photographer mother with my best friend/sister, Nancy. We grew up very close to my mother's family, a family full of super creative entrepreneurs. I did my BFA in Theatre at Grenfell College in Newfoundland. Shortly after graduating I followed my sister to Bermuda to work in a bar. I met my husband and we had 4 children (Willow, Ethan, Luke, and Lily) before following my sister to Saint John, NB.
2. What was the first thing you ever made (sewed)?
I do believe it was a scrunchie in grade 8 home ec. It was a thing of beauty.
3. What is your favorite part of the creative process?
I get ridiculously excited when I find two fabrics from completely different designers or sources that feel like they were separated at birth. I LOVE mixing patterns. Sometimes I pretend I'm a fabric DJ, mixing and scratching until something good comes out.
4. If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
Maybe a kangaroo? I like the thought of hopping about my day, with a kiddo in tow.
5. Do you have a bucket list? What is one of the items on your list?
I do! For sure. I want to go to Egypt. I studied so much from there in art history, and whenever I've seen pieces in museums, it's like a celebrity siting for me.
6. What advice do you have for small-business-owner wanna-bes? What is your biggest challenge?
I was having a really impossibly busy day one time as a waitress in Bermuda, and my lovely supervisor asked me: "How do you eat an elephant?" I had no idea what was going to come out of his mouth, but he simply said "One piece at a time." I still use this bizarre mantra today. I would tell anyone to just do it! But one piece at a time. Make lists, and get organized. Give yourself a break. You can't do everything all at once. My biggest challenge is for sure juggling my family life with my business. My business feels like my fifth child. A fifth child I love passionately and completely, but I would toss it under a bus to save the others in a heartbeat.
7. Where do you see Remnants Design Studio in 5 years?
I would love to be a more established brand, and in a whole bunch of shops in North America, and possibly beyond. I want to be able to keep evolving all the time and designing. Being able to design new items regularly is very important to me.
8. Anything you’d like to add?
I'm crazy grateful to my husband for constantly making my dreams possible, and never telling me I'm crazy. I'm also so completely thankful for the lovely people who have given me the joy of making things for them or their shops. I always feel like it's a huge responsibility and honour. Just over two years in, the excitement is still building, and I do feel those constant moments of disbelief and gratitude every time someone places his/her trust in me.
I'm inspired by the need for useful items, and definitely pattern. I love making something that functions exactly the way someone wants it to, or provides them with something they didn't even know they needed or wanted, but can make their lives easier and prettier. I love the puzzle that a new idea presents, and I love figuring the math out on seam allowances. I love love love designing a new sewing pattern, the more complicated the better, because when it comes together it is massively gratifying. I am motivated by the fact that there are four precious little faces watching me, and I want them to be proud of their mama.
Thank you so much for sharing Susan, I am so excited to see your business continue to thrive and grow!
A special thank you to Alicia Robichaud Photographer for the fantastic photographs!