We are pleased to announce a new maker with the Story Shop this Autumn/Winter, Sunja Link. Sunja’s business is based in West Vancouver, BC. When you purchase product from Sunja Link, you are directly supporting Threadworks Production. Threadworks is a socially and environmentally conscious skill development program for people who are living with challenges to employment such as mental health issues, physical and intellectual disabilities, language barriers and people who have been displaced from their home country. The program promotes social inclusion and community capacity building by offering individuals the opportunity to increase their earning potential, confidence, and personal growth. All Threadworks products are made in Canada. We are proud to support this partnership!
We asked Sunja a few questions about her business and the story that shapes her designs.
Tell us about your business, and why you first started Sunja Link.
Sunja Link is me, one employee, and my husband. I launched Sunja Link in 1999 and, after a successful 10-year run, took a 5 year break in 2009 to have children, try new things, rethink and reprioritize what clothes mean to me and the women around me. I came away from this time reinvigorated, ready to contribute clothing that is meaningful to the women who wear them.
I started the company because I love making and selling clothing and because I didn’t want to work for anyone… kind of boring but the truth.
What parts of your personal story inspired you to begin a sustainable clothing line?
My parents had an organic blueberry farm in the 70’s and 80’s and then opened an organic food store, here in West Vancouver. So I guess its been in my blood from the get-go. And I went Waldorf school for elementary and high school, probably the most creative education you can get.
All Sunja Link clothing is made of the best quality fabrics sourced from Italy and Japan and is cut and sewn in Vancouver Canada, in limited, small batches. I am involved in every part of the design and manufacturing process of my clothes – much like the farming process I grew up with. It is important to me to make clothes that matter. Clothes that are essential, clothes that fit, clothes that last.
What themes inspire your designs?
Never one thing – everything. Essentially I want to make clothes that women like me can feel good about, and I won’t produce overseas. I want my customers to feel good about their lives and to have clothing that can become a seamless part of their lives, regardless of size and age. And I need to be part of the whole process.
Finally, if you could offer one piece of encouragement to female entrepreneurs and artists, what would it be?
Do your best, whatever your best is; and listen to other people, ask for advice; but stick to what you believe in.
Thank you, Sunja! We are proud to partner with you, and excited to support your creativity and mission. Check out Sunja’s designs here.