The Creative Days-A Family Affair
Some say it takes a village. We say it takes Days. What do we mean by that…?
We mean our founder, designer, visionary Suzi Roher -sometimes referred to as Suzi Day; Michael Day -photographer, innovator, collaborator and husband, and finally Sam or Samantha Day -Model, merchant magnifica and daughter. Together they are the creative cogs, operational authority and sales steam -They are the Days.
A series of creative days that have transformed years of beautiful belts and scarves into an exciting, ever-evolving accessories company!
It began for Suzi at the age of thirteen in her mom’s high-end retail boutique. Here she would spend her weekends and summers, quickly learning the ropes of buying and selling women’s fashion. By her mid-teens she was off on buying trips… New York, Paris, Milan and beyond- collecting coveted looks for the ladies at home. As her sales skyrocketed, so did her recognition of a vacancy in the market. “There were no exciting belts to go along with all of these wonderful clothes,” explains Roher. “It was then I began to design.” By the time she would graduate University; her basement belt crafting had become a business to be reckoned with.
In 1980 it became official and incorporated. Her first pieces were rope belts. Artistic and timeless, one recently braised the cover (and another inside page) of the May 2015 Accessories Magazine. Following ropes, was a soft double wrap metallic leather belt, a piece which could as early as the first year be seen on Barbara Frum on the evening news!
Fortunately, a new business required a new studio and that meant new neighbours. It wasn’t long before Suzi befriended Michael, the young advertising photographer in the studio exactly adjacent to hers.
There they were…Suzi with her sewers leathers and buckles, and Michael with his models, cars and beer ads. Their shared creative passions and lighthearted way, led to a fast friendship, an eventual marriage, and finally, a collective business endeavour. What began as some simple help with bookkeeping grew into a design, marketing, branding and overall operations collaboration- an absolute “Integration”.
“We are both very much creative people,” explains Michael. “There is nothing we love more than exploring art, design, imagery, and conceiving ways to implement an artistic mindset. It is simply the most wonderful thing to have your work life and your personal life so intertwined, that the lines simply disappear.”
In time, they had their son Alexander (Alex) and after that, their daughter Samantha (Sam) - who by the age of four had already learned to turn leather. As soon as they were old enough they were asking questions, learning the ins and outs of the business, manning the Roher booth at trade shows and more. Sam took a special interest and before long she became mom’s companion on international buying trips -as Suzi had been for her mom at the same age. “Her connection to fashion is instinctual and as a result she has amazing taste,” explains Suzi.
Eventually, Alex would go on to medical school, and Sam would officially join the family business. She worked sourcing leather and buckles, as well as in operations and sales. Today she is the face of the brand, featured in all company campaigns and assets including print and online.
So how do the creative days stay creative? One of the main components is journeying to places unknown –in the middle of nowhere: the roads less traveled. “We are fascinated with cultures very different from our own and the challenges that poses,” explains Michael. “We love having to find our way around in a land with a language we don't speak; having to fend for ourselves to get around, the overall experience of exploration and discovery.”
Recent family trips turned photo campaigns include camping in the Sahara Desert, motorcycle riding in Thailand, trekking through Tokyo, vacationing in Venice and more. For a crew of four, no matter how high, how far or how seemingly dangerous the location -there are plenty of hands pitching in. ..
“I am sure for the average tourist it is quite a sight to see us arrive somewhere obscure, unpack and setup for a shoot,” says Michael.
….. But those are just the creative Days.
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