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Life and Work with Sonseeahray McHenry

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sonseeahray McHenry.

Sonseeahray, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started sewing when I was 12 years old, initially, my interest in the fashion industry began with wanting to be a model. But in my youth, my mother and I weren’t both educated properly on modeling. So, that career path faded. However, I loved to draw and create my own clothing designs. So, I just naturally grew into wanting to become a fashion designer. I went to college and studied Fashion Design, which helped me advance my knowledge and expand my creativity.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It was definitely not a smooth road. When I attended college, I had a timeline that I would be in 4 years and out. It didn’t happen that way. I transferred to two different schools, had a bad semester. Which pushed me back a semester. Dealing with not achieving my expectations, I became bored with school and overall fashion design. I didn’t want to do anymore, I started to pursue modeling. After I moved from my hometown, Cleveland, OH in 2015, to Chicago. My love for fashion design returned and that’s when I began my brand, S.A.M The Label, officially. My first apartment was a studio, I wasn’t making that much money but I sacrificed a few things to start what I knew I needed. All I had was my sewing machine, dress form, and supplies. Notable, did all my cutting and sewing on the floor. Some may say that part struggled, but when it’s something you love, you don’t see that as a struggle. You see it as an opportunity and you grasping your talent. Being useful and making everything work because you know it’ll manifest greater things.

My advice to young women starting to sew or get into fashion design is, love your craft. Honestly, if you don’t love it, you won’t make it. It takes A LOT of patience, patience, and MORE patience. You will have long nights, frustration will rise. Tears will fall. But it’ll only make you a better designer. Practice is key, also. But once you get the basic sewing skills, anything is possible.

Please tell us about S.A.M The Label.
S.A.M The Label is a growing woman clothing line, focused on specializing in making clothing specifically sized for our customers. For example, most online shopping sites and stores have standard sizing. Giving you the option to only choose from Small, Medium, Large, XL, XXL, 1X, etc. But, I know as a designer and customer that every female body does not have the same measurements and shape. So, I give my customers the opportunity to give me their accurate measurements so that when they do order, there will be no issue of fit when they receive the garment. No one likes to return and online shopping is hard already. Especially when you are paying a higher dollar amount for quality clothes made from quality fabric and fit. I still have the option for customers to select a standard size if they don’t know their measurements. However, that is the concept behind S.A.M The Label and what sets my brand apart from others. Creating that custom fit for different body types and height.

I don’t particularly specialize in one category. S.A.M The Label includes ready to wear dresses, pants, swimwear, accessories. We also create knitwear and crochet pieces. Everything I make is handmade by me. I learned how to knit in college and I taught myself how to crochet.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve benefited from using?
I use Pinterest when I’m having a creator/design block. It helps stimulate my creativity and create mood boards,

Pricing:

  • Tops $30-$60
  • Bottoms $40-$60
  • Swim $15-$70
  • Dresses $50-$80
  • Bodysuits/Rompers $30-$50
  • Outwear $90-$150
  • Accessories $30-$40

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Melissa Morley, Adriana E Staton-Gipson, Ontaria Alexander and (myself) Sonseeahray McHenry

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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