By Sydney Blackmore

In SECH-ion

Wishbones and shooting stars are poor substitutes for good old fashioned hard work. Add passion and talent to the mix and you get someone like Sara Hodder, the designer and creator of local clothing label SECH designs.

“I’m more into expressing myself through fabric and making people feel good and look good,” says Sara. “I think it’s just the blood flowing through my veins that I can’t control. I don’t know what else to do with myself if I’m not making clothes.”

SECH first hit clothing racks three years ago in a selection of Montreal boutiques as a men’s and women’s clothing line made of new and recycled fabrics. In the past year, Sara has worked from her home in St. John’s to turn the part-time business into a full-time one. Now, just months later, Sara has her own studio amid downtown’s fashion district at 156 Duckworth Street. “It rocks my world! It’s a beautiful, beautiful space on Duckworth, overlooking the ocean and huge rooms compared to what I’m used to. It’s kind of making me feel more human to just like get up and have a job, it’s nice to come to work and to leave work.”

With three times more space to her avail, Sara has more machines and is more organized. She’s also recruited stitchers to help with clothes production.

“There’s me and two other women sewers,” she says. “…And do my parents count? Because my Dad’s been cutting!”

Clients can schedule SECH visits in advance by calling 690-1377.

The new studio will be holding its debut open studio party on August 1 and 2, from 10am to 8pm. It’s open to all of the public. SECH clothing is now available at Model Citizens and Tval. SECH homeware items are available at the Devon House. For more, check out

Casual at Dusk

Having received much customer feedback on its summertime dress code, an upscale club on George has decided to relax its dressy-uppy stipulations for the remainder of the hot summer.

Says Dusk in a Facebook message: “We will allow flip-flops, sandals and some shorts, etc. But will still be strictly enforcing the baseball hat, hoodies, athletic wear and tattered or baggy clothing rules. Our normal style code will return in effect in September.”

Blocked Keg

Business hasn’t been great for The Keg Steakhouse & Bar recently. A section of pipes directly in front of the restaurant on Harbour Drive has been under construction since June, cutting off an entire section of the road to traffic and pedestrians.

“We’ve had two cesspools of sewage in front of us for the past month and it’s been affecting our business,” Keg’s manager Kelvin Butler explains. “Some weeks we’ve been down 20 to 30 per cent.”

“Word on the street three weeks ago was that The Keg was closed, which is not true. This is the absolute worst for us.”

The re-piping that’s underway on Harbour Drive is under the umbrella of the St. John’s Harbour Clean-Up initiative, the multi-phase Sewage Treatment project that’s been on-going since 1997 to provide primary treatment to the city’s wastewater. John Barry, the Clean-Up Project Engineer, explains how Harbour Drive is involved.

“The Sewage Treatment plant involves construction across the river and down Water Street Harbour Drive and Water Street (East End) to Temperance Street. We’ll be working in Beck’s Cove, Bishop’s Cove and Harbour Drive sections right through into the fall.”

It’s no small feat orchestrating the project’s demands while keeping local business priorities in check, says Barry.

“We’re there to make very good communications with businesses. Take The Keg for an example. You’ve got telephone, light and power lines all underground and you have to set them up on temporary systems and set up a temporary water supply feed and not take away from their services. The easiest way to keep disruptions at a minimum is to ensure that the work is completed very effectively.”

The Keg crew are anticipating improvements to their entrance way in the very near future, but Kelvin thinks the majority of The Keg’s business dilemmas could have been dodged through more effective communication. “The City didn’t give us detailed information, we had to press them for it. [The City should’ve] met with all the stake holders months in advance, given specific time lines and let us know specifically what was happening so we could develop some good contingency plans. That’s what I would’ve liked to have seen.”

So, yes, The Keg is open and operating with regular business hours. For info and reservations, call 726-4534.

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