Roc Girls to Know: Meet Sarah Potter of The Pastiche

Tell us your name, age and what you do.
Sarah Potter, 28, writer and photographer behind the lifestyle and cooking blog, The Pastiche.

Give us a little of your history.
I grew up in Marcellus, New York, a small town outside of Syracuse. I came to Rochester to attend the University of Rochester in 2007 (I graduated with a degree in political science in 2011), and I haven’t looked back since! Well actually, let’s be real—like so many of my millennial peers, I’ve looked backward and forward and all-around-ward and despite those times I undoubtedly find myself itching for someplace new, I absolutely love calling Rochester home. I can’t believe how much my relationship with Rochester has grown and continues to grow, as well as my fondness for it. I can regularly be found trying to coerce my family and friends to move here!

Tell us more about what you do.
In a fast paced world of shortcuts and forward thinking, I created The Pastiche as a space for slowing down to annotate—the pretty, the delicious, the insatiable, the profound—in order to appreciate a more vibrant and colorful life. As a millennial with interests and concerns that range from politics to entertaining to relationships to makeup to coming-of-age to travel, I recognized that there’s a place for all of it in the current dialogue, and there’s a demand for it. And like so many other people in our generation, I have a desire to revert back, in many ways, to the simple joys of slower living (despite easier or quicker alternatives or even the pressure to “feel busy”) in order to take a more thoughtful and enriched path. Food is one of my greatest loves (it’s become the epicenter of so much of what I value most: family, friendship and a sense of community and human connection) so the blog is naturally a lot of home cooking and sharing family recipes or my own takes on dishes I love. Beyond cooking, whether it’s sharing very personal stories of grief or growth, travel, DIY and style elements, I find writing and photography to be the most cathartic and rewarding way of slowing down and reflecting. I love the feeling that I’m connecting with other people, especially women, out there in the world. I’m a big blog reader myself, and I love feeling that authentic, genuine vibe from others who share my same interests or my same questions or struggles. And that’s always my goal with The Pastiche; just because it’s on a computer screen doesn’t mean it’s without depth, without character, without grit. Even the arguably trite - my favorite lipstick brands - is real to so many of us women, and I love talking about all of it. Maybe that should be my new tagline—from losing a parent to lasagna to lipstick, I’m all in.

We all want to see Rochester grow and succeed and want to see each other grow and succeed. We all believe in it together. I love that.
— Sarah Potter, The Pastiche

Tell us some of your favorite things about Rochester.
There is such great culture here. Great food, great art, great neighborhoods, great history. I love that I can walk down the street and see beautiful, historic, charming mansions and buildings from a century ago, but also new restaurants and bars and shops popping up everywhere. Each little hood seems to have its own story and its own vibe worth exploring and understanding. And the creatives here! (ahem, ROC GIRL GANG). Especially since starting the blog, I feel like I’ve met about 500 incredible people with super interesting jobs, projects, initiatives, and passions. Even my fiancé, Jon, who owns Dorado, The Daily Refresher and Ox & Stone, blows me away with his fervor for enriching people’s lives here and making a mark on this city of ours. Everyone here exudes this team spirit, this club feel that I so appreciate and so identify with. And in some ways it feels like an underdog spirit (which is the most unbreakable kind, I think). It feels as though all of our peers want to see Rochester grow and succeed and want to see each other succeed. We all believe in it together. I love that.