Friday:5ive with rena REBORN’s Rachael Rush Green

One of FashionWhirled‘s favorite shopping haunts is rena REBORN. And not only because it’s just down the block from me. This East Village style gem is filled with fashionable finds at amazing prices. You could dress yourself for a stylin’ good time for under $20, if need be. Trust me. I’ve done it.

The beautiful Rachael Rush Green, at work before Sia’s arrival!

So what better focus for this Friday:5ive feature than rena REBORN co-owner Rachael Rush Green? She and her hubby Courtlan opened the boutique one year ago and they have the coolest items, from reborn vintage to recycled clothes, accessories and shoes (think gold leather Marc by Marc Jacobs sandals that tie up the ankle) to new fashions from local designers. There have been the sweetest new white eyelet dresses by Ari Harris showcased lately in the store and the rockin’ feather earrings designed by Rachael and Courtlan’s daughter, Seven, are in constant new-design rotation. Rachael always stocks a $10 rack inside and a $5 rack outside the store to lure in customers — about once a week that rack is slashed to $1!!! Gotta love it!

View from inside the boutique

Rachael met 5 years ago through a mutual friend. “I can honestly say I  fell in love with him on our first date. He is truly my best friend and I am so lucky to be able to spend my life with such an amazing partner. We support eachother through all of our endeavors  and without him rena REBORN wouldn’t be here today. He pushed me to follow my dream of opening a store and the rest is history.” 

As a producer at MTV, Rachael has been able to travel tons, which has been a boon to her thrifting. “In my travels with television I was able to find a lot of cool stuff all over the country. I would find a few pieces here and a few pieces there, but the majority of our inventory comes from Phoenix, AZ. I have found that the west Coast has a lot of cool things and it is great to bring that flavor here to the East Coast.”

While the former consignment-business husband-and-wife team may travel far and wide to nab their finds, Rachael has a new production going on these days that’s decidedly closer to home: the couple just had a little baby girl about a week ago and Sia, the latest addition to the rena REBORN family, will join her mama in the store in a few weeks. Welcome, little Sia, our new little fashion production!

FashionWhirled: What role does thrift and thrifting play in your everyday life and how does the concept of thrift and up cycled or recycled clothing fit in the context of your background as a fashion producer for MTV?

The infamous $5 rack in the background

Rachael Green, rena REBORN:  Thrifting has played a huge part of my life ever since I can remember. It is the thrill of thrifting that keeps me so intrigued. Every outing you never know what you are going to find and it keeps you coming back for more. I love finding one of a kind pieces that no one else has.

On top of running the store I also am a producer for MTV. I have worked on a variety of their television shows as well as the opportunity to cover NYFW. It was a great experience to be able to intertwine my love for fashion as well as my love for television.

FW:  Who is your fashion muse, why, and how does he or she fit into your take on thrift?

The Sex and The City gals

RG:   My fashion muse would have to be Sarah Jessica Parker. Like every woman in all across the nation I loved all of her looks from the television show to the movies.  I loved every single piece from the Halston Heritage collection she wore in the Sex and the City movies. What I like to do is recreate some of her outfits from the show/movies using thrift. I like to see what I can find at a fraction of the cost! It is like a game for me!

FW:  If you could have any notable individual – dead or alive – walk into your store and buy from you, who would it be and how would you dress them?

Does Kate even need a caption?!

RG:   I would love to have Kate Moss come into rena REBORN. Her closet is filled with amazing vintage pieces and I know I could dress her from head to toe. I would start with fun motorcycle boots, some skinny jeans, a simple tank top and a killer fur jacket. She has an attitude that can’t be copied and can pull off any outfit from any decade.

FW: What is your favorite piece of clothing that you own now or have owned ever and why?

Rachael and Courtlan, husband + wife team of rena REBORN
RG:   I can only pick one? That’s hard. I would have to say right now one of my favorite pieces of clothing is a Vivienne Westwood tribal Maxi dress my husband got me last summer. I could wear it when I wasn’t pregnant and I could still pull it off while I was pregnant. I am happy to say that I didn’t need to buy any maternity clothes throughout my pregnancy. My advice – shop your favorite stores and just buy larger sizes! Who says you can’t be trendy and look fabulous while being pregnant!

FW:  Tell me about  the meaning of rena REBORN, why you picked that as your shop’s name and what words of wisdom you live by, as a woman, as a producer, as an entrepreuneur and now as a (NEW!) mother.

RG:   Seven [Courtlan and Rachael’s daughter] suggested the name rena REBORN, Rena being my middle name. Rena means reborn in latin. The name of the store symbolizes the rebirth of the excitement in thrift shopping.

The words of wisdom I live by is to live each and every day as if it were your last. Make sure you take the time to fill your day with something you love to do. Some say I do too much but you can never truly do enough. I like to keep myself busy with new projects all the time.  And now our newest “project” – our daughter Sia.

rena REBORN: 117 E. 7th St., bet. 1st Ave. & Ave. A

Shiny Happy New Toy

Shine and tons of pockets for a wet, dreary day.

Found at Rena Reborn, my go-to thrifty re-fashionista boutique that always comes through with super style at a great price.

Better yet, the sale price of $16 marked down from $20 was itself on sale — turns out it was handbag discount day.

Only thing better than that, of course, would be a shoe discount day.

Shine and happiness to all today!

Hurricane? What Hurricane?! Happiness is… a Bright Summer Dress, Part III

Although the entire city is prepping for the worst as Hurricane Irene gets set to hit us tomorrow night, I think we all could use a little brightness, a little happiness in the midst of our hurricane hysteria.
And, voilà, Happiness is a Bright Summer Dress, Part Three.

Flash back to a party a couple weeks ago supporting local artists hosted by the lovely Rachael Rush and Courtlan Green, owners at East Village new and old clothing boutique, Rena Reborn. Her fun silk shift, above, was created by designer Ari Harris (you may remember his peacock feather maxi-skirt featured in the windows earlier this summer).

Another flirty, floaty bright and happy look, below, in one of the Rena Reborn windows.
And what have we here? Happiness is a bright summer romper! Viewed from the back on one of the Rena Reborn models that day.

My suggestion for the storm? Get your flashlights, batteries, non-perishable foods and flood gear ready today. Then, don’t worry, be happy: take time to throw on a bright summer dress and get ready to sit back and listen to the wind howl.
Good night, Irene.

Happiness is a Bright Summer Dress

  I haven’t really been feelin’ summer the past week or so. Finally realizing I couldn’t stand the thought of putting on black clothing one more morning, I trekked out to my go-to thrifties and found these 6 beauties. Now I have a dress a day per week to make me happy, perky and summery.
The two shorties, below, are from one of the new thrift additions to 7th Street, my new fav, rena Reborn. Owners Rachael Rush and Courtlan Green have a stylin’ mix going on — recyled fun stuff culled from Rachael and Cortlan’s travels within the music industry, as well as original MonAir collection pieces from local designer Ari Harris. Rena Reborn has a $5 rack outside every day and a $10-and-under rack as you walk in. Great finds, always. Plus, they stock a ton of cool jewelry, including fantastic feather earrings crafted by Seven, Cortlan’s teenage daughter.

The Reborn polka dot dress is truly one of my go-to pieces now, I get complimented on it constantly, sometimes wear it with a beat-up old brown leather skinny belt and the summer espadrilles, below, and it cost me $15 (espy’s were $25). How can ya go wrong? The PPW of both dress and espy’s is down to $5 so far!
It’s a muumuu! Yes, three of these dresses, below really ARE a mu’umu’u. From Hawaii. Now, it may look like I lost control when I bought these four from my thrift style buddy Alex who did say it seemed like I was buying the same dress four times over. But they all have their own distinct sumpin’-sumpin’ that sets them apart.
The left one sports open slits from the neck all the way down to the ruffled bottom of the sleeves that close with rounded brass buttons.

The shorty next to it is featherweight linen, with lace on the sleeves and down the placket of the Peter Pan collar; belted with espy’s, this popular plaid look rocks on super hot days. 

 The long slinky orange and gold mu’umu’u (far right) has drapey cap sleeves and an Empire waist. The exploded floral mu’umu’u is a cheongsam, with frog closure at the neck and double slits on the side; Mignon and I are modeling below for Giannia Vacca da Panni at a garden party, below.
The other amazing thing about the four happy-makers is that with the discount I received, the four dresses either cost $20 each (really, quite a bargain right there) or cost $5 off the original price tags with the plaid shorty for FREE! 
Ahhhhh, summer time! NOW I’m feelin’ it!