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.
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!
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?
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?
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?
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?
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