Sunday, July 22, 2007

Rena's Last Day

One day two years ago, not long after we opened Greenjeans, a sweet, pixieish girl walked into the shop to introduce herself as our new neighbor. She had rented the storefront a few doors down to open a small curated design shop called Rare Device. We were excited that another little indie shop was opening on our block, and tried to pass on the little bits we'd learned in our experience running a business in neighborhood so far.

We could have seen each other as competitors, but instead became friends. Since then, we've shopped at each other's stores, attended each other's opening receptions, and warned each other that the crazy drunk guy is skulking up the sidewalk again. Rena likes getting people to meet each other, and she hosted the first Business Lady's Cocktail where lots of amazing young local business owners got to meet and build camaraderie.

She also has a great eye for spotting fascinating small objects and clever jewelry, and she has introduced us all to a roster of designers and makers creating things that really do make life a little sunnier. Personally, I've found many treasures at Rena's, some of my favorites being my fennel soap, my tree silhouette skirt, the black glass saki set I gave to Jae, and my little leather acorn keychain/box, not to mention my luscious yellow vegan handbag that I've toted all spring and summer, and a particular fringed silk scarf printed in purples and greens that I have just about worn out. I've also always admired the engaging and intimate way she arranges all these many things and more inside her shop.

Fortunately, Rare Device will remain our neighbor, with the lovely Erin of Sodafine taking the managerial reins and adding her wonderful clothing collections to the mix. Rena is searching for a new spot in her soon-to-be home of San Francisco and I'm sure she'll create a wonderful space there as she has here in the South Slope.

I am excited for her new adventures, and am sure she will do wonderfully as her business expands. And she will be back from time to time, certainly for our joint presentation on "blogging the handmade" at the American Craft Council's salon on September 20.

Jae and I wish her and Derek all the best as they take on the Left Coast. But at the end of the day, I sure will miss her!!

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