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rare device

by Grace Bonney


Rena of Rare Device is the go-to girl for the scoop on the newest independent designers in home, fashion, and stationery.

1 ~ what’s your name, shop name, and shop location…
Rena Tom
Rare Device in Park Slope, Brooklyn

2 ~ tell us about some of the objects in your display…
Let’s see, the leather bag is by Kristen Aronsson, the lamp is by Re-Surface (Donna Brady), both ladies are from Brooklyn. The bird vase is by Joanna Mendicino, she is in California. The bowl is by Aida Dirse from Lithuania. The succulent is a xmas present from Laurice Curran, my friend and one of our jewelry designers, and it supposedly thrives on neglect (so it will be perfect at the shop!)…and the woven basket is from my mom and people are constantly trying to buy it off me. The coral-like fabric is a remnant from Baltic Bazaar in Brooklyn, I get lots of fabric displays for the shop there.

3 ~ describe the mood, what inspired you, or what you intended when creating/arranging these pieces…
Sort of going for lots of texture, the plant really lends it a California vibe. Whimsical, easygoing modern decor and accessories. The things in this display are not too precious, and we like the light in the window when it gets dark out so early in winter.

4 ~ what are 3 objects/pieces sold in your store that you are dying to have or… you already have and love…
Hmmm…I want a huge stack of the little 14K stacking rings by Amy Tavern and the stainless steel laser-etched mobile by Polli – shiny things for dark winter days! And I have some clothing from Talla that is the easiest thing to wear…

5 ~ list three things that provide you with inspiration…
~ The online crafty community – the ultimate friend-making, networking, emotional support, and sales machine.
~ The mix CDs that my friend Jack makes for the store – I wish I could sell them.
~ And, color as a mood-setter and mood-lifter. I have mild synasthesia so I am a color fanatic.

extra tidbit…
Rare Device has hosted some amazing shows at their Brooklyn shop. A custom window display, as well as smaller displays within the store, are created by the designer whose work is being highlighted. Some recent shows included Jill Bliss, Lena Corwin, and Deadly Squire.

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