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5+5: Rena Tom | Superconnector Donut Lover



Rena Tom is one busy woman. I met this donut-loving superconnector and bicoastal hustler many moons ago, when she and our very own Lisa Congdon were co-owners of Rare Device, a super cool purveyor of interesting things. In recent years, she’s turned her attention to helping others. She’s a retail strategy consultant to those seeking to realize their artisanal ambitions and she’s the cofounder of Makeshift Society, the coziest creative coworking clubhouse I’ve ever set foot in. Makeshift started out in SF, and branched out to (where else?) Brooklyn earlier this year. Speaking of Brooklyn, you can catch Rena as a speaker at Nearly Impossible, a crazy-inspirational conference for indie makers that’s happening later this week. I’m so grateful (and somewhat mystified!) that Rena found time to share her 5+5 picks for us amid all this bustle. Read on for her selections. - Jen

5 Perfect Picks

1) La Grande Roue de Paris, 1900, a Vintage Edition
I am a sucker for carnivals and theme parks and I love how the wheel seems to be cradled in this photograph. I also love the delicate, washed-out coloring. (Most of the photos I chose have this desaturated look to them.)

2) Apart Typewriterby Todd McLellan
It's hard to pick just one Todd McLellan print! I've got an engineering background so seeing the guts of a sleek machine, laid out like this, is so fascinating.

3) GPN-2002-000059, a Space Edition
First of all, I am a space nerd, so of course I love this. Second, it looks like an etching to me, which makes it have a timeless quality, even though it's celebrating a very iconic moment in time that represented The Future.
Note: this image will be available in a few weeks, but in the meantime, take a look at our other Space Editions!

4) Star Princess, by Jeremy Kohm
This looks like a painting and not a photograph! It messes with my sense of scale because it's so monstrously large and yet peaceful.

5) Untitled (9) from the series Missing Parts, by Uygur Yilmaz
Another photo that looks like a sketch or a painting. I love the flatness despite the obvious depth involved of the buildings. And again, the limited color palette is very appealing.

5 Q's + 5 A's

1) What's your favorite museum?
I love the deYoung for the building and the permanent installations by Ruth Asawa and James Turrell, but honestly I spend the most time at the Randall, a nature museum, with my son Ivo.

2) You've got $5M to spend on one piece of art. What would it be?
What a question. I think I'd need far more than $5M to get something by Anish Kapoor, no?

3) Do you prefer a single statement piece or a salon wall?
These days I tend to go for single statement pieces. There's something about one piece dominating a small apartment wall that I find appealing.

4) Favorite color?
Grey! is that a color? Otherwise a muddy purple-brown which, I guess, reads as grey sometimes.

5) If you could be reincarnated as another artist, who would you want to be?
Speaking of grey, I guess I'd be Romaine Brooks, who painted moody portraits in near-monochromes.

The 411 on Rena Tom
Rena Tom is a retail strategist for small-batch makers, brands and stores and is Market Editor at Anthology Magazine. She is also the founder of Makeshift Society, an organization which offers shared workspace, camaraderie and resources for the creative community in San Francisco and Brooklyn. Previously, she owned Rare Device, a bicoastal design-led boutique and art gallery. Rena and her various businesses have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Lucky, Real Simple, Food and Wine and Martha Stewart Weddings. Rena has also operated a successful jewelry design and invitation design business; during the first Web boom, she was a web content management consultant. She lives in San Francisco.

Professional Site: Makeshift Society    Personal Site: Rena Tom 
Twitter: @rena_tom    Instagram: @rena_tom    Pinterest: @reebob

Read the prior 5+5 with John Jannuzzi »