Rena Tom Rena Tom

About Rena

Hi! My name is Rena and I’m a repeat-offender creative entrepreneur. I live in San Francisco with my husband and son in an apartment filled with too many laptops, Sprecher root beer, half-finished craft projects and overdue library books.

My background is in web and graphic design but in 2003 I switched to making jewelry and handprinted custom wedding invitations from my home. I did it all – created product lines, sent out press releases, set up tables at craft shows, sold to stores, and shipped orders to customers around the world.

 

Photo by Bonnie Tsang.

 

In 2005, I founded Rare Device, a boutique and art gallery with locations in New York and San Francisco. Rare Device was renowned early on for its carefully edited collection of design objects, books and fashion, and for supporting small and innovative designers and artists whose work was not easily found in stores. I sold Rare Device in February 2011 but the entrepreneurial bug has not left me.

I have met so many wonderful designers, crafters, artists, retailers, buyers and bloggers and have learned a great deal from every one of them. I am very excited to pass this knowledge along to you in the form of strategic planning, mostly with a retail bent but suitable for all creative businesses. I believe in plain talk, writing down your goals and asking for what you want.

Most recently, I opened Makeshift Society, a coworking space and clubhouse for creatives in Hayes Valley, San Francisco. The time was right to blend all of my interests, connections and passions into a physical resource for freelancers, where work gets done and new projects are born. Our unofficial motto is “Like work, but not.”

I am also having a great time contributing to my favorite blogs and magazines, speaking at conferences and teaching workshops. I am Market Editor at Anthology and the business columnist for Uppercase. You can keep track of my appearances, in print, online and in real life, right here.

 

2 Comments

  1. [...] art gallery owner.    these days, she’s channeled that start-up glee into becoming a one-stop business solution shop for creative entrepreneurs.  if you’re too shy to say hello, you’ll soon have another [...]

  2. [...] art gallery owner.    these days, she’s channeled that start-up glee into becoming a one-stop business solution shop for creative entrepreneurs.  if you’re too shy to say hello, you’ll soon have another [...]