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The Work We Do: Rena Wilhelm, The Weathered Barn

I’m Rena Wilhelm and I own The Weathered Barn, which is a lifestyle boutique in Greenport, New York.

A normal day is never really planned. Seventy-five percent of the items that are here are actually made here in store. So it’s either candles, sewing, painting, merchandising, doing online orders. So everyday is a little bit different.

One of the number one things that we do at the store, and it’s actually part of our logo as well, is we stamp vintage silverware. We get in loads of different forks, spoons, and knives. We have individual letters that we stamp into silverware and make them new keepsakes for people. One of the number one things that we stamp is cheese markers.

Most of the items in the store are handmade, we make most of them. Everything is kind of rustic, not really perfect.

One of things we like doing is repurposing found objects. Light bulbs that would normally go to the dump, we hollow them out and we wire them and put a string at the top and hang them. You can put any kind of cutting in it and it makes a great hanging vase.

Rena Wilhelm. (Credit: Rachel Siford)

I opened up my first store in 2002, in Westchester, New York which is where I’m from. My husband and I moved here in 2011 and moved the business here. We’ve been here for 6 years and going strong.

I love working with customers. The other benefit of working here is that I get to work with my best friend, who is my husband, Jason. We just celebrated 17 years together and most of that time we’ve been working together.

The artwork is done by me. We have 13 artisans who make things that work within our aesthetic. I love collaborating with other artisans. We really push them to push themselves to work in other mediums they may not be used to.

The best part of everyday is being able to create different things and actually earn a living from it. There’s a lot of creative people out there and they don’t really have the opportunity to do it for a living, and we’ve figured out a way to make it work.

Every day is creative, every day is great.

‘The Work We Do’ is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. This weekly feature is made possible by Peconic Landing. See more photos on Instagram @thesuffolktimes. See the complete list of previous profiles here.