Neighborhood: City Park
Go For: Previously loved home goods—from couches to vintage bottle openers. The store also stocks new items that make perfect gifts, like $27 Traviata candles, which burn for 80 hours, or the hand-knitted headbands manager Alanna Fernandez makes herself. Manager Britta Albrecht also contributes her own artwork to the shop and will create custom paintings upon request. From hardened collectors to casual buyers, ReZENed is a great spot for anyone who hates landfills and loves one-of-a-kind finds (see our picks from a recent visit below).
Pro Tips: Leave your name, number, and the type of item you’re on the hunt for in the store’s guest book. If something that meets your needs comes into stock, the ReZENed team will hold it—with no obligation to purchase—until you have a chance to check it out. Spy an item with potential but don’t have the time or energy to give it a fresh paint job? Albrecht will be happy to, for a fee.
On the west side of City Park, you’ll find ReZENed, a small but inviting store of gently loved furniture and home accessories. Opened in April 2012, the shop is unique by any standard—a mix of things you might find in your grandma’s attic or at a nearby Anthropologie. The building ReZENed occupies is historic (it formerly housed a soda shop and pharmacy), which suits owner Connie Higgins’ philosophy of incorporating the old with the new. Less intimidating (and expensive) than most antique shops, and less picked-over than your average vintage store, ReZENed is the type of neighborhood spot you’ll want to check in on regularly—lest you miss your shot at that handmade drawing table you’ve been after. We recently browsed the homey store, getting the low-down on its history and ethos from Higgins herself.
5280: How did ReZENed come to be?
Connie Higgins: I’ve always had an interest in opening a store like ReZENed but never really put a lot of serious thought into it until the location came up for rent. I live in the neighborhood—I love the neighborhood—and the location had been the same retail store since I’d moved [here] in 1999. When it came up for rent, I originally wanted it to be a coffeeshop with furniture that was for sale. But it didn’t have a bathroom and the owner wouldn’t allow me to modify it to put one in.
How’d you choose the name?
We wanted something that indicated that these items were previously loved, rather than recycled. I like recycled, and that’s the whole idea behind the store—we’re bringing new life to old things, and it’s very green—but we wanted to name it something that was more energetic. [The shop] allows people to spend less money and allows things to not end up in the dumpster. It gives old things new life.
Where do you find your stock?
We find it everywhere. I shop around Denver at garage sales, at estate sales, and at flea markets. Friends bring things, and I have a series of buyers who go to storage units. They know me, and they know what I like, and usually, they’re right. Another supplier of mine does cleanouts of buildings or homes that are for sale. She’s hired to do cleanouts of old barns and things like that, and she’ll bring me stuff.
I grew up in Oklahoma going to flea markets with my father, and he still brings me things about six times a year from there. I have two aunts who live in Kansas who will also go to estate sales and farm sales, and they’ll store things for me until I’m able to go pick them up. [Places like Oklahoma and Kansas] have great stuff and it’s much less expensive. I always base my prices on what I paid.
You sell some new things too, correct?
We’ve started mixing some new things with the old. The candles are all new; also, sometimes I’ll run into a store closing, and I’ll find a bunch of new items that are nice and homey, and we’ll mix that in.
What trends have you noticed?
People want things that are unique and different; they’re starting to turn away from looking like everyone else’s house. A couple of unique pieces can really set a home apart. As far as our store is concerned, it seems like the smaller furniture does a lot better, though that could also be the neighborhood we’re in.
What sets ReZENed apart?
I think its just the uniqueness of what we bring to the community. We try to shop for unique items that are different and affordable. We’re also definitely a neighborhood store. We provide a good service to the community, and our repeat customers are definitely a testament to that. Most of the people who come in come back.
Who’s your ideal client?
Someone friendly, who really enjoys making his or her house a home.
Is there anything new we should expect from ReZENed this spring/summer?
I like to support local businesses as well, and I just received a shipment from a company in Boulder called Nite Ize. It contains a lot of stuff for dogs, such as light-up collars and tags you can use with your dogs in the park. We’re also going to get some stuff from Rite in the Rain, which will work well with the Colorado lifestyle. We’ll always continue our main business, but we also want to have small gift stuff people can just stop by and pick up for a birthday or any occasion.
We fell in love with these men’s cowboy boots—perfectly worn, yet in great shape. At $65, they’re a steal considering alligator or caiman-skin boots will typically run you upwards of $400.
This old, expandable card table is being sold as a set with the chairs for $150.
If you’re looking for a gift that’s new but still fits with the recycled theme of the store, consider these wooden necklaces (from $15). They’re handmade by Albrecht’s parents, initially from a tree that fell on their property in northern Indiana.
2101 York St., 303-941-9292, rezened.com