White Weathered Barn Gets Second Wind on Front Street

Owner of naturalistic and vintage boutique store gets more foot traffic at a more visible location in Greenport.

The is a unique boutique in Greenport, focusing on a simplistic, natural and vintage inspired aesthetic in its handmade gifts and interior design services.

Thing is, not too many people knew about it, tucked away on a side street off of Main Street near when it first opened in the village last August — foot traffic just wasn’t happening.

So a week ago, owner Rena Wilhelm reopened the White Weathered Barn on Front Street across from next to , where a clothing store had been and a department store was located originally.

“Front is a much more active location — it was a problem before for people to just walk a few steps off the beaten path to come see me,” she said.

The store offers paint color consultation, space planning and renderings, home staging table settings, purchasing, accessorizing, picture hanging, custom design window treatments, bedding ensembles, decorative pillows, table linens, and more.

Jonathan Glazer and Stacy Charles, Commack residents who were strolling through Greenport this past Saturday afternoon, said they were allured by the store’s unique variety.

“We passed by and the soy candles drew us in,” said Glazer.

Wilhelm, a 43-year-old native of Westchester County, has a diverse background in fine art, interior design and advertising. Educated at Iona College in New Rochelle with a degree in advertising and at the New York School of Interior Design, she worked as an interior designer for Ethan Allen from 1997 to 2002 and also worked as a makeup artist for Lacome for a time. 

She started her own interior design practice / home store boutique in 2002 in Ossining, N.Y. She then moved the store to Sugar Loaf — a “community of craftsmen” upstate — in 2010. But she said that she just wasn’t getting the traffic she wanted and began to think about a more lucrative area. Her husband, Jason, had ties to Greenport — his parents have run the on Main Street for eight years. They made the move last year.

“It’s always a risk when you want to take it to the next level, to blindly open a store, but I have no kids,” she said.

Helping artists and designers who don’t have a storefront is another goal of Wilhelm’s at the store. Local artist Peggy Ehlers, for instance, dyes and spins her own yarns and sells them at the store. She also helps package and market the store’s products, which are all tailored to Wilhelm’s overall vision.

“Artists make things for the store based on a certain style that I want,” she said. “You have to have integrity in your work and be willing to work as a group.”

Repurposing items normally discarded, like light bulbs, is another goal of Wilhelm’s. One display in the store features old street light bulbs made into vases and decorative wall hangings. Bring in 10 light bulbs and Wilhelm offers a discount on purchases.  

Now with all eyes on her store on busy Front Street, Wilhelm says she feels like the move was meant to be. She said that the concept for the White Weathered Barn began to take shape when she was 19 years old and became inspired by the coastal landscape of Long Island while visiting Sag Harbor with her mother — and she dreamed of opening an antique shop similar to those found in Sag Harbor.

“I feel like I’ve come full-circle, opening up shop in Greenport,” she said. “Our whole concept is based on a natural décor, and I’ve always had an affinity for saltwater.”

Go to www.thewhiteweatheredbarn.com or call 914-488-7731 for more information.

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Jackie Maloney May 10, 2012 at 12:54 AM
So excited to see the new location! Best of luck :)
rena wilhelm May 10, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Thank you Jackie!!! Did you see in one of the photo's with the customer, I was showing her your Long Island Wine Country Map??!! win-win! xo
Deborah Kusa May 10, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Best of Luck on Your New Location!!!
MB May 14, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Yay! More people will be treated to this lovely store now with the new location. Brava.
Geralyn D. June 04, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Have not yet had a chance to stop by your new location, but will definitely do so the next time we're out. Wishing you nothing but success -- love your store!


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