NEW YORK, United States — A few weeks ago, I sat down for lunch with Ariana Boussard-Reifel founder of Mode Marteau, an online designer and vintage boutique, when it hit me that, it is possible to live a stylish and truly creative life in New York City! Now one might think that NYC is filled with creative people, which it is, but most of these people have a day job and a creative job. It is challenging in this expensive city to truly live an artistic life!
From Collecting Vintage Clothes to Mode Marteau Brand
Ariana Boussard-Reifel has lived in NYC for over 10 years, having moved there shortly after college. Being a sculptor and painter from rural Montana, the big city lights were captivating and exhilarating! She began working in an art gallery and making her art on the side (a typical combination for most New Yorkers). As she was still new to the city, but an expert at shopping in used-clothing stores, she began combing charity shops, thrift stores and flea markets for stylish high-fashion outfits she could wear to work at the gallery. Knowing that she always had a knack for discovering designer clothing in unusual places, she began filling her closet with great finds. Soon her tiny apartment was exploding with clothes!
Slowly, as a side-project, Boussard-Reifel began selling the clothing and accessories she had collected on eBay. Mind you, this was over 10 years ago when online resale was an emerging commerce. Soon enough though, eBay was becoming a full-time income. Boussard-Reifel realized that she had better access to fashion forward designer clothing as NYC is a trend-forward, high fashion city with women who have limited closet space thus, with the right eye it was easy to find beautifully made clothes, be they designer or vintage, at thrift stores and charity shops! Flipping Hermes ties, Chanel purses, and Ralph Lauren dresses allowed her to enjoy the hunt and make a living on her finds.
One day while digging through a bin of clothing, Boussard-Reifel was approached by a reality TV producer who wanted to start a show on thrift store shoppers who resold their finds for a profit. Being the perfect candidate, Boussard-Reifel, signed up and was filmed for the show. Although the show may never reach the public audience (the production is still in talks with airing the show) it forced Boussard-Reifel to formalise her business last year and create a brand. Thus the birth of Mode Marteau, a fashion forward designer resale online shopping destination.
As Boussard-Reifel says, “The Mode Marteau shopper is a woman with confidence, style, and the smarts to know that she doesn’t have to pay retail to look exceptional”.
Mode Marteau is a chance for Boussard-Reifel to connect with her clients and build a business and a brand behind her unique discoveries.