One of the newcomers to the Village shopping scene this past week is re4m, pronounced “reform.” It’s a place with high ideals, to “re-claim, re-source, re-invent and re-commit.” All I know is that the shop features great gifts for friends or family, and nothing would destroy my budget either.
The shop feels a wee bit like a museum store, as items have been carefully collected and curated from places scattered around the globe. Currently the display window features handbags made from tire inner-tubes, which says re-use loudly. Inside the shop, small handbags made from soda can pop-tops look surprisingly beautiful.
My favorite pieces are made from telephone wires (!) transformed into colorful, old-fashioned basket weavings. If you’re not ready to commit to these pieces, then re4m offers a few cute wire animals created by the same artists.
Additionally, re4m carries some interesting Japanese do-it-yourself paper art where you make little sculptures from paper tubes. There are greeting cards which can be planted for their wildflowers. Some nifty kid-things are placed near the back. All the items have a story from their makers.
Owners Ashesh Patel and Lisa Tana are very passionate about what they are offering to locals, but not overbearing in their green-first sensibilities. The artistic aura of the place likely comes from Tana, who previously ran Desa Arts in Oakland. Plus everything feels cool – it’s hard to describe so check it out during your next coffee or bagel run.
More info: re4m is a sustainable living shop conveniently located at 2054 Mountain Blvd, Montclair Village. You can reach them at 510-339-re4m (7346), and their website will be created shortly.