by Samantha Suarez | photography by David Specht
Rachel Lee’s Favorite Things, From Chakra Bracelets to Succulents
By Samantha Suarez | Photography by David Specht
Restauranteur, mother, and all-around kick-ass lady Rachel Lee is best known for her active engagement in the community and her uniquely charming sense of style. Raised in Grand Rapids, Lee literally and figuratively wears her love for local on her sleeve. “I’m a very bright and zen person on the inside, and I like to match that on the outside,” said Lee. “A lot of people come up to me and ask me about what I’m wearing. I like to say I’m wearing people’s dreams because most of what I wear is from locally-owned businesses that were once someone’s dream.”
“A lot of the pieces I wear don’t necessarily go together, but I like to put them together,” Lee further explained. “I love color, and I love bright, shiny things. It helps me uplift my spirit.” With all the tints, shapes and styles Lee adorns herself with, one might wonder where exactly she finds these eclectic pieces. You may have heard of the famous list, “Oprah’s Favorite Things.” Because the holidays are coming up, we assembled this insider’s list of “Rachel Lee’s Favorite Things.”
JEWELRY FROM NESTOLOGY
Lee: I love how the owner, Stephanie Frances, curates her shop with handcrafted wares that speak to my soul. I have numerous pieces from her own line, Sugar Vibe.
The way she incorporates natural stones and crystals into her work is magnificent.
ACCESSORIES, VINTAGE CLOTHES & WINTER HATS FROM IC HAIR & VINTAGE
Lee: To me, the cold weather is the perfect time to bring out my vintage hat collection. IC Hair & Vintage is my go-to place vintage wear. I rarely go to a holiday party without wearing a piece from IC, be it a sparkly belt, a vintage winter coat, or chunky jewelry. And a bonus is that she has a great collection of vintage coach purses for any occasion. Wait – I just let my secret out!
CRYSTALS & CHAKRA BRACELETS FROM SPIRIT DREAMS
Lee: One can never have enough crystals – and Spirit Dreams is my favorite place to buy them and soak in the positive energy of the store.
MIDCENTURY MODERN HOME FURNISHINGS FROM LOST & FOUND
Lee: West Michigan is incredibly lucky to be home to some of the world’s best furniture makers – and with that, a bountiful supply of vintage pieces. Lost & Found is my spot. Owner Mark Miller is exceptionally knowledgeable on decor pieces that I’m looking for.
MARK RUMSEY’S ARTWORK
Lee: My home is filled with artwork from Mark Rumsey, markrumsey.com. The large lotus print I have in my dining room is a showstopper.
HISTORIC PICTURES OF GRAND RAPIDS
Lee: The salon photo wall in my house is of old Grand Rapids pictures. Thanks to the City of Grand Rapids Archives & Records Center, it’s much easier to search for old photos of your home or favorite building in Grand Rapids.
BAGS & BEER FROM PUBLIC THREAD AND LOCAL BREWERIES
Lee: My collection of Public Thread bags is strong. I love how they upcycle their products and when I need to grab a growler from City Built Brewery, Creston Brewery or Brewery Vivant, they have the best bags for them.
BOOKS & CARDS FROM BOOKS & MORTAR
Lee: The selection at Books & Mortar will capture any book lover, and the charm of their store will leave you with all the neighborhood feels. My recent purchase of the book is the perfect book to settle in on a cold day with a warm fire crackling.
SUCCULENTS & HOME TCHOTCHKES FROM REBEL RECLAIMED
Lee: The moment I walked into Rebel Reclaimed, I knew it was true love. It almost as though the owners read my mind and knew exactly what I needed to add to my urban oasis of a home. At Rebel Reclaimed, it’s all satisfaction distraction. I’ll come in for a succulent and leave with five other items that I didn’t know I needed until I saw them.
COZY SWEATSHIRTS FROM WOOSAH
Lee: On cold days, who doesn’t like to layer up with warm sweatshirts?
CHEESE FROM THE CHEESE LADY
Lee: Hosting a party or going to one? The Cheese Lady is like a candy store for cheese enthusiasts. The staff there is so helpful in finding the perfect cheese either for you or as a gift.
HOST GIFTS FROM MARTHA’S VINEYARD
Lee: When I need to grab a couple of items for a host gift, I head straight to Martha’s Vineyard. Just get a bottle of wine and a few of their delicious desserts – and you’re all set!
MOVIE NIGHT AT THE WEALTHY THEATRE
Lee: Tickets to the Meanwhile Film Series at the Wealthy Theatre are a wonderful experience,especially when paired with a bag of Mosby’s Popcorn.
GOODIES FROM THE FULTON STREET FARMERS MARKET
Lee: On any Saturday morning, you will find me a the Fulton Street Farmers Market. If you’re looking for a great gift that’s also an experience, buy tokens for your loved ones that can be used at any of the vendors there!
SINGING BOWLS FROM GLOBAL INFUSION
Lee: Global Infusion is a beautiful shop to find your singing bowl and other fair trade products.