Randi Wood of Entre Nous is as effervescent as the playful and sparkly fashions she sells through her luxury consignment and vintage online outpost, Entre Nous. With a real passion for the unique and beautifully tailored, Randi has amassed a critical collection of vintage and high-end pieces that shoppers and stylists seek out for special occasions and red carpet appearances. Wood is kicking the sustainability up a notch too—not only are the items she features pre-worn and pre-loved, the majority of them are for rent too which makes the love go even further.
Melissa: Tell me about how your history with fashion and how you started Entre Nous—we want to know the whole backstory.
Randi Wood: So I’ve always been interested in fashion but my dad is an entrepreneur and a businessman so when I graduated from high school he was definitely, “ I love that you love fashion but what are you really going to do?”. So I actually took marketing in college, dabbled in a few things, and eventually ended up getting into real estate because it was a family business. I knew I could support myself through it and then dabble in my passions. I did that for a while and then came to a point where the real estate market wasn’t really great and decided to go back to school and really concentrate on fashion.
Randi Wood: I went back to school at 25… moved to LA from Canada, went to FIDM, took visual communications—loved it. It kind of gave me a wide variety of what you could do with your career in fashion. I interned—I did PR, styling, and I was trying to find out what I really connected with. I really loved styling and personal shopping, rather than red carpet work. I graduated from FIDM and the economy was terrible. So I was really struggling to make ends meet. So I ended up going back into real estate and it just so happened that my family bought up a bunch of property in Palm Springs because of all the short sales and foreclosures.
Randi Wood: I moved to Palm Springs! I did that and I really got into learning how to run my own business. The whole real estate portfolio was my responsibility. I had people that worked under me. I had been an agent before, so this was just a new kind of chapter for me and learning really practical skills like how to look at a profit and loss statement, how to create a budget, things of that nature. Cut to about five years later, I meet my husband and we actually meet in Palm Springs and we’re…
Melissa: The youngest two people there…
Randi Wood: Yes, exactly! That’s honestly why we met because someone, a mutual friend was like, “Okay, you live in Palm Springs?”
Melissa: “And you live in Palm Springs?”
Randi Wood: Yeah, exactly. The only people under the age of 50 in Palm Springs! You guys should go on a date.
Randi Wood: So then we got engaged, got married, moved back to LA, and then started to sell off my real estate portfolio. At this point I had more stability and the economy had turned so I was like, “it’s really this time of my life that I would love to do something that I really am passionate about. I have the ability to be able to do so. Okay, well what is that?”. I couldn’t see myself going back and working for maybe a corporate place or just getting a job at a regular PR firm or working as like an assistant stylist, starting at the bottom again, I’m 30 right? I decided, let me start my own business, I have experience with that. Plus, I have this real passion and taste for fashion.
I buy what I'm feeling in the moment or what really itself is having a moment!
Randi Wood: Number one, I’ve always loved vintage. And then two, just luxury consignment…it’s someone else’s treasure. You can go through a girlfriend’s closet and you’re like, “Oh my God, this is amazing.” And she’s like, “Oh that old thing?” So I’ve always seen the value in luxury consignment. And then with vintage, I just always feel like you can find something so special. So long story short, I said my ideal case scenario will be that I’d own a luxury and vintage consignment store. One day I literally Googled “Consignment store for sale in Los Angeles.” Entre Nous came up.
Randi Wood: It was like on this random website for sale. I had to fill out like an inquiry form and the owner called me the next day. She had the business for 17 years. And she says, “I’m looking for my next chapter.” She really wasn’t super tech savvy and was running the store like a mama pop shop. She’s like, “Why don’t you come, see the store, and we can talk.” I went in and I had seen this store like so many times driving by, the red awning on 3rd Street, but I’d never actually been in. I go in and it’s traditionally what you’d think a thrift consignment store would be. But I started looking through the inventory and like a third of it was so amazing.
Randi Wood: She had some stuff on eBay but no real Instagram, no real substantial website. No online presence. I just felt like there was an opportunity there. I said to myself, if I can really make this brand luxury, if I can get in touch with stylists, I just really think there’s a great opportunity here. That’s basically what happened. Cut to like four months later, I actually owned the business. I had to find a new space and rebrand it.
Melissa: Was that always something you wanted to do? Vintage and luxury consignment?
Randi Wood: Well when she really had the store it was truly luxury consignment. So the vintage…it was my thing. But it really evolved, listening to client feedback and after working with stylists and trying to set myself apart with my own personal touch.
Melissa: How do you decide, do you sell pieces in there and rent?
Randi Wood: Everything’s for sale. We only have a handful of items that aren’t available for rent and that’s only because they’re either super, super delicate or super expensive and it’s just a liability thing.
Melissa: Where do you source your items? What’s your buying strategy?
Randi Wood: I source from a variety of different resources. Etsy, eBay, estate sales, consigners, vintage sales, flea markets.
Melissa: You really make the rounds everywhere.
Randi Wood: And I don’t buy by season. I buy what I’m feeling in the moment or what really itself is having a moment, whether it’s like Fendi logos or bodysuits or-
Melissa: Leopard print. Following trends more than seasons.
Randi Wood: Yes.
Melissa: What are your daily particulars?
Randi Wood: I never leave the house without my rings on. Earrings for sure. I feel completely naked. Even if it’s just a like a very small stud, I will never leave the house without earrings. I will never leave the house without concealer.
Randi Wood: And I usually always have a large bag and a purse. So a large bag for my exercise clothing or my laptop and I am so old school, I have a large day planner. I cannot switch over.
Melissa: Awards season just started. Were people coming and looking for stuff and do you buy specifically for awards season in LA?
Randi Wood: So what I’ve really found with the awards season is because there’s so many showrooms out there stylists can pull for free and if they get worn they get some press. And for me, I rent. So what I really have found is that stylists will come to me when they’re really looking for something different. And specifically that usually lends itself to vintage because they cannot find that showstopper or maybe their client also is really into vintage or really into sustainability, it suits their personality a little bit more. Also, I do carry a wide variety of sizes. So if they have a client that’s like a size eight or just has like a curvier body.
Melissa: What are some of your favorite vintage accessories?
Randi Wood: I’m really thinking that big earrings are going to be a moment, like Chanel earrings. Same with the 80s, gold chains, lots of layers. I think we’ve seen that a little bit already, but I think it’s going to come full force. Hats too, fedoras, berets, little newsboy caps, I think they’re making a comeback.
Melissa: I think so too. I love a good hat.