The Break: Two Words, Eight Letters, Say It and I'm Yours
Interviewed & Photographed by Olivia Kenney
Film by Logan Hursh
Did you know that champagne is imperative to your well-being while shopping? I bet you didn’t. Well, Hannah Richtman can be found serving you just that, as you try on the pant suit you swore you couldn’t rock. We visited Hannah at her inclusive cool girl empire and retail hot spot, The Break, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. These days, thrifting has turned into a complicated game of spending five hours at several Goodwill branches, or paying sixty dollars for a graphic t-shirt (always a hard no). Lucky for us, Hannah, and her growing team of seven, have found a way to completely curate your entire sourcing experience, without slide tackling your bank account. From your new favorite pair of jeans, to your latest spontaneous tattoo, check out how The Break Babes have evolved the idea of shopping, and the importance of the community that comes with it.
POND: Alright SO, give me a little run down --
HANNAH: My name is Hannah Richtman. I’m a Scorpio. My soulmate is my rescue mutt ShiShi (better known as Cheech). I’m 5’2, I wanna dance with you, and I’m sophisticated/fun.
P: The Missy Elliot quote says a lot about you. Where are you from? And how long have you been in New York?
H: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 8 Years.
P: Where did you work before you started your own business?
H: I worked retail, a few show rooms for designers, and in marketing. But the steadiest job was my blog until I started The Break in October of 2014.
P: Did you have a specific item or thrifting experience that made you go, "Wow, I could do this for the rest of my life?"
H: Every single thrift experience reaffirms that I'm doing what I love. I would gladly spend all of my time under that nasty fluorescent lighting, despite The Break. However, I’m reassured that I’m in the right career when I get to meet someone that mentions how much they love our selection. I created this job around my passion, but it’s the community that makes every day truly magical.
P: Between handpicking your inventory and having a team of employees that very accurately represents the brand - Did you ever think that opening up a store would turn into more of a curatorial responsibility?
H: I always wanted to create a brand that was bigger than just selling vintage clothes. I planned a business with the hope that I could work with women and men who are creative, excited, independent, funny, kind, and fierce. The clothes start the conversation, but then I end up having so much else in common with everyone who walks in our door, and that’s what makes The Break truly unique.
Opening the store happened really organically when we discovered that a physical space is what our customer wanted. I'm so happy that we were able to establish an online presence and a loyal fan base before we opened the brick-and-mortar. I'm so lucky that I was able to find interns who became my best friends and cherished first employees when we took this huge step. Curating the team has been the easiest process.