Bootleggin’ Sue

Sue Reed

photo by shannon rooney

Everyone’s raving about Bootleg, the recently opened second-hand clothing store on West Second Street. Proprietor Sue Reed, a former Hollywood costumer, said her goal is to “combine creative fashion with utility.” She offers gently used men’s and women’s apparel, accessories and jewelry; items that will “maintain their value and wearability over a course of time—boots, belts and handbags that can last a long time if you take care of them. Those are my preferable types of items to have in stock.” Bootleg is located at 126 W. Second St., between Broadway and Main, next to Monks Wine Lounge. Contact Reed at 990-8008.

What’s your background in Chico?

I’m from Chico, originally … I was a typical ’80s teenager here. My first job ever was at (the former) Hey! Juan burritos, in this same building (as Bootleg). I lived in Spain for a couple years out of high school and then in Portland, Hawaii and L.A., coming back and touching base occasionally. I started bartending at Duffy’s in ’95. I’m a bartender for both Duffy’s and DownLo.

You were in a Chico band, right?

I was in Nothing Rhymes with Orange. We toured and played a lot … a punk kind of country goofy.

What’s the work you did with costumes?

When I moved to L.A. in 2003, I did a stint as a costumer for about three years, for the film and TV industry. Most notably, I worked with Kristin Burke, a local girl who’s now a costume designer. She was kind of my mentor. I did a few movies with her, under her tutelage, and I worked for a dance troupe: The Strange and Elegant Dance Company. That was kind of strange and outlandish, kind of whimsical and fantastic—it got my creativity flowing.

What inspired you to open your shop?

Anyone who knows me knows I’ve always been this insane clothing collector. I was a thrift-store person when thrifting was really, really uncool, when there was a stigma to second-hand shopping. I just collected forever, wore vintage a lot. I was one of those people where someone would come over to my house and say, ‘Oh, I don’t have anything to wear to the party,’ and I would dig through my stuff and find something. I’d wanted to have a shop forever, but I was so busy working. Finally, my best friend said, ‘You really need to do this! How can we make it happen?’ She helped me organize a plan.