By Jaclyn Pelopida | Photo & Video by Valencio Small | Hair & Makeup by Jennifer Marshalsea | Male Model: Joseph Haskins


Rachel Lessne is a walking contradiction. She describes herself as equal parts earth-loving hippie chick and fashionista rolled into one. “My friends have definitely used the word ‘tree-hugger’ to describe me. In college it was typical for someone to ask ‘Where’s Rachel?’ and the common reply would be ‘Oh, she’s reading underneath her tree.’ I love being outside and I try to find any excuse to go be outside either in the forest or on a beach. I am also often described as the nice one. I can get myself into trouble because sometimes I am too nice.”

Lessne has a passion for fashion and the environment like no other and even has her own store to prove so! She opened up her own eco-friendly and fair trade boutique at the young age of 23, called GCR6A0449 copyreen Envy in Newport, RI. Since the shop opened eight years ago, it has already won an astounding 13 awards.

More Help browse this site TS: “How long have you been acting/modeling?”

RL: “I call myself an accidental model. Newport Life Magazine asked me to do a photo shoot for their 2013 Fall Fashion Issue. They ended up choosing to put me on the cover of the issue! That started it all. Modeling has been my main source of income since then and I’m so grateful to Newport Life for starting it all!”

TS: “What has been your most memorable modeling or acting job so far? What made it memorable?”

RL: “The most memorable modeling moment so far was walking in the Handweavers Guild of America Runway Show. I got to open the show in the first prize winning dress and close the show in Bradon McDonald’s showcase piece. It was an absolutely stunning dress with a long train. The changes were so quick for that show, it took three people to change me from my third to fourth look. I felt a slight twinge of terror backstage, but then pure exhilaration when I stepped on the runway and heard the applause from the audience.”

TS: “What wouCR6A0467ld you do with your first million if you made it big as a model/actor?”

RL: “I would use it to travel the world and meet artisans from different cooperatives. I’d curate a selection of items from each cooperative to stock in my store, Green Envy. It’s one of my dreams to be able to interact personally with the craftspeople and hear their story from their own mouths.”

TS: “Describe your sense of style and what it says about yourself and your personality?”

RL: “My style definitely changes greatly due to my mood. My motto is ‘wear what makes you happy.’  I always love a bit of a bohemian edge, even if it’s adding an unexpected accessory to a classic chic dress. I have a long silver and shell necklace that was my grandmothers that I pair with anything, from jeans to a gown. I think the biggest goal in life is to be happy and style should reflect that. Wear what you love and what makes you feel great. Whatever that may be.”

TS: “Do you have a day job, and what is it?”

RL: “I own Green Envy Eco-Boutique in Newport, RI. I opened the shop at the age of 23, one year after graduating from college. It was my dream to have a store selling only eco-friendly and fair trade items. Customers can truly feel good about everything they purchase. Each item is handmade either locally or by a fair trade women’s cooperative in a disadvantaged country. Green Envy sells everything from natural skin care to jewelry, home décor to baby clothing, and every item benefits underprivileged people and the planet. I have never taken a pay check from the business, but continue to put all I have into growing the business and supporting more artists.”


TS: “What do you enjoy doing in your down time?”

RL: “I am constantly busy. Between running Green Envy, doing photo shoots and modeling, I don’t have much spare time. But when I do, I want to do things that de-stress me. That could be sipping a hot cup of tea and having a cozy night in or having a day of adventures with close friends. I love exploring new places.”

TS: “What is your best memory as a child?”
RL: “My childhood memories are filled with ethereal things like fairies and mermaids. I was an only child so I would entertain myself by playing outside in the garden. I used to leave little gifts for the elves or fairies. Then my mom would sneak out and take the gift when I wasn’t looking and leave a thank you note from an elf and tiny footprints. I remember being absolutely giddy with excitement. I’m still just a big kid and still love mermaids. One of my biggest dreams in modeling is to do a shoot for Project Mermaids. The proceeds from the sales of their photography goes toward protecting the oceans.”

TS: “Who is your biggest inspiration?”

RL: “My mother is my biggest inspiration. I could go on for days about how she came from extremely meager beginnings but worked her way through college, graduate school, and beyond. She is living proof that you can do absolutely anything in this world if you work hard enough.”


Lessne was born in Wakefield, RI and attended college at The University of Rhode Island. She graduated with a BS in Textiles Merchandising and Design and a minor in business. She lived in New York City for a brief time where she interned with InStyle magazine, but her love for nature brought her back to her roots, back to Rhode Island.

TS: “What’s your favorite form of exercise?”

RL: “I love yoga. I try to practice at least 30 minutes a day, even if it’s just some calm meditation. I did ballet for 17 years, but I ended up having to have a spinal fusion because of scoliosis. The surgery ruled out being a professional ballerina. But I firmly believe everything happens for a reason. Being a ballerina takes a huge toll on your body, and I couldn’t be happier now that I’ve found yoga to keep me moving. Although you will still find me pirouetting around my kitchen from time to time.”

TS: “What was your best vacation/travel experience?”

RL: “I did a lot of traveling as I was growing up. I’ve been to Italy, England, Alaska, Monaco, Hawaii, and many more fantastic places. However, the experience that sticks out in my mind is when I went to France. One of the places we stayed was in Saint-Malo. The town is encased within castle walls and it’s right on the water. There was some sort of festival with dancers and street musicians one night. It was a fun time, but my friend Kim and I decided to sneak out of the castle walls and walk along the beach. At night the tide receded what seemed like miles, so far that we could walk to an island that is normally surrounded by water. We stayed so long on the island exploring that we lost track of time. We ended up having to swim part of the way back. It sounds like it might have been dangerous, but I just remember it as a magical exciting night.”

TS: “What’s your favorite TV show of all time?”

RL: “I’m currently completely obsessed with the show Outlander. It has everything; romance, action, and adventure. I cannot get enough!”

TS: “What’s your favorite dCR6A0414essert?”

RL: “Crème Brulee. It’s so decadent and it’s got everything. It’s silky-smooth but crunchy from the burnt sugar on top. I also go bonkers for cannoli.”

TS: “What’s your favorite type of music?”

RL: “Reggae music is my favorite. It has the power to make me happy no matter what. Not to mention the dancing. I’ll dance to anything from Beethoven to rap but dancing to reggae is the best.”

TS: “Are you a better singer or dancer?”

RL: “I can dance to anything, but I can’t hold a tune to save my life.”

TS: “What’s your favorite flower?”

RL: “I love all flowers! I’m a bit of a nerd about learning the meanings of flowers. They each have a significance or meaning. My truly favorCR6A0484ite flower is a hydrangea; it means sincerity, heartfelt emotions, and perseverance.  I also enjoy learning about different herbs and their medicinal uses.”

TS: “What’s your biggest turn off?”

RL: “Braggarts, or people who lie or exaggerate to try and make themselves out to be more appealing. Be who you are, embrace your flaws, love yourself and others will too!”

TS: “Which season do you prefer?”

RL: “Summer by far! It can never be hot enough for me. You can also have more outdoor adventures in warm weather, of course.”

TS: “What is your dream car?”

RL: “A 100% electric car or a car that runs from biodiesel.”

TS: “Share your favorite quote.”

RL: “’The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.’  -Walter Bagehot.”




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