St’Art Up 317 Vendor Spotlight: Society of Salvage

Photography by Tad 'Hadley' Fruits

St’artUp 317 is a competitive program that aims to match young brands, established businesses wanting to test a new market, startups and artists, with vacant and under-utilized first floor commercial space in downtown neighborhoods to create pop-up stores. Inspired by similar initiatives across the country St’artUp 317 is being coordinated by Downtown Indy, Inc in partnership with PATTERN in order to incubate viable retail businesses and long-term tenants, while supporting the creative class and improving the cultural profile of our city. The long-term goal of the program is to eliminate empty storefronts, increase local and visitor consumer spending and ensure that the Downtown neighborhoods continue thriving.

This series of stories highlights artists, entrepreneurs and businesses that were selected to participate in the pilot of St’ArtUp 317.


Ever considered where unique antique pieces from various places go when they’re no longer needed? Usually they end up in a landfill, but with the help of Society of Salvage, lots of those goods are saved and repurposed.

In a 9,000 square-foot warehouse on the east side of downtown Indianapolis, Society of Salvage resales architectural, office and machine-aged goods. Specializing in mid-twentieth century items, the store originally opened in 2013.

“It’s all about the style, price and coolness factor,” said owner Sandra Jarvis. “If we can see it reused in someone’s space, then we’re all about it.”

Prior to the vintage store’s opening, Jarvis worked in commercial real estate for 12 years. When she realized majority of the items from the buildings she sold eventually made their way to a landfill, she decided to do something about it.

The shop already had a following on social media via word of mouth when it opened in December 2013. Jarvis and her team conduct lots of research in order to determine accurate pricing for each piece. A lot of time goes into organizing all the goods to make the store presentable and “shop-able.”

“Thankfully, I’ve got two strong women (Liza and Kayla) at my side to help carry the load and share ideas.” Jarvis explains, “It’s rewarding when people come in to the store and are blown away with what they see.”

Jarvis says one of the best parts about being in Indianapolis is being a part of the Near East Area Renewal (NEAR) community. Collaborating with Near East residents and partner organizations while pushing to accelerate and rejuvenate its neighborhoods, NEAR is the community’s leader in residential development.

With Audrey’s Place, Tim & Julie’s Midland Antiques, Rewired Antiques and Little Doc’s Architectural Salvage, “It’s become the antique and salvage hub,” Jarvis says, “It’s been an organic movement on the eastside and that’s exciting to be a part of!”

A long time supporter of PATTERN, Jarvis was ecstatic about the opportunity to collaborate with Asia from Urban Contessa to create a pop-up shop through the St’ArtUp 317 program. Society of Salvage incorporated illuminated salvaged channel letters in their display which stood out at night. Their goal was to seek potential customers who may not have heard of their companies.

While Jarvis is appreciative for the publicity the shop has received, she says local customers make the most difference. “It’s awesome to see the expressions of new people who walk through the door,” she says.

If you are looking to start your own business, Jarvis’ advice is to ask yourself one question. “Are you ready to give up your life as you know it?” Jarvis explains the importance of getting the finances together first. Then begin looking for a space. “If you find the perfect spot but your money isn’t lined up, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.”

Society of Salvage is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 pm until 6 pm or other days by chance or appointment.

Follow Society of Salvage online:
Facebook: @SocietyofSalvage
Website: SocietyofSalvage.com

More from Taylor Kelly

St’Art Up 317 Vendor Spotlight: Anna Martinez

St’artUp 317 is a competitive program that aims to match young brands,...
Read More