Women of Rebel Vintage Persist During Quarantine

Photography by Jeanie Stehr

At Rebel Vintage, a lifestyle vintage store in Broad Ripple, Sara Baldwin and Tori Sandler have been working hard to stay engaged with customers and the other artists and makers sharing their space. When the stay at home orders went into effect in Indiana, the two owners were about to celebrate their shop’s one year anniversary.

The shop feels like a high end boutique that has authentic style. Baldwin and Sandler own the store, as well as their own vintage brands. Baldwin owns Lux & Ivy and Sandler owns Notorious Vintage. They also carry Gretchen Foster’s vintage line, Mama Ochre. These three women make up the majority of clothes sold in their shop. They also carry 30 other local sellers’ merchandise including clothes, gifts, accessories, and leather goods.

“We took the same idea of how an antique mall ran where you have a bunch of collaborative people, but we wanted to curate it into one collection versus having a bunch of booths,” Sandler says.

The aesthetic of the store is girly and clean, but has some grit and alternative vibes to balance it out. Rock ‘n’ roll, funky patterns, and simplistic neutral styles are pulled together into a tasteful shop that caters to all different lifestyles. Behind the cash register is a Muck Rock painting of eyes with rainbows streaming out of them. It matches their rainbow logo and pulls together the individuality of the shop. The name “Rebel” embodies the idea that there’s no right or wrong way to have style, as well as run a business.

“That’s why our tagline is ‘a lifestyle vintage brand,’ because it truly is a lifestyle. You can see each of our lifestyles come out in the clothing. We live each of the styles we are preaching,” Sandler says.

When Baldwin and Sandler discovered they’d be closing their doors indefinitely, they responded quickly by keeping their customers and partners updated. Events were rescheduled or cancelled. Baldwin’s mother suggested making, donating, and selling masks, which became a

significant save for them in the beginning. As reopening began, they started doing curbside pickup for online orders. Now they are offering hour long personalized shopping, so customers can feel comfortable experiencing the full shop with no other customers present.

Baldwin and Sandler have been active on Instagram, posting their merchandise all day, every day. They are also creating the “shop experience” on their website through creative projects like “Quarantins” which are vintage tins filled with candy. “Artists Boxes” are filled with different items like candles, jewelry, and bags that help support the different artists that have their merchandise in the shop. Vintage picnic baskets and blankets are also being put together for cute quarantine date nights.

The women of Rebel Vintage are particularly passionate about sustainability in the fashion industry. They want the people in Indianapolis who are starting to become environmentally aware to have access to reused and recycled clothing.

“Fast fashion and consumer culture have contributed to climate change in such a big way. This time is forcing people to slow down and reevaluate their priorities, so we want them to be able to still shop sustainably,” Baldwin says.