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Retro Metro & Notorious Vintage: Upcycled consignment and loud vibes

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Posted at 9:56 AM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 19:19:04-04

INDIANAPOLIS — It's a thrift shopper's dream inside the blue and orange house at Binford Boulevard and 46th Street.

Retro Metro is a consignment-based shop, located at 2943 E. 46th St., that features the work of over 45 local makers and artists.

The two-floored house is packed floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall with art, vintage clothing, jewelry, housewares, furniture, and more consignments.

"A lot of our makers just kind of find things and put them together and make art," Cindy Shamo, the founder and owner of Retro Metro, told WRTV.

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Inside Retro Metro on the northeast side of Indianapolis, multiple rooms are filled wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling with locally-made art, vintage finds, upcycled furniture and home goods, consignment clothes, and more.

Shamo values art and expression through upcycling. Upcycling is reusing discarded materials to create unique products, often of higher quality.

And there is certainly no shortage of eccentric finds at Retro Metro.

For instance, one of the makers at Retro Metro creates purses and hats out of recycled jeans. Another makes potholders and decals out of vintage clothes.

Retro Metro also features distinctive local artists, such as Anna Scala, who makes her pieces from gravel. And Latih Casberg, who makes generational Philipina beading.

"I think having everything all mixed together, you can see how the art can work in your home," Shamo said. "So it gives people an idea of how to put things together and how it might look in their space."

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Inside Retro Metro on the northeast side of Indianapolis, multiple rooms are filled wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling with locally-made art, vintage finds, upcycled furniture and home goods, consignment clothes, and more.

Shamo completely remodeled the house, formerly the Indiana Youth Group headquarters, after it sat vacant for three years. Aside from having more than five rooms for consignment shopping, Retro Metro also has dedicated space for art residencies, events, and enrichment classes.

Becoming an all-in-one art and thrifting community space just happened, Shamo said.

"You meet one person, and then someone has another friend who knows another friend. And before you know it, you have this really interesting and eclectic group [and] community of people," Shamo explained of how Retro Metro's art residency and enrichment classes came about.

The Indianapolis native says it's not about offering something different for the community but instead is about providing another space.

Shamo adds that Indy is not short of artists, creative thinkers, and makers, and that's evident in her ability to fill her walls and shelves with locally made art and products.

"I think that it's been done in so many different ways to support artists. I'm not really offering anything different, but I'm offering another place," Shamo said. "I find that the people that are coming to me are people that maybe haven't had their art in a place before."

Retro Metro also features well-known local artisans such as "Girlythingz" and "FAB."

"If we think it'll mix with the vibe that we have in the store, then we bring them in," Shamo said.

Speaking of vibes — Notorious Vintage, the business on the second floor of the Retro Metro building, is nothing but loud vibes.

"That's kind of my goal upstairs is to show people that they can put anything together. Whether or not you think it matches. I love the whole, like super layered, loud, just ridiculous," Tori Sandler, the owner of Notorious Vintage, said of her shop's style.

Indianapolis vintage shoppers know Sandler from her time at Rebel Vintage on East 54th Street.

Sandler founded Rebel with her former business partner. However, after two and a half years in business together, she decided to branch out on her own and opened up shop at Retro Metro in mid-February.

"We eventually realized that our vibes...were so different that it made sense to kind of separate them. She was more the everyday wear, minimal, just wearable, modern vintage, and then I was more of the maximalist style," Sandler explained of the decision to separate brands.

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A stack of pants, cowboy boots, hats, scarves, and a rack of blouses line the upstairs hall into Notorious Vintage.
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Notorious Vintage is located on the second floor of Retro Metro. The founder, Tori Sandler, says Notorious is all about maximalist styles. The vintage shop is size-inclusive, with sizes small through 24, and is also gender-neutral in design.

Aside from the bright and eclectic apparel at Notorious Vintage, it's also size-inclusive and gender-neutral. Sandler stocks Notorious with sizes small through 24 and doesn't design her floor by gender and instead puts her racks together by style.

"Everyone's gonna be able to find something up there," Sandler said.

Aside from the clothing and accessories, Notorious also has a children's room full of clothing, furniture, and books. The vintage shop also has
a few home goods.

Although Sandler, a "multipreneur," moved intending to create her own vintage vibe, her primary motivation to move into Retro Metro was to put together community events with Shamo.

"I'm an event coordinator, first and foremost, before the vintage, that's what my degree is in and my passion is in," Sandler explained. Sandler has coordinated events for "Indy Maven" and "Oranje."

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Cindy Shamo (left) is the owner of Retro Metro, and Tori Sandler (right) is the owner of Notorious Vintage.

Retro Metro and Notorious Vintage operate the same hours and have a singular checkout desk. They're open Wednesday through Friday 12 to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 12 to 5 p.m.

You can learn more about Retro Metro, its enrichment classes, and its featured artists and makers on Instagram. In addition, you can learn more about Sandler, Notorious Vintage, and events she's planning at torisandlerevents.com.

ICYMI: How a central Indiana consignment shop is re-opening during the pandemic

WRTV Digital Reporter Shakkira Harris can be reached at shakkira.harris@wrtv.com. You can follow her on Twitter, @shakkirasays.