Shop Talk: WDRFA

Lifestyle brand WDRFA kicks off in its Stutz Building boutique.
Photography by Tony Valainis

MIKE GILLIS mans his meticulous boutique, WDRFA, in a waxed-denim jacket from Carhartt Work in Progress, a refined fashion-forward spinoff of the durable workwear. It’s not the kind of thing anyone would put on to chop wood. The clothing and accessories in WDRFA look just as expensive, well-made, and street-ready. After spending years working for Indy retail stalwarts like Lids, the Colts Pro Shop, and Hangtime, Gillis and his uncle, Gary Patterson, both IUPUI grads, made a name for themselves among the city’s creatives by selling out collections of sweats, nylon pants, and T-shirts. “Very quietly, we have been a big part of big companies in Indianapolis,” says Patterson. WDRFA’s Stutz Building boutique makes their breakout official. Store and product designs contain hidden symbolism, including social commentary and homages to relatives. The brand name stands for “We Don’t Run From Adversity,” a credo that the founders hope customers find inspiring. “Everyone can relate to trials and tribulations,” Gillis says.

ADDRESS: 1060 N. Capitol Ave.

HOURS: Wed–Sat noon–7 p.m., Sun noon–5p.m.