They say necessity is the mother of invention, and that was exactly the case for Carrie Vondrus, owner of Endless Indulgence Retro Wear on Historic 25th Street. After going from the aerospace industry to stay-at-home mom to professional ski patroller, Vondrus and her husband opened Endless Indulgence to help her find high-quality retro and vintage clothing for locals, herself included. “I do not care for modern day clothing,” Vondrus explained. “Ultimately, I had to leave the state or try to do mail order to get the clothing I loved for myself. It got pretty dismal as far as finding it, and I would have to go down to Southern California to find the retro type clothing I liked. After hanging up my skis, my husband said, ‘Why don’t you look into something like this because you love the clothing,’ So that’s what we did.”
Vondrus’s disdain for contemporary clothing comes from a lack of both quality and structure. “I love the femininity of it. It fits ladies with curves whereas modern day clothing does not. I love to see the look on customers’ faces when they get into structured, fitted clothing,” she said. “Today, everything is loose with no structure, and it’s disposable. There’s a term in my industry, ‘fast fashion.’ What I sell are quality pieces like they bought back in the day.”
Without a physical location, Vondrus started her business in 2011 with a little bit of savings money and a lot of commitment. Following the local car show scene, she would sell her wares to those who already expressed interest in vintage items, and she gained a following very quickly. Only two years after opening, Endless Indulgence moved into their current location in 2013, and their clientele has only grown. “I sell to ladies from Idaho, Wyoming, Cedar City, Price, Tooele, all over. They come from everywhere thanks to word of mouth and social media,” Vondrus said.
While she originally started only selling women’s clothing, the demand for mens items was so high that she started offering retro style men’s clothing only a few months into her venture. “I have some women who tell me their husbands don’t want them coming here without them,” she said. “They enjoy the style and shopping experience as well.” Most of the customers at Endless are women, but the demographic similarities end there. “I have people from 11 to 85 years old who come here and from every walk of life,” she added.
But Vondrus isn’t running her retail business like others. She’s never had a business loan and only does cash and carry for her inventory, so she owns every piece in her store outright. There are couple reasons for this approach: one, she wants to be able to close her business on her terms without owing creditors or designers; and two, owning the pieces allows her to offer free 30 day layaway for her customers without worrying about selling the piece on time.
As for the name, it was inspired by her mother. “I’ve always been a shopper, and I think at some point my mother said, ‘you’ve found your endless indulgence.’ And for some reason it stuck.” She’s not just stopping the indulgence at clothing. You can buy accessories and foundation wear as well as the largest vintage collection of 1930s-1950s women’s stockings in the West.