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Local Clothing Company Makes a Statement With Fashion

2023-11-05 – BE&O IF

A new shop has opened at the newly renovated Stutz building in downtown Indianapolis. Supplied with high quality clothing, accessories, home goods, and more, the 500-square-foot shop is occupied by We Don’t Run From Adversity (WDRFA). 

The store is the brainchild of business partners Michael Gillis and Gary Patterson. Creating apparel with a heavy focus on overcoming challenges and adversity, the two owners relished the chance to move their wares into the Stutz building, which recently underwent a years-long redevelopment funded by more than $12 in TIF funding. 

The shop is the first in a new retail incubator program focusing on inclusion and diversity. The program is part of St’artup 317, partnering with the city of Indianapolis to match fashion designers and creators with vacant and under-utilized retail spaces. The hope is that WDRFA is the positive springboard the program needs to add additional businesses to its lineup. 

The goal of We Don’t Run From Adversity is a lifestyle brand that makes a statement. First created in 2016 as an online store, Co-Owner Gary Patterson says, “Everyone can relate to some sort of adversity.” 

Before finding a home at the Stutz building, the fledgling business would often appear at art galleries and coffee shops to showcase their unique clothing and accessory options. “It’s a walking representation of who we are and who we aspire to be,” Patterson says. Adding to that, running a small business itself is a unique kind of adversity. 

When creating the one-of-a-kind designs that adorn the clothing, Patterson and Gillis say they often turn to local artists to create unique designs. But when it comes to the marketing and product rollouts, the two owners are the epitome of a small power team who do whatever it takes to get the product onto shelves. 

Always keeping their eye on the quality of their product, Patterson and Gillis are embracing their new home in the Stutz building and looking forward to the opportunity to reach new customers who normally would not have seen their product online.