• Joanna Mas

Udelco: Hidden Gem of Hawthorne

The story of Udelco, a local thrift shop, started as a small gem nestled in the heart of Hawthorne. However, in the past couple of years, it has blossomed into a popular shop that is visited by people from all different parts of the east coast.

Started in the 1970s, Udelco features many different and unique vintage clothing items and accessories from the 60s through 80s. A part of their popularity can be attributed to the low prices and immense selection of clothing in good condition.

The iconic door to Udelco, covered in stickers and writing

This picture of the iconic Udelco door represents the popularity in recent years, filled with stickers from many different places.

As a frequent visitor of Udelco, Eastern Christian senior Isaac Reitz explained how Udelco became so popular. “A couple of girls posted videos of them shopping at Udelco and it went

crazy viral because of how unique it is and now people travel from places like the

city to come and shop there.”

Additionally, the 2018 film If Beale Street Could Talk sourced some of their vibrant 70s centric costumes from Udelco. The Lumineers album III also features music videos for each song with many of the costume pieces also derived from Udelco.

Senior Isaac Reitz posing with an outfit completely sourced from Udelco

For Isaac, the reasons he’s drawn back to the vintage thrift shop are simple.

“The variety of different styles they have keep me coming back because my style switches up every few months and it's nice to be able to shop at the same place but still be able to find

things that I want.”

Ms. Elizabeth Van Ryn, a teacher at Eastern Christian High School, has also shopped at Udelco to feed her growing wardrobe of thrifted clothes. Her popular and fast-growing instagram account, filled with thrifted outfits she wears to school, features some pieces of clothing from Udelco, such as this blouse she upcycled from a dress she found at Udelco.

Ms. Van Ryn wearing a shirt she upcycled from Udelco

Ms. Elizabeth Van Ryn's reasons to go back to Udelco are also simple and straightforward.

“I enjoy thrifting and it is very cost effective. If there is a need for something I’d go there because I would rather reuse than buy new, especially for something specific. They have everything, it’s very specific, and very organized. You have to dig, but it is very organized. “

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