How one local has become a worldwide apparel and home goods online retailer

There’s something different about the pieces from Eclectic Thought Catalog.

Maybe it’s the graphic ’90s throwback enamel pins, the bold slogans emblazoned on the backs of jean jackets or the shiny, holographic fabrics. Maybe it’s the unapologetic confidence in each product. But ultimately, what sets it apart from other boutiques is the owner, Morgan Udoh, and her eye for unique products. The store goes by ETC for Eclectic Thought Catalog, but the nickname also stands for et cetera: a collection of things.

Udoh left teaching for the corporate world in 2016, now a client service manager for an insurance brokerage firm. But she quickly found herself missing that creative outlet. She tried jewelry making, crafting and painting but kept coming back to what she loved most: thrifting.

She looks for the “weird” pieces that get passed over—problem patterns, striking colors, unusual cuts—and envisions how they could work in the right context. Why can’t that be a crop top? She will figure it out.

Udoh turned that hobby into her own online retail store last year, expanding her scope to include both the thrift store and manufacturers around the world. It’s a curated collection of products for creative minds like hers.

She doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar location. Instead, she works from her home, managing her website, Instagram and Facebook pages and bolstering her relationships with manufacturers. She handpicks every item, from 2D illusion cartoon-style backpacks to lipstick that changes color with your mood.

Udoh often does ETC pop-ups at art hops like White Light Night and Ogden Park Prowl, but online is where her business booms. She has customers from the East Coast to West Coast and all over the globe. She just filled an order from Bulgaria the other day, she says.

The range of her client base means there’s no one person or demographic she’s aiming for—rather, she’s connecting with people artistically.

“My pieces are for people who dress for the sake of artistry,” Udoh says, “and for people who appreciate the art of putting together a look.” etcbr.store

This article was originally published in the September 2018 issue of 225 Magazine.