By Betsy Lopez
Special to The Rock River Times
Listen up, Culture Shock fans — your favorite local music and gift boutique is getting more records, more men’s and women’s clothing, more locally made gifts, funky housewares and a plethora of parking. That’s right, Culture Shock, at 2314 Charles St., is moving across the street this October!
A haven for unique items, Culture Shock’s move opens the store up to a larger layout and better accessibility for customers. The shop only has three parking spots currently, but will have 46 with the move across the street. Music connoisseurs can expect to find additional classic and newly released vinyl come October, and discount days as the shop relocates to 2239 Charles St.
Another perk? A pre-move celebration will be held Sept. 6, from 5 to 9 p.m., featuring 25 percent off products, food, a DJ and giveaways.
Store owners Lauren Davis and Skyler Davis opened Culture Shock in May 2006, armed with an affinity for vinyl records, clothing, accessories and unique gifts. The couple began entertaining the idea of moving earlier this year, deciding in April to purchase the property directly across the street from their present location.
It’s a move neighborhood shops and supporters say will benefit the entire Charles Street corridor in southeast Rockford.
“Culture Shock helps bring a diverse element to our up-and-coming Charles Street,” said Tim Atwell, Delicious Ink Tattoo owner. “I’ve grown fond of this street and with a business like Culture Shock which compliments [us] so well.”
Culture Shock owners tout their business as having a fresh selection of records and releases from a variety of genres, as well as specialty music and art-inspired items that are all found in one place. In October, the clothing, record and gift shop will also begin offering year-round giftwrapping services. In addition to Culture Shock, the newly purchased building will also house Lauren Davis Creative, Davis’ graphic arts studio.
The couple’s shops are member businesses of Winnebago Buy Local, and the duo supports the “buy local” frame of mind. Purchasing 2239 Charles St. not only merges their two successful businesses into a formerly vacant building, but it cements two other businesses into the space Culture Shock will vacate upon their lease’s end.
“There are two unique businesses that will be taking over our current location,” Lauren Davis said. “We’re trying to revitalize Charles Street and make it an eclectic and diverse district — a destination shopping/dining district, full of unique small businesses that serve as the corridor to our downtown and the east side. Other area businesses appreciate what we’re doing.”
The businesses to come will be announced in September by their respective owners, along with a more specific moving date for Culture Shock’s move. The move across the street is a strong sign of the nearly seven-year-old business’ growth that has helped Charles Street develop beyond eateries and tattoo shops to incorporate clothing and records.
“Our local ethics have developed a lot over the last years,” said Skyler Davis. “We’re getting more connected here; we’re taking ownership and are now more rooted in what we do.”
From the Sept. 4-10, 2013, issue