By Betsy Lopez
Special to The Rock River Times
Bob Morris has an affinity for vinyl records, in-depth music conversations and shopping for fun finds at independent stores. The 59-year-old music lover lives in a rural area between Cherry Valley and DeKalb and plans to celebrate alongside Culture Shock customers as the music and record store inaugurates its new building Friday-Saturday, Oct. 11-12. Despite the drive, Morris doesn’t mind the jaunt to Rockford to visit his preferred record sanctuary.
“I like supporting the local shops versus Best Buy and corporate places that aren’t personable,” Morris said. “The prices are great — they’re so low you don’t need to haggle, you just support them.”
Culture Shock has become a home away from home for the vinyl-collecting bus driver who used to hunt for music in Carpentersville and even Madison, Wis. Store owners Lauren Davis and Skyler Davis opened Culture Shock in May 2006, heartened with a like-minded enthusiasm for vinyl records, unique gifts, clothing and accessories. It’s their enthusiasm and knowledge that customers buying music and music-inspired items respect, he said.
In April, Lauren and Skyler Davis decided to purchase 2239 Charles St., the property directly across the street from their present-day location at 2314 Charles St., to offer a larger assortment of products with a hyper-local approach.
“We want to make sure everyone is always able to buy here,” said Lauren Davis. “That’s what we feel makes people love this place.”
A refuge for unique items and vinyl records, Culture Shock’s move opens the store up to a cleaner layout and a better accessibility for customers. The shop trades in its current three parking spaces for 36 spaces, by moving across the street. Music aficionados can expect to find more than additional parking, but also a surplus of classic and newly-selected vinyl when the store opens in its new location, Skyler Davis said.
“For a business to expand in Rockford’s environment in this day and age is amazing,” Morris said. “So many businesses are shutting down, and here, they’re expanding. They’re doing something right.”
Sheila Ray Wunder, also a longtime customer, is eager to see the store’s larger selection of men’s and women’s attire. Wunder frequents Culture Shock for gifts and personal purchases.
“I’ve been shopping at Culture Shock since 2006,” she said. “I keep coming back because they always have new stuff. I love clothing and records I can’t find anywhere else.”
Area business owners, including Tim Atwell, Delicious Ink Tattoo owner, agree that the move will provide greater accessibility for Culture Shock’s customers, but it’s also going to help the Charles Street corridor grow as new businesses prepare to take over the areas Culture Shock leaves behind.
Culture Shock will be open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The store’s final day at 2314 Charles St., was Saturday, Oct. 5. Culture Shock is closed Oct. 6-10 for relocating, with a grand opening Oct. 11, which will include a launch party, door prizes and opportunities for customers to win $5 to $50 gift certificates for future use with every purchase made.
From the Oct. 9-15, 2013, issue