If you would have asked Skyler Davis of Culture Shock Clothing & Records a decade ago to predict where his newly opened business would be 10 years into the future, he probably wouldn’t have been able to think that far ahead. “Originally, I just wanted a place to sell band T-shirts, stickers, and music and I was tired of driving out of town to find those things.” said Skyler.
Along with the trials and tribulations of opening a new/very niche boutique and record shop in a destination-location of Rockford as two young inexperienced business owners, came additional concerns and hardships. In 2006 and 2007 the store flooded during the legendary Labor Day floods. Skyler Davis and Lauren Vanags both worked additional part time jobs just to keep the store’s lights on, and try to lightly stock the walls and racks.
What kept them remaining positive for the future was the support of the community, and taking it one day at a time. “Some of the customers who shop here today have been shopping here since the humble beginning, when it was a very different store…” says Lauren Davis, co-owner of Culture Shock Clothing & Records “During our worst times, while we were literally sweeping debris and shoveling water out of our store assuring our guests we would get more product soon, customers promised us they’d come back… and they did, again and again for 10 years.”
Fast forward two location moves, 10 years and many loyal and new customers later, Culture Shock remains strong and positive about the future. They find strength and power in the community that has supported them for 10 years so they give back by stocking over 40 locally made products and local bands’ merchandise in their shop along with hundreds of other independent/ethical brands, new and used vinyl, and vintage audio equipment. The store has changed drastically, celebrating many different generations of culture, arts and music through their variety of clothing, gifts, accessories and vinyl.
This Saturday, Culture Shock will celebrate 10 years as an independent locally-owned business in Rockford, and they are proud to call Charles Street Culture Shock’s home. Lauren and Skyler frequently attend their Keith Creek Neighborhood Association meetings and head the non-profit Winnebago Buy Local which encourages local businesses to work together to succeed. The store owners believe heavily in the power of collaboration, and that when they love the community, the community loves them back.
To celebrate their 10 year milestone on Saturday, Culture Shock will have a tent sale with $1-$10 specials on merchandise, 25 percent off clothing, accessories and gifts in the store, as well as buy-one-get-one-half-off vinyl records. There will be plenty of giveaways from different lines they carry throughout the day. To celebrate 10 years as a business they would like to celebrate their customers and appreciate them with sales and fun.
Skyler added, “We just want to say thank you to all of our existing customers, and show new customers that this is a place they will love. Maybe knowing that we have been around for 10 years will encourage folks who have never been to Culture Shock to step in and check it out for the first time.”
While the store has changed drastically through the last 10 years, one thing remains constant. Skyler and Lauren consider their customers some of their best friends and can’t wait to continue serving the community for the next decade.