ROCKFORD (WREX) – Passing Culture Shock on Charles Street, the humble exterior doesn’t quite tell the story of this shop.
The beginning of this story is not in the building that stands today, but rather across the street in a much smaller store.
All this born from a simple and disinterested idea.
“I just thought Rockford needed a cool little store that represented some of our local items, local pride and local music,” owner Skyler Davis said.
Skyler Davis helped open Culture Shock in 2006, before taking their current spot in 2014.
However, the expansion encountered challenges at first.
A floor in the new building led to serious financial problems for Culture Shock.
So Davis decided to sell his own record collection back to the store to make ends meet.
This self-sale would be the basis of what is now nearly 15,000 records at Culture Shock.
“It’s so funny to think about how we pretty much have an entire record warehouse now,” Davis said.
“Based on what started in a small store on a vintage television that was found in an alley with a screen missing. It was my little shelf to sell my records at first.”
Culture Shock is basically made up of two stores.
Enter to the right and you encounter the massive record collection, but a left will show you a room filled with more collectibles than you can count.
From shirts to socks to baby clothes, Culture Shock has plenty of apparel and memorabilia that embody the spirit of 815.
Cheap Trick, the Rockford Peaches and several local businesses occupy the space.
One of the local stores featured is Craft + Foster Candles.
Co-owner Chad Burgess has enjoyed the relationship with Davis and the Culture Shock team since relocating their business from San Diego to his hometown of Rockford.
“Aligning ourselves with other local businesses that are passionate about community and passionate about collaboration was really important,” Burgess said.
“It’s cool to see businesses like Culture Shock and other locals struggling after supporting local businesses and representing those brands.”
As Culture Shock celebrates its 15th anniversary, Davis is happy to see what his young idea has become.
He hopes that everyone who walks into his store not only enjoys the ambiance inside, but all of the items that show off the backbone of small business in Rockford.
“Our customers can see this through our social media. They can see our store growing and the businesses we carry and the items from local businesses. They can also see how it’s really affecting them,” Davis said.
Culture Shock is located at 2239 Charles Street in Rockford just east of Stockholm Inn.
If you know someone or a place that is leaving a positive mark on our community, you can fill out a nomination form on our Inspiring 815 page or you can email [email protected].