Danny Sikkens - Owner of Social Goods in Newberg, Oregon
If you read the post on LOCAL OREGON, you must know who Danny Sikkens is! If you haven't read the piece, definitely take a read - it focuses on local business owners in Oregon who focus on specialty items and merchandise rather than mass produced merchandise.
Here is an interview with Danny about his local business, Social Goods, a delightful specialty market. I really enjoyed meeting Danny because not only was he knowledgeable about his products, but he was also passionate about what he does. Just look at the picture of Danny behind his Crowler Bar - you can see his enthusiasm and passion. So inspiring!
- How did you come up with the idea to open this store in Newberg?
Danny: Social goods market was developed by gathering input from the Newberg community. We put a huge marketing/grass roots campaign of ‘what would you puthere.com' and passed out thousands of flyers to get the community to input their ideas. After a 4 months campaign and two months on consideration it was understood that the community really wanted a specialty market, something for kids and toy store and art supplies. So we did that.
-What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Danny: The community and interacting with amazing travelers such as yourself is what gives us motivation to work 80+ hours a week and gave us the faith to take on the multimillion dollar project. Innovating. We have an open apartment and a church area and a small white building that are vacant. The fun is deciding what to do with that space…. But again, the people and community.
-How do you know what items to take a chance on and know your clients will like the product?
Danny : We don’t. We followed a simple rule when sourcing items.. Well two simple rules.. one – what would we want to buy in a store like ours. What tastes good and would be something that we would purchase.. if we like the product we offer the product.. the second rule, we ask. Almost everyone I see I ask ‘what can we do better? Is there anything you’d like us to carry that we don’t?’ and we listen to the answers, write down the suggestions then default back to rule one.. if we like it, it’s in =)
-What differentiates your shop from another?
Danny: Social Goods Market sources as much local and unique products as possible. Each product gives back… the narrative is that each items gives back to a charity, a church or a school or has a story of success behind it (like small mom and papa businesses that have a great product but not enough in sales to donate back to charty…) Those products go on our shelves and we also run a campaign every 2 months that gives back to charities, churches and school.. We are also a community meeting space. People come to have a cup of coffee and meet, talk about the news of the day and connect.
-Why did you decide to open the store in Newberg?
Danny: The wife decided =) no we lived in the community and where attracted to the area by the wine industry and it’s small town feel. We wanted to add value to the town and are hoping that we are doing that by means of Social Goods Market and Newberg Wine Lockers.