Historic 25th Street is one of the landmarks of Ogden City. Full of historic buildings and vintage character, 25th Street has been an economically active street since Ogden’s beginnings. For many, being able to set working hours and own a small business is just a dream. But for three locals, it’s a reality.
One unique store found on 25th street is the Sock Monkey’n Around antique store. C.J. Bovee, owner of the store, said Sock Monkey’n Around was voted Best Antique Store in Ogden by Indie Ogden, as well as Best Windows during a contest held in conjunction with the Christmas Village lighting.
Sock Monkey’n Around isn’t the average antique store. Bovee said she sells her own items, which includes vintage clothing, hats and accessories, as well as items other local dealers to keep a good mix of products in her store.
Bovee said owning her own business is “tumultuous. It can be really good. It’s a labor of love, and I put a lot of work in around here.”
Bovee said her favorite part of owning an antique store is the history in each of the items.
“I love the history of the pieces,” she said. “There’s always a story behind a piece.”
Sock Monkey’n Around has some very historic pieces, including photographs of the first Jewish settlers in Ogden.
Bovee said her father introduced her to the “junking” business. On one trip as a girl, Bovee picked out quilt squares that originated from the Underground Railroad, and has been hooked ever since.
While owning her own business has lots of positives for Bovee, she said there are also a few downsides.
“A lot of people don’t shop local; they shop Walmart. It’s frustrating because . . . people don’t know that they can get fun things in here. Here, they can find unique gifts for somebody instead of getting a packaged gift from Walmart.”
Mike McDonald, one of the owners of Lucky Slice Pizza on the corner of 25th and Grant, said having “lots of energy” and “a place where employees are happy to be here and excited to be here and a customer base that is (also excited)” is critical for creating success for the pizzeria.
“We’ve always been pretty community-minded, so our whole marketing plan was to meet people and be involved,” said McDonald about the way Lucky Slice advertises. “Meeting people and being at events shows them that we care about them and their ideas.”
Two of the owners have owned a different restaurant before, and they had gone the coupons and Groupon route, but they said it led to a sluggish clientele. McDonald said having a more active, service-based attitude has helped Lucky Slice maintain an active customer base as well as an enthusiastic staff.
“We hosted a snowboard video premiere and concert at the amphitheater,” McDonald said. He said the extra effort is definitely worth the while.
Nikki Petersen, the owner of Indigo Sage Furniture Gallery, said she and her husband started their business because it was something they’d both wanted to do for a while.
“Being able to be around beautiful things all the time is just fun, especially how we run our floor,” she said.
Indigo Sage is different from other furniture stores in that, instead of displaying samples, Indigo Sage sells the furniture on the floor. This keeps products moving in and out, allowing the store to offer a wider variety of products to its customers.
Petersen said that, while she loves owning her own business, it’s also a good idea to have a backup plan. Since the economy isn’t in the best position right now, Petersen said to “start your business on the side, so you always have something to fall back on, just in case.”
Bovee, McDonald and Petersen all have their favorite reasons for owning their own businesses, but they all said an important factor is that the money that is spent locally stays local.
“There’s so much opportunity in small business,” McDonald said. “So much of the money goes straight back into the community with a small business. You get these big companies where all the money is going back to a corporate headquarters in Texas or Connecticut or something, and you never see the money ever again.”