The quality of mainstream stores has become predictable and undistinguished. With a lack of individuality and unique style, popular retailers seem to provide consumers with redundancy. The same products live on different shelves and create a mundane lull that persists between consumers and stores. Meanwhile, the presence of boutiques and the growing interest in local artisans are redefining the priorities of consumers everywhere. Among these emerging creatives is the heart and mind of Nicole Desch, the founder and owner of Heritage Dry Goods.
Heritage Dry Goods, a local business out of Eugene, Oregon, embodies a very authentic American energy that stands out against the white noise of popular retailers. In 2013, Desch was compelled to start a business that promotes the American dream by showcasing locally-made products and vintage items. Her upbringing and academic studies revealed the potential impact that American artisans possess and exposed Desch to the epiphany of an opportunity to support local economies.
Desch draws much of her inspiration from her roots of Stillwater, Minnesota. She explains that growing up in a small town allowed her to observe the impact of local businesses on the community. A nearby window manufacturer employed half of her peers and provided a significant portion of local jobs. Experiencing this first-hand inspired her to create something purposeful that worked to sustain the progression and success of independent communities, and alas, Heritage Dry Goods was born.
The core of Heritage Dry Goods is a intricate network of Eugene designers, creators and curators who specialize in a variety of products including bags, backpacks, coats, clothing, small trinkets and gift items such as candles and food products. In addition to their work with local artisans, Heritage Dry Goods also partners with passionate college students. Desch notes the growing talent in the college town and shares her excitement to collaborate with like-minded creators. Among the students studying journalism, product design, marketing and even architecture at the University of Oregon, Heritage Dry Goods receives submissions of innovative ideas that come to life, including journals and t-shirt designs. These contributions enhance the mission of Heritage Dry Goods and add to the all-American energy that sustains the store.
While Heritage Dry Goods provides a variety of handmade merchandise that appeals to young audiences and trendsetters alike, Desch values the interactions that she shares with her customers and the relationships she has with the artisans with whom she works so closely. So much so that Desch founded the Eugene merchant’s association, a community of business owners in the Eugene area. Heritage Dry Goods exceeds the ordinary expectations of a consumer and provides an overt-the-top shopping experience.