If you are looking for a healthy dose of hobby positivity, find your way to Downer's Grove, IL to see Mark and his passionate following.
Mark's Card Shop has been selling our gold boxes in his shop for a little over a year now. Our partnership has led to many great conversations and brainstorming about the hobby. I have had several kids come up to me at the Chicago Spectacular show and talk about how they have seen our boxes at Mark's shop. Each of them seemed so energized by that place - much like I have always felt about Indy Card Exchange.
I knew we had to get up to Chicago to see the shop for ourselves. Mark hosts Trade Nights about every month, and when we had an opening in our schedule on December 2nd, I knew it was time to head north.
We got in a little early and were greeted by the Williams brothers, who have a Taylor University connection. Always good to start off with the TU network! We have seen them at shows before, and Caleb had even given me some Kirk Cousins cards for my kids (thanks Caleb!). They pretty much set the tone for the quality of people we were going to experience that night.
I was so impressed by the amount of teenagers at the Trade Night - as you can see on the flyer, this was on a Friday night from 5-7. Each was so respectful and knowledgable about what they had and what they were looking for. I made several trades - probably more than any Trade Night I have ever been to. The vibe was so positive and encouraging - it motivated me to want to hang around and partake in the fun!
Mark did several giveaways throughout the night - giving product away to "the first person to show me a gold card" or "the first person to show me a Big 10 college card" (there were probably a dozen or more giveaways throughout the night). His singles were priced very fairly and I ended up walking out the door with about $300 worth of cards from his cases.
It was truly a great experience and I bet I find myself back up in his shop eventually! Keep doing great things, Mark!