SEATTLE, Washington – AT Standard goods, you’ll find pop culture material and articles from the Pacific Northwest. Owner Jeff Gardner started the local business six years ago.
“I saw a need for that and I’m like ‘You know, let’s do it,’” Gardner said. “Nobody does like a young modern type of store, and a lot of people like to be outside and be around other people and come to brick and mortar stores, so that’s kind of why I have it. made.
Like many local businesses, Gardner has been hit hard during the pandemic. There was a time when he could only sell online.
“Running an online site is like running a whole other store,” Gardner said. “It’s expensive, it’s difficult, you have to hire other people to do it, shipping is expensive.”
He says he enjoys having a physical store and interacting with people, but when someone came to him with the opportunity to help online sales, he grabbed it.
This help was So ok, a browser extension that allows online shoppers to see local products available in their own community.
“I realized that they were competing for the same consumers in the same way as big companies like Amazon, Walmart,” said Jonathan Sandals, founder of Sook.
With a background in marketing, Sandals knew local stores couldn’t compete. So he created the Sook browser extension, which means “market” in Arabic. When someone searches for an item online, Sook shows them all the options miles from home. It’s as easy as downloading the extension on Chrome or Firefox browsers.
“What is a quick, easy, one-click way for people to buy a better product five miles from their neighbor’s house than to buy something 5,000 miles from a warehouse, ”Sandals said.
All he needs from the store is an address and a website so that he can add them to the database. At the moment, he is not making a dime on his creation and he does not intend to. He says he created it because local businesses are the reason he loves Seattle culture.
“They embody independent spirit, independent creations and, above all, community,” said Sandals. “These are not just distant, faceless societies with mass-produced products. They are unique creations created by your neighbor.
Gardner says Sandals is the only person who has come to ask him not to make a profit.
“I didn’t believe it at first because everyone is trying to make money,” Gardner said. “Everyone wants to build the next Uber and make billions of dollars, but he has kept his word.”
Sandals says Sook has been a passionate project and he says dozens of other people have reached out to help for free. Sook is now in major cities in every state and accessible to anyone within 100 miles of these locations.