By John Sacco
His entrepreneurial spirit has soared now for 20 years.
Don Spagnola is a man who makes moves.
The owner of Steel City Galleries has made one of his biggest, relocating to a new business park at 236 Finley Road, Belle Vernon. The former Steel City Collectibles has been modernized to become Remixxd by Steel City Galleries.
Spagnolo’s interest in sports memorabilia started in 2001 with card collecting. That interest transformed into his permanent work.
Just last year, Spagnolo’s former building essentially became a fulfillment center. The new website is www.remixxd.com.
Steel City Galleries focused on autographs, comic books, toys, had its own beanie baby collection, posters, tap handles and more.
“We bought out almost an entire bar,” Spagnolo told the Observer-Reporter last year. “We did so well selling the neon lights and signs. Now, we’re selling the beer taps. People are interested in many things. We want to be able to provide it.”
Now, he has moved and rebranded his business.
“As we celebrate our 20th year in business here at Steel City Galleries, we’re very excited to unveil our new headquarters in Belle Vernon and our new brand, Remixxd,” Spagnolo said.
“Our new, state of the art facility allows us to offer an even greater selection of products, ship items with faster efficiency, buy more collections and employ more people in our area. Nearly two years in the works, this fully organized, fully digitized collectibles utopia is finally finished and ready to go.”
Spagnolo said the business has dedicated sections for all of its departments – with nearly 100,000 different items available for sale: comic books, autographs, toys, games, figures, cards, magazines, lunch boxes, video games, vintage vinyl records and, yes, the beer tap handles.
While a number of small businesses suffered setbacks in 2020 because of loss of customers and other difficult situations since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in March, Steel City Galleries’ business boomed.
“People just turned to online purchasing,” Spagnolo said. “We have seen a substantial increase in sales.”
Spagnolo, 44, is planning a grand opening of the new space, which afterward will be open by appointment only. Details will be announced Remixxd’s website and Facebook when finalized.
Spagnolo said he is planning the grand opening for near the end of June.
Steel City Galleries had four employees and Spagnolo said the company is busy and is taking on much more product as people are looking to sell memorabilia and also are focused on downsizing.
“Before, we were trying to fit 10 gallons into a five-gallon container,” Spagnolo said. “We couldn’t keep up. A lot of collectible stores are struggling, really struggling.
“It’s great to be busy but there’s a very fine line between that and not being able to handle the business. We were getting close to that line at the other place. This new location allows us to grow and expand.”
Spagnolo and his staff are working hard to keep up with business and taken in what people are bringing to them. It’s a tedious process at times.
“It’s been a great move for us, and the people here have been great. It’s been pretty overwhelming with the stuff brought it. The key is being able to process it. We may be looking to add some employees.
“We’ve been able to bring in product and expand what we can offer. There’s never an easy way to do this and there are some headaches along the way. But we’re happy here.”
“We took (autographs) as far as we could,” he said. “Then we saw, if we wanted to continue to grow, we needed to get into other things. We started getting into vintage.
“If it has a celebrity on it, a character on it or a corporate logo, people are interested in it,” he added. “They collect all of those things. In some cases, they go crazy over it.”