THE STORY BEHIND REMIXXD BY STEEL CITY GALLERIES
You know us now, but do you know how we got here? It's been quite a journey, to say the least!
Sit back for a few minutes and get the whole story of founder Don Spagnolo's love of all things collectible!
1983 - Don Spagnolo of Fayette City, PA, age six, excitedly anticipates the opportunity to meet his hero, Stan Lee, at a Comic Book Convention in Pittsburgh. Suddenly, Don was admitted to the hospital with tonsillitis and ended up missing the convention.
Devastated at the turn of events, Don's mother Darlene writes a letter to Marvel Comics explaining the situation. Months later, a package from Marvel Comics showed up in the mail addressed to Don. It contained several signed photos, a letter, and comic books from Stan Lee. These are considered Don's first autographs and cemented his lifelong love of all things Marvel, Spider-Man, and Stan Lee.
1985 - An eight-year-old Don discovers baseball cards and his life changes forever. 1985 Topps and Fleer were the first sets he collected, buying packs at Hills Department Store, Murphy Mart, Revco, and K-Mart with his parents and grandparents.
1991 - The Spagnolo family, in their third generation as a local grocer, remodels their Belle Vernon Giant Eagle supermarket. A video department with glass showcases was added during the VHS rental boom.
A 14-year-old Don tried unsuccessfully to convinced his father Angelo, into selling baseball cards out of the showcases. Cards were peaking in interest and would serve as a natural draw, Don explained. The problem, beyond the fact that Giant Eagle stores did not sell baseball cards, was that Don was a high school freshman. Who would work there? (The video department personnel during the day, Don after school and on weekends, he argued).
Weeks after his failed attempt, a Giant Eagle engineer complained to Angelo that he wished they didn't include showcases in the video department design. Angelo said he had just the solution. Don was going to get his shot. "Spagnolo's Collector's Corner" was born.
1994 - Don was able to join SportsNet, a dealer to dealer, online, dial-up, text-only network of sports card sellers. This enabled The Collector's Corner to buy and sell with the top sources in the country (even though it was billed by the minute!)
1995 - Don chose Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania, about a half-hour drive away from the store. He played second base on the baseball team, coached by former Steeler John Banaszak.
Somehow, he managed to balance school, sports, and business (as well as being in a fraternity - but don't tell his parents!)
1997 - With the internet becoming more widely available, Don signed up for eBay, which was still in its infancy. This expanded The Collector's Corner's reach around the world. Don was able to scan and sell sports cards from his dorm room, and in these pre-Paypal days, received all his payments via check, money order, or cash in the mail. Naturally, the stacks of international mail to a college student raised a few eyebrows!
1999 - Don graduated College with his business degree and completed the Entrepreneurial Studies program. With VHS interest on the decline, the video department was leveled and The Collector's Corner took over the entire front corner of the Giant Eagle store. Among the inventory was every sports card pack dating back to 1978, as well as virtually every Beanie Baby and Pokemon variety available.
2001 - After 13 years, the Spagnolo family sold their store to corporate Giant Eagle, ending the Collector's Corner run and leaving Don without a place to hang his hat. He would incorporate a new company, Steel City Cards, LLC, selling sports cards out of his Canonsburg, PA basement, in November, 2001.
2008 - Steel City gradually transitioned away from cards and pivoted to signed memorabilia, becoming an official JSA authentication dealer. Don's goal was to acquire authentic autographs of every living and deceased celebrity in sports and pop culture.
2009 - Needing more space for inventory and shipping, the company moves into a business incubator building in Monessen, Pennsylvania.
2010 - Steel City begins a relationship with Sportsmemorabilia.com as an authorized vendor, largely due to their growing JSA authenticated inventory. You may know this company better by its new owner, Fanatics.com!
2011 - Amazon invites Steel City as a pre-approved vendor to their new Sports Memorabilia category. Combined with the Sports Memorabilia deal, Steel City was quickly running out of office space.
2014 - Steel City moves into a new facility in North Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, which used to house a District Magistrate. There was still a jail cell in the back!
2018 - Steel City is honored by Pittsburgh Magazine in the annual "Best of the Burgh" issue as an editor's choice!
2019 - After hitting their goal in terms of autograph selection, Steel City expands into modern and vintage action figures, comic books, magazines, lunch boxes, vinyl records, and a variety of other categories. This completely changes the dynamic of the business, as more purchases are done with private collectors, business buyouts, and estates.
2020 - With the explosion of pandemic related online sales combined with a larger inventory, Steel City once again goes looking for a new home. After getting to the "paperwork stage" with potential locations in West Newton, Uniontown, and Monessen, a deal was struck days after Christmas to move into the Amcel Center in Belle Vernon, formerly the home of Fox Grocery, the distribution center for Foodland supermarkets.
2021 - Steel City moves into their new home and rebrands as "Remixxd by Steel City Galleries". The move took a solid month and required 15 U-Haul trucks.
2022 - Remixxd announces it is entering the retail world in July. The store is marketed as "Retailtainment", featuring a number of attractions and photo opportunities. It also joins Whatnot, a live selling app, and begins streaming video sales for the first time in company history.
2023 and beyond - Remixxd plans on expanding to the neighboring parcels in the Amcel Center, adding more inventory and retail space, a dedicated shipping room, and an events room for celebrity meet and greets!