Wildfire shop in Hamilton expanding to add more home furnishings

Sarah Dankhoff, owner of Wildfire Hygge Goods, stands in her shop Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021 on High Street in Hamilton. The shop has been in operation for two years and they have recently purchased a building on North 2nd Street they are renovating to expand the business. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
Sarah Dankhoff, owner of Wildfire Hygge Goods, stands in her shop Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021 on High Street in Hamilton. The shop has been in operation for two years and they have recently purchased a building on North 2nd Street they are renovating to expand the business. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Second location, on North 2nd Street, helps spread businesses from High-Main corridor.

Sarah Dankhoff’s shop that sells comfort items and gifts on High Street in Hamilton has been so popular she’s opening a related store in coming months two blocks away to sell larger items, such as accent furniture and lighting.

Her original location, at 226 High St., is called Wildfire Hygge Goods.

Hygge is a Danish word that’s pronounced HEW-gah, Dankhoff said:

“There’s not a really great translation into English, because it’s a feeling. The closest word is cozy, but there’s a few moments that kind of describe it.”

Imagine being on vacation in the Smoky Mountains with your first cup of coffee of the morning, looking out on the terrain: “That feeling of just coziness and comfort, that’s what Hygge is,” she said. “It’s a weird word. It’s starting to trend in pop culture.”

That’s what Dankhoff strives for with her shop, which opened in August 2019. “When people come in, I hope it sparks joy, everything from a candle, to gourmet popcorn, to plants. A little bit of everything.”

Wildfire Hygge Goods has purchased a building on N. 2nd Street they are renovating to expand the business. Wildfire Home and Gifts has been in their current location on High Street for two years. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
Wildfire Hygge Goods has purchased a building on N. 2nd Street they are renovating to expand the business. Wildfire Home and Gifts has been in their current location on High Street for two years. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

“The stuff that we carry, it’s not necessarily fit to an exact style, even though we do kind of fit to Bohemian and Scandinavian style,” she said. “For the most part, we’re looking for things that just feel special.”

Dankhoff’s second store, in a building being renovated now at 127 N. 2nd St., will be called Wildfire Hygge Home. She bought the property from the city in July for $1, in exchange for a promise she would invest at least $250,000 in the property, which she’s renovating now.

When the new shop opens, Wildfire Hygge Goods will transition into “a gift and modern general store,” she said.

Wildfire Hygge Goods on High Street in Hamilton has been in operation for two years and they have recently purchased a building on N. 2nd Street they are renovating to expand the business. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
Wildfire Hygge Goods on High Street in Hamilton has been in operation for two years and they have recently purchased a building on N. 2nd Street they are renovating to expand the business. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The shop is another step toward other businesses opening within a couple blocks north of both High and Main streets.

“She’s got the brand recognition, so we know people will go,” said Hamilton small-business specialist Mallory Greenham. “I think we’ll start to see more development on 2nd Street there, too, with her being there.”

The building Dankhoff is renovating, which until recently was covered with vines, is on the west side of 2nd Street, between the YMCA and the Marcum apartments.

“My plans for exact finishes have changed along the way” at the home-goods location, she said. “As we’ve been demo-ing, we’ve been finding original features. We have these beautiful hardwood floors that have beautiful inlays. You can tell that someone spent a lot of time, a really long time ago, doing that. So we’re going to keep that original hardwood floor.”

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Features that were hidden for decades will be exposed and preserved, said Dankhoff, 29, who grew up in Trenton. She and husband Kyle have two children, Grayson, 2½, and Georgia, 2 months.

When they were living in Seven Mile, “I really didn’t know anything about Hamilton,” she said. “I knew what it was like when I grew up, and I moved away in 2010, just to Cincinnati, but enough to not know what was going on in Hamilton.”

When I started to hear about it, I’ll be honest, I really didn’t believe what people were saying. I thought they maybe were just hyping it.”

After Grayson was born, she would visit True West and walk around downtown: “I just fell in love with it down here,” she said.

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