Friday, October 21, 2011
10 year anniversary
Today it was ten years since I opened the store. My wife had suggested that I should expand my mail order business and open a store so I could reach more people and hopefully sell more records. I had already had worldwide mailorder for several years and the stock had grown steady both in quantity and quality.
After some months looking we found a small but cozy store situated in central Stockholm but at a not very crowded street. I invested all money I had and borrowed some more from friends (thanks Max and Mats!). The big costs for opening the store was to pay for the rental lease and things like recordplayers, mixer, headphones and much more. I made a misstake with my first rent bill and by accident payed to wrong receiver so I had to call an old lady in the north of Sweden to pay back 30 000 kronor that I payed for the first three months. She was however an honest person so the money came back eventually.
Before the day that was planned for opening I worked all day and all night to sort thousands of records in the racks plus putting stickers on every record in stock with price, condition and comment on it. I was so tired that when I was going to open up at noon I told the first customers that I wasn't ready and had to open the day after. I went home and slept 4-5 hours and went back and worked all the rest of the day plus all night. The first day was an immediate success, I had a good selling and didn't have time to eat lunch but I definetly had a feeling that I had done the right thing.
At first I worked alone with my wife as an unpayed helper but soon enough I could hire a friend that could help me so I could concentrate more on buying and the mailorder selling than the selling in the store. Now we are 4 people that work everyday but it's still never enough time to do everything I want to do.
The shop has changed and developed during the years. When I opened the store in 2001 I would say that 60% was Soul, Funk LP's, 20% Hip hop, 10% Jazz and 10 % split into Latin, Disco, Reggae and Brasilian records. In 2001 the demand for golden era hip hop like Biz Markie, Lord Finesse, Common sense and more was incredible. I contacted several old friends of mine that I knew and paid heavily to get some fantastic hip hop collections. I could add 100 of those records in one day and after the day was over half was sold and the rest sold within a week or two. Quickly the shop changed to have maybe 50% hip hop. We bought an incredible independant hip hop collection with many rare titles but that was before "Random rap" had been a big hype among hip hop lovers so many of the records we sold for 75 sek. Now many of those records are heavily priced and wanted worldwide but back then it was the big names from the golden era that we priced high. Now due to Serrato and digital effect, the hip hop section has gone down so we again are at about 20% hip hop.
After a couple of years we started getting more and more jazz collections and our knowledge grow for every fine collection we bought. I did my first ebay auction with a couple of Blue note originals by Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan, Duke Jordan which went much higher than I could have dreamed of. Now the jazz section is about 40% of the shop and at the website the section that we sell most at.
A favorite among the local drug addicts.
During these ten years many friendly people have come from all over the world to buy records from us and we have became friends with many of the regulars. There's also been many weirdos in the store. I remember playing Jimmy Castor Bunch "It just begun" at high volume in the store when a female drug addict went in from the street and started dancing heavily to it. She started dry humping the speakers. Then she surprised me by thanking me for the Jimmy Castor Bunch record that she had listened so much to in the 70's and went out!
Other people that I remember is one of the regular bums that hang out in the park nearby that came by once a week and asked for Jimi Hendrix under a couple of years time. As we back then had no rock section at all we didn't have any Hendrix records. After a while I checked a collection and eventually found a Jimi Hendrix record which I put aside behind the desk, He however never came back to the store so he must have died before as his old gang still hang out in the park.
It's been ten great years with so many fine records and many interesting charachers. I must thank all customers that have made it possible to have a small store (but with a big website) and also of course all the co-workers I have had during the years. All have made the store better with their personalities and their knowledge of records.
To celebrate the anniversary we give 10% discount today at all shop orders (not on mailorder sorry) and I hope I will be able to sell records to the day I go to pension. Thank you, Lars