OGDEN — Heads up, hipsters and music lovers: A new indie vinyl record store has opened its doors in defiance of digital downloads and online streaming.
The opening of Lavender Vinyl earlier this month at 123 25th St. follows a growing demand for vinyl records in the music industry.
"I think that it’s definitely a rebellion against a quick, easy digital era,” said Kylee Hallows, 25, co-owner of Lavender Vinyl. “People want a real, physical thing instead of a quick, easy digital file. Life is too fast already. Let’s slow down, you know?”
Vinyl sales are continuing to make a comeback. Last year marked the 10th straight year of sales growth for vinyl records, according to Nielsen's 2015 U.S. Music Year-End Report. Nearly 12 million vinyl records were sold in 2015, compared with just 1 million in 2007.
"For me, when you pay for a digital streaming service, or digital music, you’re paying for absolutely nothing," said Lavender Vinyl co-owner Blake Lundell, 27. "You’re just paying for air. That’s all it is.”
Sales of vinyl albums totalled $416 million in 2015. Revenue hasn't been that high since 1988, according to a 2015 shipment and revenue statistics report from the Recording Industry Association of America.
More than 45 percent of those sales came from independent record stores like Lavender Vinyl.
The record shop mostly gets customers through foot traffic in downtown Ogden, with people young and old pausing to duck in and look at vinyls.
"Honestly, anyone from 16 to 65,” Lundell said.
Many customers come in asking if the store will purchase records, he said. The answer is yes.
"It's a big part of our business to be able to buy records from people," Hallows said.
Lavender Vinyl also sells turntables, along with vintage and new records from a variety of genres and artists.
Lundell said he and Hallows worked at collecting shop inventory for a long time, even donating from their personal collections.
"We’re both record collectors, so we sacrificed some of our own records,” he said.
Hanging on back wall of the shop are two limited pressed vinyls from Hallows' collection: Gorillaz's "The Fall" and Danny Brown's "XXX," selling for $80 and $70, respectively.
"This is just our passion," Hallows said. "We’ve worked in this industry for so long and we just wanted to go into business for ourselves."
Hallows and Lundell hatched the plan for Lavender Vinyl about two years ago while they were co-workers at Graywhale Entertainment.
"It’s been a dream of both of ours," Lundell said.
More than 300 people attended the July 2 grand opening, the owners estimated.
Dave Jones, of Ogden, and his daughter, Kelsey Jones, heard about the opening and stopped by the shop on a recent afternoon.
"There’s not a lot of record shops left anymore. Vinyl’s a thing of the past. So to find shops that sell them is a cool thing," Dave Jones said.
He said he collected records in the 1980s as a radio DJ before CDs overthrew the industry. He passed the legacy of collecting vinyls to his daughter, and they often travel to Randy's Record Shop in Salt Lake City to find records.
"I do think (vinyls) are coming back. It’s the hipster thing to do, but I’ve liked them for a while," Kelsey Jones said.
Kelsey Jones, 18, was DJ at her high school, where students figured out how to play vinyl records through a turntable on the radio.
“I like the sound better,” she said. “When you do digital music, they cut a lot of the top and bottom peaks off. When you hear the vinyl, you get the full sound.”
Hallows and Lundell agreed that vinyl is the music format musicians want their listeners to hear. The friends decided to name the shop Lavender Vinyl because of the soothing effect the plant and music have on listeners.
"Music brings peace to its listener, and it doesn’t matter what kind of music it is,” Hallows said.
The co-owners hope to someday sponsor local musicians and eventually press their own vinyls and start a record label.
For now, they're content with the support they've received from the community.
"It exceeded all our expectations," Hallows said of the opening. "We’ve had an awesome weekend. We’re already off to a great start.”
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