In the heart of downtown Ogden, Utah on historic 25th Street you will find a wonderful new record store... Lavender Vinyl! Upon entering the store, you will be greeted by a friendly face, a very sweet dog, and some righteous grooves.
I recently sat down with Lavender Vinyl owners Kylee Hallows and Blake Lundell (at a favorite watering hole, Slackwater Pizzeria) to chat about their wonderful record store.
Blake and Kylee have both been working in the record store industry for about the last 10 years or so. They met at a local record store chain where they both worked in 2009 and became fast friends. They dreamed of owning their own store one day, but only saw it as "just a pipedream". "It would be so cool!", they would say over beers. The whole idea of owning a store "started with beer to be honest!", states Kylee. In fact, "50% of our name [was inspired by] the Squatters Bumper Crop beer", adds Blake. (The other 50% of their store's name pays homage to the LBGT community.)
And then (with a lot of hard work and support from family and friends) Blake's and Kylee's pipedream came to fruition. Lavender Vinyl opened on July 2nd, 2016. "We had an awesome opening day! Bigger than we though it would be," states Kylee. "[The local paper] found out and caught on to the buzz, which really helped promote our opening." "Yeah," adds Blake. " We really lucked out on building a buzz around town. Unfortunately, in order to get the ball rolling with inventory in the store, Blake and Kylee "started the store on our personal collections ... 20% of each of our collections. That was very hard," states Blake. Kylee: "Yeah, but now we buy 1 record a week to try to rebuild what we sold." Blake says it is important to him to keep buying new vinyl as a business owner. "You can't sell records if you don't know what the fuck you are talking about," he says with a grin.
Most of the vinyl Lavender sells comes from trade-ins from the community. The community has been very supportive and have really helped in making Lavender a successful part of 25th Street. In the warmer months, "the Ogden Farmers Market really helped with clientele," Kylee states. "We also partnered with Booked on 25th, [a new bookstore a few doors down] who opened a week later "They are our 'buddy store'." Kylee says, "We feel like we are doing better than expected. It really is a little shocking that we were able to corner the market right on time. "...and right on the money!" adds Blake.
Along with selling an amazing variety of new and used LPs, Lavender recently started their own record label. "The first album on the Lavender Vinyl label comes out at right around our 1 year anniversary. It is by local musician Josaleigh Pollett." They are hoping to produce and release a couple albums a year.
Some fun facts about Blake and Kylee:
First vinyl ever purchased:
Kylee - a Bread album (age 16 in Colorado)
Blake - Radiohead's "Kid A"
First concert ever attended:
Kyle - "I can't remember honestly. My parents are very musical and they took me to a lot of concerts from a very young age."
Blake - "I'm no exactly sure, but think it was the [X-96] Big Ass show."
After you get home from a long day of selling and spinning vinyl what beer do you crack open and what album to you jam to?
Kylee - "A Piggy Back Peach IPA from Uinta and Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp A Butterfly"."
Blake - "Also a Piggy Back Peach IPA and Neurosis' "Times of Grace"."
Check Lavender Vinyl out online at: