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Celebrating International Women's Day 8th March 2018

International Women's Day is an annual event that supports the achievements of women and strives for gender equality. This International Women's Day, we are extremely proud to introduce you to some of the many wonderful women who work in independent record shops across the country. Rock on, ladies.





Banquet Records
(Photo of Banquet Records: Jane, Colleen, Claire, Meg, Shibby)

Jane from Banquet Records says "aside from a brief period where I fancied managing Abba, it was the only thing I can remember ever being remotely interested in doing, and I’ve now spent almost 30 years working in record shops. It’s a misconception that this is a job for boys - I might’ve been lucky, but I can’t conceive of a more egalitarian working environment. I’ve always been judged on my knowledge and skills, never treated differently because of my gender (well, sometimes by customers…). The couple of years I spent managing bands, where I was usually treated as an assistant, secretary or girlfriend, regardless of what I was actually doing or had achieved, emphasised that. Women might be a minority of record shop staff, but we’re not an oddity. For as long as there are record shops, there’ll be ways into rewarding jobs working alongside brilliant, creative people. For everyone."  
Bella Union 

(Photo of Abbey Raymonde in Bella Union Vinyl Shop)

Abbey Raymonde is the manager of the Bella Union Vinyl Shop, she says "there's nothing I love more than good old-fashioned conversations with genuine music fans, whether they work at the restaurant at the end of our alley or have flown in from another country just to visit the store. We're trying to alleviate the intimidation factor from record shopping that may deter some visitors, especially when it comes to women. I don't care whether someone has heard of an artist or not - if you are passionate about music, we'll hook you up."  


(Photo of Lucille Indigo Allan in the Bella Union Vinyl Shop)

Lucille Indigo Allan also from Bella Union Vinyl Shop says, "love working in a record shop because it is a place where anyone from any background comes to unite purely over music!"  

Bridport Music

(Photo of Steph Garner with John Cooper Clarke!)

Steph Garner runs Bridport Music alongside her husband Piers. She says "when you open up each morning you never know what the day is going to bring - but it's always varied and unpredictable. Obviously, there are jobs that are routine but until that first customer comes through the door or phone us you can never be quite sure how the day is going to pan out."


Empire Records  


(Photo of Marina outside Empire Records)

Marina DeSclavis is the owner of Empire Records, she says she "never expected to own a record store, but now that I do, it's amazing! I've always loved music & the opportunity to meet and interact with so many other music fans is incredible, we strive to make sure that everyone feels welcome here & am proud to say that we have a large female customer base."


Fives Records

(Photo of Sandra Bennett and her Dad outside Fives Records)

Sandra Bennett from Fives Records says she "started as a Saturday girl working for my dad when he opened the shop on my birthday28th October 1977, and progressed to working full-time when I left school and then to a manager before becoming joint owner of Fives Records. With my dad now being 77 but still working almost full-time, I do the ordering, organising the shop, window displays and the paperwork to make sure everything keeps running as smoothly as possible." 

Gatefold Records Lounge 

(Photo of Nicola Utley with daughter Dylan)

Nicola Utley owner of Gatefold Record Lounge says her "favourite thing about working in a record shop is the people! We've got such great customers at Gatefold, I love getting the chance to chat to so many different people and find out what they're in to - I'm always learning about new music that I now couldn't live without! My daughter Dylan loves coming to work and getting lots of attention from our customers, she's also a big fan of funk music!" 


(Photo of Claire Mosser in Gatefold Record Lounge)

Claire Mosser also from Gatefold Record Lounge likes "the constant musical education and having customers sharing their taste in music and recommending artists or bands, which makes you listen to things you probably wouldn't usually." 

Jacaranda Records


(Photo of Namina Koroma in Jacaranda Records) 

Namina Koroma from Jacaranda Records
enjoys "being surrounded by music all day. It's a blessing and getting the chance to feel little bits of history pass through your hands is special too! Also witnessing people, especially the younger generation - at the beginning of their vinyl journey, is really invigorating. Hearing them talk about how they can't wait to get home and put their record on for the first time takes me back to the first record that I bought, and the excitement can be truly infectious!"

(Photo of Alex Cromer in Jacaranda Records)

Alex Cromer, also from Jacaranda Records says "there are quite a few things that I love about working in a record store; chiefly, working with like-minded people that share your passion for the format and music in general which is liberating in a way as it allows you to be yourself, not to mention how empowering it is working and thriving in what is a very male-dominated industry. Then, of course, it's the environment, working all day surrounded by records, handling them, cleaning them (which is very therapeutic) and listening to music you that love, which is just amazing!"  

 Lion Coffee + Records

(Photo of Siobhan Bailey Turner in Lion Coffee + Records)

Siobhan Bailey Turner from Lion Coffee + Records says "I love working for a record store because of all the different genres of music and what comes with that is meeting people from all walks of life and the conversations you get to have with everyone. When I have children one day, I will make going to a record store a once a week 'day out' because it's very educational. Also, as the saying goes 'music is good for the soul'." 

(Photo of Tara Priyah in Lion Coffee + Records)

Tara Priyah from Lion Coffee + Records says that discovery is her favourite thing about working in a record store. "I’m constantly discovering artists and albums I would have otherwise missed, and it’s definitely affected my songwriting. Between crate digging, in-store performances and customer & staff recommendations, I now have a never-ending well of inspiration."  


(Photo of Mairead Hayden in Lion Coffee + Records)

Mairead Hayden also from Lion Coffee + Records says that "music, especially vinyl, brings people together. I love records, I love talking to customers about their favourite records and what's in their collection! Some of my fave women in my record collection are Patti Smith, Stevie Nicks, Angel Olson, Hole & Karen O to name a few." 


Mo' Fidelity Records 

(Photo of Lynsey McMillan in Mo' Fidelity Records)

Lynsey McMillan opened Mo' Fidelity Records alongside her fiancée, she says "it has been the most incredible year and we have met so many great people. I am a trained counsellor and split my time now between my private therapy practice and our record shop. I love how these two seemingly different roles contrast and complement each other beautifully. For me, both roles are about a personal service and face to face connection versus isolation. Aside from the more direct connection to music, what I love most about owning a record shop is that we have built a little community hub where hopefully people feel welcomed and known." 


Rough Trade

(Photo of Emily with The Barr Brothers outside Rough Trade East)

Emily Waller who works in Rough Trade says "working for a record store, you experience such a vibrant community of people on a daily basis. No one day is the same - the people you speak to, the records you hear. I love the discovery element, that I'll walk into one of our stores and immediately want to find out what’s being played and that we’re seen not only as a shop, but a place for people to come hang out and swap music stories and recommendations. Isn’t there some line ‘music is a universal language’? Go figure!" 
Slide Record Shop

(Photo of Nerys Bannister in Slide Record Shop)

Nerys Bannister from Slide Record Shop says "the best thing about working in a record shop is a customer telling you that they loved a record they discovered thanks to the shop. We have wonderful customers who are great at sharing their discoveries with us as well, they have put me on to some of my current favourites!" 


Specialist Subject Records

(Photo of Kay Stanley in Specialist Subject Records)

Kay Stanley from Specialist Subject Records says she loves "being able to introduce people to women-led bands. A couple of years ago I started a Spotify playlist- Not All Girl Bands Sound the Same, featuring only women-led bands which I update as I make new discoveries. There are so many exciting feminist and non-cis-male bands doing exciting things all the time, and it sucks that often the view from the wider music industry is that they aren't visible enough to warrant more diverse festival line-ups, or interesting enough to dedicate column inches to in music press. So, I'm very grateful that through our little shop and record label we get to help shine a light on them." 

Stranger Than Paradise Records

(Photo of Noreen McShane in Stranger Than Paradise Records)

Noreen McShane from Stranger Than Paradise Records
says "there's no better job than working in a record store, that's probably why I've failed to do anything else since I was a teenager. It's a wonderful inclusive world where you can spend your time meeting fascinating people and constantly learning about music. If you're lucky enough like me, you also get to work with your best friends and drink endless cups of tea all day. I recommend it to anyone." 

Tallbird Records

(Photo of Maria Harris in Tallbird Records) 

Maria Harris from Tallbird Records says "what's most gratifying [about working in a record shop] is recommending new titles to customers that then come back a few days later to tell you how much they loved it and ask for more recommendations. I also love it when bands and artists come to play in the shop, it can sometimes make me quite emotional (in a good way!)" 


The Record Store 

(Photo of Tahlula Monticelli and her Dad outside The Record Store)

Tahlula Monticelli runs The Record Store with her Dad, she says "the people we meet are so friendly and relaxed. The best part is the number of amazing people we have become friends with. Our shop has really become a place to hang out for music lover's, so we hear the most incredible stories and get to laugh and drink tea with people from all different walks of life. It has also really expanded my knowledge and allowed me to discover new music." 


Transmission Records  

(Photo of Kimberley Holladay with her dog in Transmission Records)

Kimberley Holladay from Transmission Records says "I love having my dogs work alongside me and being able to curate what we stock in store with my other half Spencer. I also love the new floor we painted this weekend in the style of the black lodge…something to be proud of that I hope will excite customers and draw them into visiting the shop!" 


Truck Store

(Photo of Loveday in Truck Store)

Loveday King from Truck Store says her "favourite thing about working in a record shop is probably getting paid to listen to music all day, and getting inside information on upcoming releases.  It's also really good for feeling plugged in to the local music scene in general."


Vintage & Vinyl

(Photo of Alison Wressell in Vintage & Vinyl)

Alison Wressell from Vintage & Vinyl says "the best thing about owning a record shop (apart from being your own boss) is welcoming and meeting so many interesting people who also love music.  Setting up the shop 4 years ago was an exciting challenge, and a real change in career for me.  Over the last few years my customer base has gone from strength to strength, and the shop has become well known in the area.  I hope everyone sees it as a welcoming place where they can hang out and chat about music - or anything at all!"


Vinyl Hunter

(Photo of Rosie Hunter in the doorway of Vinyl Hunter)

Rosie Hunter from Vinyl Hunter says that her favourite thing about working in a record shop is "without a doubt the customers. I love chatting with everybody who comes through the door. All of whom have a story to tell and since we opened 3 years ago many have become good friends." 

Vinyl Tap

(Photo of Rachel Jacob in Vinyl Tap)

Rachel Jacob who works in Vinyl Tap doesn't know "who wouldn't love getting paid to listen to and talk about music all day? There's definitely some characters that come in store and it's a pleasure to discuss all manner of music with them. Not only that but the constant discovery of new music on a day to day basis. Not to mention the staff discount!"