We began selling vinyl out of our VW Campervan three years ago, having realised we couldn’t afford to take on the lease of an established record shop in the next town. Following a fantastic summer at local, independent festivals and events, we began doing a weekly market stall in town. Vinyl and the local weather didn’t always work so well so we were looking for a pop up where we could spend the winter. It then sort of turned into a shop which we managed to open mid December 2019. Its been a challenging couple of years since opening but we feel so lucky to be doing what we do. We love music and the connections we are making through the shop and the community that is building around it.
We’re taking the van to a few festivals this year as well – Cursus, Wilkswood and Bournemouth Reggae Festival. We’ve got a double DJ deck and speakers that we can run off the solar panels on the van so we’ve got our own off-grid mobile soundsystem. We’re especially excited about getting out on the road again to a few festivals this year.
Its a laid back, welcoming vibe in the shop. We are normally playing something funky, jazzy, possibly Hip Hop, Reggae or some African tunes. We have a wide range of customers of all ages and genders. The music we champion is the music we love and play in store. The biggest record of last year for us was Little Sims ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’.
We run the shop between the two of us so we’re always busy! We’re very fortunate in that we have young people and older ones who are happy to volunteer and get work experience with us. We’re also linking up with local schools to support their students and we stock the designs and creations of a few, local young people (earrings, art and reloved clothing) to help them as they embark on their small business ventures.
We have live bands and DJ’s in the shop too and our ‘Joy of Decks’ monthly social where people can bring three tunes and take over the decks.
We’re big believers in the idea that we can make our own communities and we hope that’s what we’re starting to do here at Vinyl Van with the help of our lovely, loyal customers.
At our first event, we sold De La Soul, 3 Feet High and Rising. We started off just selling things from our own collections – this one (surprisingly!) was from Helen’s collection. At the time, the £50 asking price seemed quite high but it went to a happy new home and we got more cash to buy more records, everyone’s a winner.
Honest Jons is a big favourite of ours, we love their passion, stock and love of music.
We’re also surrounded by lots of great record shops in Dorset with more new one’s appearing. Clocktower Records and Bridport Music Centre are our nearest ones and where we’ve done our RSD shopping before.
This is our first year of being able to participate in RSD as up to now we have been too independent! Really looking forward to taking part this year.
Probably either Nina Simone or one of numerous gigs by The Fall
Events Coming Up
On Record Store Day we're having an all day 'Joy of Decks' event where our customers can book a slot to take over the decks for a few tunes.