As I’m preparing to head to Making Vinyl tomorrow, it was perfectly fitting to introduce you to Yoli Mara, co-owner of Welcome to 1979 a multi-faceted recording studio, as well as lacquer cutting / plating facility in Nashville.
Yoli and her husband have owned the 13,000 square foot facility housed in a former record pressing plant, since 2008. In 2013 they made their first foray into the vinyl side of things with the purchase of a Neumann VMS-70 and began offering vinyl mastering and lacquer cutting services. A few years later, they founded Welcome to 1979 Industries, an electroplating facility, where they manufacture stampers for vinyl production. The music history of the facility hits you as soon as you walk in the door, and being a former Nashville resident and now working in the industry I’ve been surrounded by their importance in the music community and in vinyl manufacturing.
Yoli aside from being the co-owner of the company is also a Mom who spends most of her time time outside of work running the kids around, helping with homework, and binge watching Parks & Rec with them before bed. She also loves to read, travel, and hang out with friends.
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?
After owning the recording studio for several years, we were excited by the vinyl resurgence. This led to the addition of the cutting lathe. Once we’d been cutting lacquers for a while, we saw a bottleneck at the electroplating stage of the process and a real opportunity to offer lacquer cutting and plating in the same facility. We are able to offer a level of service that other facilities cannot.
What is a day in the life like?
There’s no such thing as a typical day! As I’m involved in all facets of the electroplating business, studio, and our analog tape machine restoration business (Mara Machines) – every day looks different. I spend my days collaborating with the various department heads to make sure that things are running smoothly and that our customers needs are getting met. The businesses seem to take turns needing more of my time and attention, but some days I’m switching hats every ten minutes!
In your opinion what has been your favorite / the coolest thing you’ve worked on?
I love when we get the vinyl work for projects that were recorded, mixed or mastered by friends of mine! It’s fun to be a part of something that other cool people have had a hand in. Also, Lake Street Dive recorded at the studio recently and, I’ve got to admit, I had a real fan girl moment over that one!
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
I am a real people pleaser, and also a bit of a perfectionist. When a job does not go perfectly smoothly (which, when dealing with the complex process of vinyl production is not uncommon), I can sometimes have trouble taking it in stride.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
Do your homework and choose the right partners.
Are you a vinyl collector yourself? What drew you to it?
Ha! I am not a vinyl collector (I can’t be bothered to flip them over halfway through). For me, getting into the vinyl industry was an opportunity to offer a service in an area where there was a real need. Also, we get to be involved in a small way on some really cool projects.
What types of things are happening in your industry / with vinyl that you’re excited or worried about? i.e. innovation, or trends you’re seeing.
I’ve been excited to see so many small pressing plants pop up across the US in the past few years. It’s been fun to watch them grow along side of us and to learn the industry together. As far as trends, the continued sales growth is good for us all!
Tell me more about what you’re listening to right now: