Danielle Mendicelli is the owner and operator of Goldies Record Company a product of her passion for music, people and connection in San Diego/Oceanside. Their events connect artists, musicians, creators and entrepreneurs, and her goal is not only to share music and sell records but to create and be a part of a community that supports creativity and promotes peace. Her business background has helped her to learn the ins and outs of starting business. “Our Vision is to pay proper respect to music and the arts by uniting the community through the vinyl experience. Music is a universal vibration understood by all, and our core focus is inclusivity.” A small portion of their collection is displayed online and if they don’t carry it, they will special order it for you.
When she’s not at work she’s spending time with her kids and going to explore. They travel, go to shows, and play records together. “We’ve got a good set up here and I like to spend time outdoors and with friends”.
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?
I’ve been collecting vinyl and cassette tapes since I was a kid. My Grandfather was a radio DJ for KFOG in San Francisco and as a hobby, he would write and make his own music. He would take me on walks through Golden Gate park and downtown where we would see outdoor concerts and meet with musicians and creatives. San Francisco’s culture was major in terms of arts and music. Years passed and after much time spent in the city, I moved into a poverty stricken neighborhood in San Diego right before high school. My Mother was gone often but I quickly became friends with local graffiti artists and fellow street-kids who introduced me to underground hip hop. We would go to shows and make beats. I remember playing J Dilla one day and realizing that he sampled the same Dionne Warwick/Burt Bacharach tracks my Grandfather played for me as a kid. From then on it was my mission to uncover every original sample that mainstream hip hop was using for their songs. I’d spend hours in my room studying this and making mixed CD’s to sell.
When the realization hit that I was undeniably broke, I got my first job and decided I needed to hustle harder. My love for music was still very much alive but I knew I needed to get out of my neighborhood.
Fast forward 15 years, and I’m a single mother of two living on the beach in Carlsbad, with a great corporate job. The Pandemic gave me some time to reflect on what I truly wanted to do with my life. During the lockdown/quarantine a light bulb went off and I knew I had to switch gears. I bought Goldies Record Co., during a time of such division, with the intention to unite. I knew that if anything in this world could encourage people to come together, it would be music.
What is a day in the life like?
I couldn’t dream of a better way to make a living but this is a hell of a hustle. I wake up and put on a record for my kids while we all get ready for our day. I typically have several orders to tend to and records to price. A big part of my week is traveling to pick up record collections. As an entrepreneur, that call can come in at anytime. Once I weed through hundreds of records, I curate about 7 crates to take to each market. I post the ones that make the cut on Instagram and update my website. I usually meet up with friends who also own small businesses in the area. We collaborate and brainstorm on new things and give each other ideas and insight.
What has been your favorite sale / relationship made from behind the counter?
I had a little girl, who was about 7, digging through the crates with her Father. After 30 mins or so, she held an album up with tears in her eyes and says “Dad, I found it!” She was holding a 1970 Paul McCartney self titled LP. Her Dad said that she had been looking for it since Christmas. She and her Father come to see me every week now. She’s my most valued customer.
In your opinion what has been the coolest thing to come through your shop / the thing you had to keep / almost couldn’t put out for sale?
What has been the craziest experience that has happened at the shop?
Social Media has changed the e-commerce and marketing game for small businesses. With that said, I have a decent following on IG and market my events on both my personal and business page. I did an event at the Symphony Towers in Downtown San Diego and recognized a celebrity at the bar (I wont mention names, I’ll let him live), I figured he was a member and continued to set up. He approached me and said “Are you Goldie?” He ended up buying a huge stack of vinyl and has been a staple client since. It was/is surreal.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
It is important to start by relationship building. You should connect with like-minds in the community and all have a shared goal. This way you have a team behind you.
I started very grass-roots. Selling vinyl to the community at various vintage markets. You are outside, sometimes in the cold, and are at the mercy of the public. Set-up is heavy and work days are long. If you are not passionate and dedicated to your craft, you wont last. Dedicate at least a few hours a day to work towards your end goal. Become obsessed with your dream. It will inevitably manifest.
Are you a vinyl collector yourself? What drew you to it?
Absolutely. I collect vinyl, cassette tapes, cd’s and memorabilia. In this digital age, there is something exciting about holding a tangible album from your past. or present, really. Digging through records is like gambling. You can dig for hours and then find that one gem that makes it all worth it. There is also such mystery in discovering a record you’ve never heard of and then playing it for the first time. Especially when it turns out to be a banger.
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
Challenging the Patriarchy. This is a male-dominated industry and woman-owned record stores are few and far between in California. It can be somewhat isolating but it is also what sets me apart from the rest.
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.
Vinyl sales have surged over the last year. Big corporations are clogging up the pressing plants and it is becoming more difficult to place orders with distributors. Target and Walmart are carrying vinyl and have the limited/colored pressings that we cant get. This could be looked at as a threat but they don’t have a selection of used vinyl at all. They also can’t satisfy the crate-digger the same way a record store can. By the same token, they are supporting the vinyl movement and I support any way we can get the younger generation on board as a collective.
During this time we’re currently in, what message do you have for music and vinyl fans? How can we support you, the industry?
If you are a music fan, support the industry and buy vinyl. Times are uncertain and frankly a little scary but music is a healthy way to get through and heal.
Tell me what you’re listening to: