Yvonne Page grew up around music and vinyl, so it’s no surprise that her love for it would bring her to career working with the medium. Parents hope showing their kids the things they love will make them take an interest in it too, and we love seeing that as well with women carrying on their families legacy and love for vinyl. Yvonne is the vinyl boss lady, aka manager, of Dig Vinyl in Liverpool, an independent record shop stocking secondhand vinyl and CDs across all genres. By night, she is a vinyl DJ and radio host with Melodic Distraction Radio where she hosts a variety of radio shows.
“My monthly shows span various genres and musical topics, but my favorites include ‘Smooth Sailin’ (yacht rock and the smooth tunes of FM radio), ‘American Dream’ (folk rock, Americana, southern and psych rock), ‘Living Room Relics’ (crate digging all genres from jazz to surf and hiphop to komische), and ‘The Sunday Slowburn’ (ambient electronica, modern classical and downtempo). You can have a listen back to my shows via Mixcloud!”
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?
I’ve been around records my whole life, as my dad has been a record dealer since I was very young. I spent lots of time in record shops, flea markets and record fairs growing up, and started collecting my own vinyl when I was around 12. After completing university and working lots of late night hospitality jobs through my early 20s, I jumped at the opportunity to work for my dad and his business partner, managing their record shop in Liverpool. I’ve never looked back!
What is a day in the life like?
Managing a record shop involves lots of soy lattes, and lots of cleaning very dirty records! I oversee the day-to-day management of the business, so I spend a lot of time looking after staff duties, scheduling, stock and inventory management, accounting, and our media presence.
On the day-to-day you can find me in the shop rifling through dusty boxes buying collections over the counter, pricing stacks of records, answering emails and conducting improvised photo shoots for our socials.
What has been your favorite sale / relationship made from behind the counter?
I have so many great memories of interesting sales & customers, but the most recent one was a little boy about 7 years old who was visiting Liverpool with his parents for the weekend. He was already a vinyl collector and was so thrilled to find some Beatles singles that he’d been looking for, as well as a vintage 7″ carrier case to put them in. He was just so genuinely excited about the music and the thrill of finding something he’d been hunting for – I think we can all relate to that feeling!
It’s so rewarding seeing young people get into their music this way and know that they’re going to get so much enjoyment out of it. I always feel really proud that they’ve chosen to buy something on a physical format in order to do so.
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?
We had a collection come in containing original UK presses of Nick Drake‘s ‘Bryter Layter’ and ‘Five Leaves Left’, in NM (near mint) condition. I still dream about these records! Such beautiful albums that are nearly impossible to come by these days, as they didn’t sell well at the time, so there’s not many original copies still floating around. I would have loved to have added them to my collection, but they were way out of my price range… maybe one day!
What has been the craziest experience that has happened at the shop?
Finding strange and forgotten items inside old record sleeves! We’ve found love letters, hate letters, coupons, porn, a photo of someone’s home-grown weed farm, and… a used pregnancy test… that was definitely the craziest!
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
Learn everything you can! Read as many music books, watch as many music documentaries, and listen to as many radio shows as possible. Working in a record shop involves so much talking about music, recommending music, listening to music, buying music… you really need to have a wide knowledge about all genres, eras, and formats, so always be learning!
I discover new music on a daily basis and spend so much time broadening my knowledge – but nobody can ever know everything, so don’t be intimidated! Just follow what your interests are and keep digging. Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know about a certain band or genre or don’t know the answer to a question! Just take it as an opportunity to learn, and move on.
Are you a vinyl collector yourself?
I have a massive vinyl collection that I’m always adding to!
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
I love my job, and for the most part our clientele is pretty great! As with any retail job, we get difficult customers every now and then. There’s certain preconceptions that some people have about who they expect to be working behind the counter in a record shop, and it’s not me!
There’s been countless instances over the years where a customer will overlook me completely to speak to a male member of staff instead of me, even if I’m right in front of them or already speaking to them.
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.
We’ve noticed a massive increase in demand for second hand CDs and cassettes. As the price of vinyl has risen, more people are turning to these formats at a lower price point.
During this time we’re currently in, what message do you have for music and vinyl fans? How can we support you, the industry?
Support your local record shop! Try to buy independent and bricks & mortar when you can.
Anything else you want to share? If not, tell me: What is your favorite music genre or band right now?
Mixcloud (Yvonne): @yvonnedigvinyl