Meet avid music, movie, and all around media junkie Julie, the co-owner and operator of Ignition Music Garage in Goshen, IN. Ignition Music Garage is a local music oasis with something for everyone. They buy / sell / trade vinyl, CDs, cassettes, vintage audio gear; and are a certified Audio Technica record player dealer. There is a plant shop in the back, and a satellite radio station for 99.1 FM The Globe in the shop as well. If you thought that was all, it’s not, they’re also a live music venue!
Some of Julie’s favorite things outside of music are roller coasters, Jeopardy, photography, Bocce Ball, gardening and JBL Speakers playing loud music (had to still fit one music thing in). She says: “I’m an adventurous spirit, love to travel, and have lived all over the US – Boulder, NYC, Los Angeles, Austin and hauled (most of) my vinyl collection with me!”
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?
When I was a child, my mom was an aerobics instructor. She used to buy 45’s and dub them on cassettes (it was the 80’s) – she would give me the 45’s and now I own over 10,000 of them! I started working in record stores in the year 2000, I was in college – while also doing a radio show for Notre Dame, called Nocturne.
What is a day in the life like?
Wake up, tea (hot or iced), go to work, return calls / emails, put out fires, maybe fix someone’s record player, research new releases and reissues, sort / organize / price records, talk to customers, more emails.
Favorite sale / relationship made from behind the counter?
I had a guy come in last year who bought a turntable. He had always wanted one in his younger years, but never was able to afford one. While most people his age are buying back records they sold or gave away he was just starting his collection. He was so incredibly happy!!! That’s a pretty memorable experience for me; although every new first time vinyl or turntable table purchase is pretty special.
In your opinion what has been the coolest thing to come through your shop / thing you had to keep / almost couldn’t put out for sale?
MOFI Dark Side, I put it behind the counter on a very high shelf with no price. My business partner ending up buying me one for Christmas so I would sell the one at the shop! Not really the coolest record we’ve had come through the shop, but a special one to me and nice story about how collecting works sometimes.
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
Finding other people who are willing to work for as little as you pay yourself, haha. Also competing with Big Box Stores “exclusive” vinyl releases.
What has been the craziest experience that has happened at the shop?
Ignition received some autographed copies of Avett Brothers, The Third Gleam. I announced they would go to the first people who came in the next day. The first lady in line got off work the night before and drove 3 hours – straight to Ignition and waited outside for us to open.
Another, a little on the sad side, such is life. A friend of mine was in a car accident and passed a few years back. Her husband was one of my regulars, he really struggled with the loss of his wife. He was one of the biggest collector I had ever met. He knew so much about music and always enjoyed our conversations. He too had an unfortunate accident and passed away about a year and a half ago. He left their young son. We had a huge raffle / fundraiser at the shop for him on RSD. We raised a decent amount of money, which we donated to his Go-Fund-Me. Even though it’s a bittersweet story it also shows how close and supportive the vinyl community can be. The boy is with his mother’s sister and her family now and seems to be adjusting to being a big brother. He just had his 9th Birthday and was all smiles with his new family! I think of him almost everyday and hope he is happy and that he knows how much his parents loved him.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing? Any tips + maybe some resources you like.
I do the most work before and after normal business hours – location is key – and of course, you must love to read matrix numbers!
What types of things are happening in your industry / with vinyl that you’re excited or worried about?
I’m excited about all the titles getting reissued! I am worried about quality. I’ve been getting more returns for warps than usual.
Are you a vinyl collector yourself, what drew you to it?
Yes! My mother (as I stated above) and then in the 90’s I started running into tons of folks throwing away their vinyl collections. So I started taking it in, as the thought of it ending up in a landfill made me ill. That’s when my collection started to get pretty insane. I’d say at this point it’s out of control, haha. There are records stored in every room of my house, except the bathroom.
Who has been influential to you and your growth as a professional in this industry?
My old boss Jack Walton who gave me my first Record Store gig. He called to inform me he was sorry, but I got the job! Jack’s goofy mix of humor and music knowledge made the job fun as well as way too informative.
Anything else you want to share? If not, tell us what you’re listening to:
I listen to almost all genres, but really love early hip-hop. I recently gave some albums from a few years ago another spin. David Ramirez “We’re Not Going Anywhere” is standing the test of time, it’s better than I remembered. The man really knows how to turn a phrase. I mean I hope he has gotten some help for what seems to be a very serious drinking problem, but also so worth it modern “sad masterpiece” status.
3 thoughts on “Julie Hershberger | Co-owner, Ignition Music Garage”
What a beautiful tribute to add Blake Melody and Optimus in your interview. Made me cry.
Love this story! Thanks for sharing an inspiring story!
Two thumbs up, Julie.