Women in Vinyl Logo

Blake Nolen | Co-Owner Indy Record Shop

Meet Blake, she’s the co-owner of Indy Record Shop an independent, mail-order record shop located in Tampa, Florida.  They sell both new sealed releases and represses as well as used vinyl.  To shop here, you should also love dogs, but then who doesn’t?!  Blake is a mom to a toddler whose name is Hendrix, as well as to two adorable pugs Indy and Bowie. Blake also has a B.S. in Marine Science, so she’s an ocean lover at heart which means in her free time she loves to spend days off at the beach with her family.

How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?

My husband and I have always been into vinyl, as collectors. Shortly after we got married, my husband was diagnosed with cancer and we were facing an overwhelming amount of medical debt. We originally started the shop as a way to get through that time period, but it’s now become our main passion. We have some big dreams and visions for Indy Record Shop!

What is a day in the life like?

Since we don’t have a brick and mortar location (yet!), we are usually on the prowl for quality vinyl. We are constantly searching for collections or that hidden gem in a stack somewhere! Other than that, we spend a lot of time in front of the computer. It’s nothing glamorous, but we get to spin records the entire time, so it’s definitely my favorite “job”.

Favorite sale / relationship made from behind the counter?

I always get excited when people ask about our logo, or about Indy. I’ve met so many fun pug-moms and pug-dads from our logo and I absolutely love to take a moment to brag about our little squishes.

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:

A few years ago, we went to buy a collection and the collector was previously a DJ. He had a ton of 90’s stuff, which is absolutely my jam! Right on top, I saw a Nirvana “Bleach” original press. I almost squealed, but was able to keep myself together until I drove away with my car loaded down with about 3,000 records. Those are the moments that I live for!

What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?

The hardest part is finding vintage vinyl that’s in near mint condition! We find a lot of people storing their collections in garages or sheds that aren’t climate controlled and that can be super dangerous in the Florida heat! We have found so many incredible records that are completely destroyed due to the heat, and that is always heartbreaking.

What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?

Always stay curious! We love to attend local shows, and constantly research music. You’ll learn something new every single day, and that’s a good thing!

Head to your local record shop and just talk to other people that love vinyl – you will learn so much!

What has been the craziest experience that has happened at the shop?

Since we are constantly searching for collections, we do occasionally stumble upon some amazing stuff. About a year ago, we went to purchase a collection and the seller said that it was about 1,000 records. It wound up being close to 5,000 records in pristine condition. The albums were all super rare metal, classic rock, punk…It was an incredible collection. We wound up keeping quite a bit of the rare stuff for our personal collection!

Are you a vinyl collector yourself? What drew you to it?

I am! There is nothing better than spinning a record and just sitting back and truly listening to it. The sound is so raw and pure. My two year old loves music and it’s also a great way to bond with him.

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 do pop-up shops at local markets and it’s really exciting to see the way that people react to vinyl. People from all age groups are so interested in it and we love seeing the interest thrive!

Tell me more about what you’re listening to right now:

Although we try to curate our shop for rock/new wave/post punk, I’m such a wimp for Bon Iver. I am obsessed with Justin Vernon‘s lyrics and his voice. I love seeing how much Bon Iver has progressed over the years! Their live shows are also mind-blowing.

Find Blake:

Instagram: @indyrecordshop

Facebook: @indyrecordshop

Website:  https://indyrecordshop.com

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