Tell readers about your Cool Kids Vinyl and when did you start it?
Birthed after the successful crate-digging events, Cool Kids Vinyl is the product of the Diggin’ Thru The Crates event series that brought back the lost art of crate digging and allowed attendees to not only be a part of the event playlist, but most importantly touch the music. With positive feedback from attendees and special guests like Biz Markie, Peter Rosenberg, Scottie Beam, Va$htie, and Paris Cole, Talley knew it was time to expand this experience beyond a one-day event.
As a business owner, what are your top three priorities?
For Cool Kids Vinyl, some of the things I prioritize are customer retention, consistently having quality products and creating a comfortable space for expression in any form.
What is one thing you think customers should know about your store that they may not be aware of?
Many of the vintage records, magazines and books sold at Cool Kids Vinyl were originally part of a team member’s own collection. Many of them have been collecting vinyl records and comics their whole life. They also source from well-known artists like Kendrick Lamar who do offer vinyl records today. Our collection mixes the old with the new to bring the feeling of nostalgia to life. Also, when guests enter Maketto/Cool Kids Vinyl they can order food and coffee as normal, but now have the opportunity to sit and enjoy delicious food all while taking themselves back to ’80s and ’90s pop culture at Cool Kids Vinyl’s lounge. TVs play old VHS tape classics and the shop also has extensive black literature that includes Complex magazines from the early 2000s and Ebony magazines from the ’70s.
How do you feel your store will contribute to the community and affect the current generation?
D.C. needs a space like Cool Kids Vinyl to give all guests the opportunity to not only take in the history of vinyl records, but to experience the pop-culture side of it. Cool Kids Vinyl has a focus on Hip-Hop and we are trying to preserve its essence in the city by allowing people to come in, chat, ask questions and learn from one another in their community. We have that time capsule almost that puts you in that 70s, 80s, 90s realm, where the music can just be appreciated a bit more. In a generation of online streaming, vinyl gives listeners a piece of memorabilia that online streaming doesn’t offer. The listening experience is unmatched, it transforms you back in time and provides more of a listening experience than online streaming. Because vinyl is more tangible than streaming music, we are giving the current generation the opportunity to physically feel the music and connect with it on a more intimate level.
What are some of your goals for the future of Cool Kids Vinyl?
Cool Kids Vinyl would love to restart our Diggin Thru The Crates tour, but with Covid-19 still around we may have to hold off until 2021. In the meantime, we are working on Cool Kids Vinyl merchandise that will be available to purchase online and in store. I also have plans for a grand opening event. I imagine the shop being a host to events like an after-hours version of NPR Music’s Tiny Desk, live podcast events and more.
You can only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what album is it?
Bobbi Humphrey’s Fancy Dancer album.
What was one of the happiest moments of your childhood?
Being with my mother and brother. We always had fun no matter what we did.
What are you going to miss the most when things go back to normal?
People being six feet away from me. I’m not the biggest fan of being in large crowds.
If you could learn one new skill, what would it be?
One skill I would like to learn is graphic design.
Where’s the coolest place you’ve ever been/traveled to?
I would have to say London.
How can everyone keep in contact with you on social media?
Everyone can follow Cool Kids Vinyl on Instagram @coolkidsvinyl and see our products on our website: https://coolkidsvinyl.com/.