Heights Vinyl Celebrates One Year Slinging Wax

Heights Vinyl updates Facebook fans on its newest acquisitions, like this cherry copy of Physical Graffiti a few days ago.
RO: How important is your staff to your operation?

CTB: It's everything. Despite us growing so much more than I ever planned for this past year, the employee turnover rate really caught me off guard. I think what I've learned is that working at Heights Vinyl is a bit different than working at some other shops.

I've realized I really do ask a lot from the people that work here. Being friendly, knowledgeable, having a desire to learn new things, and actually making connections with our customers really takes a unique individual.

No one here just shelves records and stands behind a register. It means there has to be this combination of great attitude, work ethic and passion about music. But with that, we're still a record store, with record store salaries.

RO: They have a sense of ownership in the store, it seems.

CTB: The trade-off, though, hopefully, is that I also don't look at the people that work for me as employees, but as partners in the store. I give a lot of freedom for new ideas and store ownership.

RO: What has been the best album find you have seen come into your store in the past year?

CTB: That's a tough one. It's so subjective. You get surprises almost every day. A week ago we came across a record, a pressing-plant demo out of Cincinnati, Ohio. No one gave it much thought until someone looked it up and found that a copy had sold on eBay months ago for $600. Now I just need to find a buyer.

RO: Your in-store performances are getting popular. How did those come about?

CTB: Our in-stores have been an evolving process all year long. We've had a couple people do bookings for us and each one has done a fantastic job of making the events on the High Noon Stage get better and better.

We don't really make money from in-stores, and actually during an in-store, all sales go to the bands. We don't take a dime. It's honestly about supporting the scene and introducing music to people that might not have the time to actually make it out that often.

I have a very straightforward vision for how I want us to grow. The plan is to not only continue local support, but also begin national talent as well. We're reaching out to more world bands and styles like jazz and soul. There's too much great music out there. Our goal is to expose more of that to people. We want to keep our customers on their toes, and we'll never stop trying out new things.

RO: What's the plan for the next year of Heights Vinyl?

CTB: We have a lot of big plans for 2013. We've already taken over 800 square feet of the space next door, expanded our product line and plan to build an even larger stage for events.

Location Info


Heights Vinyl

3122 White Oak Drive, Houston, TX

Category: General

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