Wednesday, October 28, 2009

U of O Music Fair

Thank goodness for the blogosphere!! A few days ago our friend Dan from Jump Jump Music and The Night Owl Record Show blogged about an upcoming music event at the University of Oregon. The campus radio station KWVA is hosting their 3rd Annual Music Fair on November 7th.

They are looking for vendors and low and behold, we're looking for more events to sell! So now we're going down to Eugene on the 7th.

It looks like we're going to expand our offerings, too. We had been thinking that we wanted to sell other things in our store like album frames for your wall and record players. So we're going to make our first foray in to selling other items in Eugene by bringing some vinyl record frames.

They're acrylic frames that are open on the side so you can slide the album in and hold it without damaging it. They get great reviews and even the Smithsonian uses them to display albums. Plus they aren't the kind you can get at Urban Outfitters or Target. So we'll see how they do. Hopefully they will be a big hit :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Creation of..... a newsletter

I spent two whole days working on our first newsletter and it turned out great! Now I'm obsessed with the analytics of seeing how many people opened it. We got two people that opted out of our newsletter :( One person we don't even know and have no record of them signing up so we don't even know how they got on there. The other one was a DJ we met at the Belmont Street Fair. Guess we're not cool enough.

But I got amazing feedback from our friends! Mail Chimp did us right!

I tried to give people a reason to want to read it. So I included music that we've been listening to a lot and some cuts from Justin's blog Dusty Nuggets. Eventually we'll add another category of new records we just got in. But this time we just got back from a big sale and hadn't gotten anything new in yet. Plus it's probably more important for once we have a storefront. It's funny, every day, with or without a storefront, we become more and more like a legitimate business. :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Night Owl Wrap Up

Saturday was a long, but super fun, productive day. We got to the Night Owl Record Show about 1:30PM to set up. Early entry started at 3:00PM and regular admission started at 5:00PM and went til 9:00PM. We met tons of really nice people and got to spend some quality time with the people we've been selling with for a while.

Our friends Reid and Rachel came and got a bunch of really good stuff. Rachel picked up one of my favorite albums from us, The Menahan St. Band, Make the Road By Walking. We took a break from the overwhelmingness of the records and played a few games on the Megatouch. They had never played before but I totally enveloped them into the fantastic world of Photo Hunt.

Towards the end of the night our friends Alli and Tony showed up. Alli was on a mission to find a Wings record but did not find one. :( After the show we went to our favorite Thai place for a late dinner. Alli and Tony met us there and then we all met up with some other record sellers at the Gold Dust Meridian. We hung out with a bunch of record sellers from Seattle and our friends Erik and Graham. All in all it was a super fun way to cap off a very productive day.

Justin made a video of the show:

Night Owl Record Show: Fall 2009 from Justin Meyer on Vimeo.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Night Owl this weekend!

I wish I had taken pictures at the last Wax Broker Riot!!! But alas, I was too busy playing hostess. The night flew by. I wish I had had more time to spend with all of our amazing friends that came out. But someone always had to be manning the record table, too.

The party was a success. We had people waiting at the door for us before we even got there! We're hoping to see a lot of those same people when we sell records at the Night Owl this weekend.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Location Stories

I feel so lucky that I have had the opportunity to help so many people start their own businesses. A few of my restaurant clients are getting ready to open their doors and it makes me so happy to know that I had a part in it. In the past few months, I have written business plans for about 5 people with restaurant aspirations in Portland as well as been on the periphery of many others. Each one has had its own series of lessons that have huge value to anyone wanting to start their own business.

Of everything I have seen, the most constant lesson is that finding the right location is hands down the most important and hardest part. I know a lot of people that have been looking for locations for a very long time. It makes me feel better knowing there are others in the same boat as us. And of the clients that do have locations I have seen some pretty crazy stuff happen.

I've seen one landlord turn out to be a complete nut job and lock the owner out of their own restaurant, losing everything inside and their entire investment. Another person lose their location because a higher bidder came along and they did not have their contract in writing. I've seen another get really lucky and fall in to a great location but they were 100% not ready mentally (we have to see what happens with this one). I've also seen people be so anxious for a location that they jumped at the first one that came along and ended up making a huge mistake that they're now trying to get out of.

The crazy thing is that this is all part of normal business. We have experienced a lot of the same lessons first hand in our 1.5 year long quest. But success, to me, means not giving up when faced with these pitfalls. I keep reminding myself that this is normal. One of these days, all our dues will be paid and the result will be beyond our wildest dreams.

Yesterday, we were walking down SE Hawthorne and noticed that the Chance of Rain Cafe had newspaper in the windows. We walked up to see what was going on just as the new owner was coming outside for some fresh air. He said he had bought the place a week ago and was turning it in to a breakfast and lunch place called Magnolia. We talked with him for about 5 - 10 minutes (turns out he's also from Nashville) and then went on our way. I wish I had asked him about how he found the place or how long he was looking for one. I'm sure he would have had a good story too.