Some people begin businesses so different from their original area of expertise that the path from one job to the other is a bit of a head-scratcher—a former corporate lawyer running a surf shop, for example, or a schoolteacher selling upcycled clothing. For Matt Fiedler, co-founder of record-of-the-month club Vinyl Me, Please, the steps leading toward small business ownership exist in perfect harmony.
“I’ve always been around music,” Fiedler explains. “Growing up, my dad had a cover band and they would practice in our basement and play shows, so at a very young age I was exposed to music as an art. My dad had a really big record collection as well, and he had one of the first commercially available CD burners. So my first interaction with vinyl was being paid a dollar a record to change his LP’s to CDs.“
After spending his early days curating his dad’s music collection, Fiedler graduated with a degree in Music Business and Entrepreneurship. And although he describes himself as being of the Napster generation, his early exposure to vinyl records eventually made him itch for that old familiar feeling of something physical, something tangible.
“The model was changing from paying for ownership to paying for access. I thought that was amazing because you didn’t really have to buy music anymore, but at the same time there was music that I just wanted to own…music that I really loved.”
So Fiedler, along with friend and co-founder Tyler Barstow, launched Vinyl Me, Please, a record subscription service that sends out a featured record every month, designed to scratch the itch of fellow vinyl-lovers the world over
Like the story of many great bands, however, the pair had to pay their dues before finding success.