We had the good fortune of connecting with Grady Runyan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Grady, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I had worked most of my life in the music field – sales, shipping & receiving, mail order, warehouse work. So when the opportunity to start my store presented itself, I realized I had a pretty good resume – though I hadn’t thought of it that way before. So, in the face of the risks involved, I felt that I could at least do the job well, and decided to give it a go, based on that. In retrospect, I think having that little bit of self-confidence was important. At the time, the music business was changing and the future was uncertain – I may not have done it otherwise.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My store is mainly focused on buying and selling vinyl records – new and used – but is not limited to that. I carry other formats and other music-related items. On the side, I offer turntable maintenance, and audio transfers, time permitting. In my mind I see my store as really being about the appreciation and therapeutic benefits of music. That concept is not synonymous with record collecting, but the two are intertwined. We occasionally host live music.
I try to have something for everyone. That means maintaining a vast inventory, and also one that is well-organized. I like when people leave with something they didn’t expect to find, or maybe didn’t know about at all. The thrill of discovering something is what I remember most about my favorite record stores.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Bart’s Books, Ojai. Papa Lennon’s Pizzeria, Ojai
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wife, Lori, for putting up with the seemingly endless amount of hours it takes to own and operate a business. Also, my grandfather Bob Rankin, himself a small business owner in the 40’s (“Rankin’s Market”), was a inspiration. He encouraged me to open my own store about 10 years before I actually did – unfortunately, he had passed away by then. And also my friend and fellow store owner K.C. Staples for all of his help and advice along the way.