When a friend of mine told me about Sebastian Mathews and his new vinyl store, I was excited! I am a big fan of retail, particularly independently run boutiques, because the shop usually takes on a personality reflective of the owner’s and of the staff’s. Sebastian is the founder and owner of Touch Vinyl, a record shop in West LA (on Sawtelle). He opened the doors with a charity fundraiser and music festival on July 1st, 2012. Since then, Touch Vinyl has been a new epicenter for carefully curated music, discussions, kick-ass-events, TED Talks, and all types of other dope-shit that happens at record shops. Touch Vinyl is everything you would want in a neighborhood store
Sebastian’s lives in a way that personifies the 7 Days Theory, as he continues to evolve as a business owner (by recently acquiring Cinefile) and builds a life that he is passionate about. It’s only right that we sat down with Sebastian, to get his perspective on life and what lead him to open his shop.
Please describe your position at your company.
I’m the founder and owner. We opened with a charity fundraiser and music festival on July 1, 2012.
How long have you known you wanted to do what you are currently working on?
About 2 and a half years. I’ve collected records for 4 year, but a trip to Scandinavia inspired me to start a record shop.
Why are you passionate about what you do?
I am passionate about what I do because I love the simplicity and authenticity of retail and music appreciation. I’ve worked in the film industry at a level where bullshitting is the status quo, and the worker/artist is very distanced from the end product. In retail, you are literally the “point of sale”. It means that you give people what they want, and on occasion, what you want and what you think is great. It’s subtle, but powerful way to effect change.
How did you overcome your own doubts and the doubts of other people?
I just put the pedal down. Deciding to follow through with anything is difficult. I have achieved high levels of discipline in other aspects of my life, and I applied that discipline to starting a business. I stuck with my daily practice of being in the shop and there for my customers day in and day out for a year. There wasn’t really time for doubts!
What were some bumps you hit to get where you’re at now?
Hiring a staff of people that I liked and liked to work with was the largest hurdle. But the passion of my current team is inspiring. It helps us get over all the little bumps which come up every day.
What is one thing you did wrong in the past that you can share with people?
I am still learning how to delegate tasks that I have become accustomed to micro-managing. I was always taught that if you want a job done right, you should do it yourself– but as a business grows you have to let go and trust others to do a good job as well.
What is a way you got your name out there?
Utilizing all the free social networks has been a big boom for our business. It takes up a lot of time and sometimes it feels like shouting in the dark, but no generation of retail before us has had the ability to pop up so quickly, and specifically when people search for a place to shop. I feel bad for yelp, they do so much for me and I don’t pay them a red cent!
Read the FULL ARTICLE ::HERE::