By Jenn Watt
Published Feb. 11 2019
As a teenager in the ’90s Dan Manley was more interested in expanding his CD collection than spinning vinyl records. At the time he didn’t understand the fascination.
But he was always in love with music and the endorphin hit you get when you find a hidden gem in the music store.
Manley said it wasn’t until he helped with vinyl night at Pinestone Resort that he had a chance to witness just how good records could sound.
After that he was hooked.
Manley who owns new business Russell Red Records is now selling new and quality used records as well as turntables and other equipment.
Along with Heidi Hudspith of Mixtape Vintage he will be selling records and equipment in Haliburton Friday Feb. 15 to Sunday Feb. 17.
“For people who are vinyl curious and want to figure out what this is and get their feet wet I sell Crosley turntables; all-in-one suitcase turntable with speakers included. They rate well and it’s an entry level kind of thing” he said.
Russell Red Records offers a range of equipment at various price points as well as an ever-growing collection of records.
Since opening his store online in October Manley’s taken note of the nostalgia records inspire. He posts images of his inventory on Instagram and hears back from followers about the memories they trigger.
“It’s really a rekindling of feelings with people” he said.
Manley has been careful to collect albums that span decades from Ariana Grande and Maroon 5 to Loretta Lynn and Boston.
Vinyl is still a niche market Manley said but one that’s steadily growing.
He attributes this in part to the experience of playing a record which is more engaging than scrolling through an endless list of tracks on Apple Music.
“There seems to be some sort of resurgence of everything from Polaroid cameras to typewriters” he said. “People want something to hold onto.”
Many in the Highlands will know Manley through his other musical endeavors: music director of the Highlands Chamber Orchestra and a co-conductor of the Highlands Wind Symphony. He also plays tuba in a Toronto-based orchestra.
In the future Manley said he would love to open a shop where people could browse discovering new music and old favourites.
Manley recently connected with Heidi Hudspith who had done a few pop up shops for her business Mixtape Vintage.
Hudspith sells eye-catching items she finds while browsing thrift shops. In some cases they might need to be cleaned up or repaired. Other times they’ve just been overlooked. She stages them for photos and sells them through Instagram.
Like Russell Red Records Mixtape Vintage also offers a dose of nostalgia. Her Instagram posts show macrame wall hangings colourful drinking glasses ’80s women’s purses sweaters snowsuits even kids’ games.
“I love it so much it doesn’t honestly feel like work. I think it’s partly because I love collecting so much. For me it’s a great way to share with people what I already love to do” Hudspith said.
She goes to thrift shops whenever she can during her travels around the province. She can also find items requested by customers: “that’s always fun for me to find what they’re looking for.”
Selling second hand items also satisfies her desire to reduce waste and embrace the things we already have.
“I feel like there’s enough things in the world material wise and I always seem to find some great things that people are dropping off” she said.
For many people thrift store shopping can be overwhelming; Hudspith said she sees her role as a sifter finding the best things and presenting them to a new audience.
“It’s so great to find pieces that are still obviously so well made and were well loved and have lots of life to give. They’re still out there and floating around” she said.
The Vintage Pop Up Shop will be set up at 223 Highland Street in Haliburton beside Home Hardware on Friday Feb. 15 from noon to 8 p.m.; Saturday Feb. 16 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday Feb. 17 from noon to 4 p.m. Both Russell Red Records and Mixtape Vintage will be selling their wares and Manley will have turntables set up. He will be gathering customer feedback through surveys with a draw for a special item.
You can find Mixtape Vintage on Instagram @ Mixtapevintage .