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I grew up in a treasure box.

My mom and pop own one of the last brick and mortar record shops around. I grew up around the rich smell of aged vinyl and a community of artists. Wall to wall, ceiling to floor, my life is filled with music, love, and creativity

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My father’s slogan, “If you can’t find it at the Record Man, it doesn’t exist,” really does reign true. Every wall is filled with a rich history of not only music but America. From Sinatra to Aretha or Miles Davis to Elvis, I was immersed into America’s rich history and timeless music from an early age and was amazed to discover how music from artists like Bob Dylan survived, while the music that was being produced around me lost its value within a month. It inspires me to want to create timeless art.

My family and I were always in the store. At age four I learned how to stand on my stool and peer over the register to snatch money from customers and neatly store it in the compartments. The store is my second home, employees are family and customers are our generous house guests.

I know every nook and cranny of this museum. I remember days when my twin sister and I would build forts with boxes,

climb trees and fences behind the buildings and hop on the roof to oversee the world,

or throw on a record and just sing and dance around our home.

My favorite spot was a nook between two shelves in the jazz room. When I was little I squeezed into my little spot and observed customers. I felt like a spy: strong and sneaky.

My imagination ran wild in this crazy shop so I never sought out electronics for fun. I believe that a good imagination is indispensable.

Boredom queued my natural curiosity about the world. I find beauty and excitement in places others find boring and useless. Where they see bottle caps, I see sculptures; when they see magazines, I see jewelry; they see mint, I see perfume. Life is never boring to me.

Growing up as the “Record Princess” has unleashed my creative side and calmed my fidgety hands. My mom instilled in me her love to create and we proudly have our mosaic signs, abstract paintings, and recycled jewelry hanging from the walls and displayed on the tables. Record-shop-goers are an interesting bunch; with lots old-fashioned folks and new-age artists. These friends observe and purchase my art in the store, and inspire me to create more. Art relaxes me, and releases me: it’s my love.

The Record Man is my home. It’s where my parents taught me responsibility, the value of hard work, imagination, and how to recognize a gem of a record, a work of art, or a person hidden beneath its dusty layers.

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