This summer, Noah Silver is embarking on two new adventures: one as a college student and the other as a business owner. The Macon native’s record store opens in Mercer Village on June 10, and he will begin his studies at Mercer as a freshman in August.
Silver has always been interested in owning a store and took on his first business pursuits early in high school. He sold soaps and candles at the Mulberry Market in Tattnall Square Park and later online on TikTok. He eventually began selling clothing on the Depop website.
Through Vertigo Vinyl, he was able to combine his interests in business and music. Silver — the son of Mercer English professors Dr. Andrew Silver and the late Dr. Anya Silver — discovered a passion for music as a teenager and began playing guitar and listening to anything he could get his hands on. After discovering some albums in his mother’s closet, he fell in love with records.
“I just liked the listening experience,” he said. “It let me discover songs on albums that I never would have listened to.
“It’s the original master recording on vinyl. You can’t get that with audio recording. Albums are meant to be listened to, from the first song to the last song. They tell a story. You can’t really get that listening to single tracks.”
While shopping at record stores, he learned about vinyl prices and values. Before long, he was selling albums on eBay and Depop and buying people’s record collections around town. A TikTok account he created amassed 90,000 followers after only a couple months, and the website for his merchandise started gaining a lot of traction as well. From there, he established relationships with four wholesale distributors for acquiring records and vintage band shirts.
“I always wanted a business of some sort, and I wanted it to be something I loved,” Silver said. “It came together for me when I didn’t expect it.”
With a storefront now in Mercer Village, in the same plaza as Francar’s Buffalo Wings and GPB Radio, he will be able to connect with his customers. Store hours are noon-6 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday and 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m Saturday.
Vertigo Vinyl’s inventory includes more than 5,000 records, CDs, band shirts, record players and Funko Pop collectibles. Some items are also available for purchase online, but used records are sold exclusively in the store.
“I started off selling more of the music I love, but now I have a pretty big variety: soul, country, rock, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and 2000s,” Silver said. “The inventory I have now is seriously so amazing. When it comes to vintage vinyls, I have everything you could possibly want.”
Musicians are working with vinyl a lot more these days, and many partner with businesses to release exclusive records, Silver said. Suki Waterhouse and Lana Del Rey are a few artists who are known for selling their music on vinyl. Del Rey’s “Born to Die,” “Ultraviolence” and “Paradise” albums were some of the first records that Silver listened to from his mother’s collection, and they remain among his favorites to this day.
Vinyls are also produced in many different colors, and collecting those color variants is a big trend right now.
While many record stores cater to an older audience, Vertigo Vinyl is geared toward younger patrons. Silver’s top three best-selling albums are Del Rey’s “Ultraviolence,” Harry Styles’ self-titled album and “Reputation” by Taylor Swift.
“I know what younger people want, and that’s the majority of my audience,” he said. “That’s why we wanted to put Vertigo Vinyl in Mercer Village, so college and high school students from Macon will want to go there. I have a lot of records that aren’t easy to find.”
Silver looks forward to meeting people at his store and growing his business. He also hopes his storefront can eventually become a space where younger people can perform music, since most live venues are for ages 21 and up.