If you ask Google Maps to take you to Relove Records, you will end up at a soap refill store in downtown New West.
Much like a hidden speakeasy, the record store remains nestled in the back of The Refill Stop that houses a variety of products including essential oils, bath bombs and counter cleaners.
“Whenever people come in, we always say that we have the best-smelling report store, ” said Ken Wylie, founder of Relove Records, with a laugh.
The record store occupies a small section of The particular Refill Stop along the back again wall. Vinyls of Fleetwood Mac, Marvin Gaye and Frank Sinatra sit drenched in the smell of orange cocoa, menthol, and mulberry at the particular store.
The collection of new and used records, curated by Wylie, is stored in wooden bins and shelves — also built simply by Wylie.
A carpenter by day, Wylie works full-time in construction; his evenings, weekends, plus 40-minute commute to work are spent in buying records and managing the store’s vinyl selection, he said.
How information came to be within a re-fillery
Though a serious business now, the report store began as an afterthought.
When Wylie built The Refill Stop store — owned simply by his wife, Jessica Brown — the original plan was in order to include a bulk food section at the back. No space was allocated for records.
But at the time, since they still hadn’t figured out the logistics associated with buying, storing and selling bulk meals, Wylie suggested they place some records in the particular available space instead and see how it went.
Wylie had experience buying plus selling information online and at flea markets, plus decided to feature a few vinyls from the huge collection he had stacked up at his home.
The idea was the hit, as per Wylie. So much so that the space allotted to the particular records has doubled in size since it first opened in November 2019.
But it’s no dream-come-true moment for Wylie. “I never experienced a plan to get into records, it sort of just happened. ”
In fact , he was “dead against” buying information even just a few years before he started a store that sold them.
So , what changed?
Love for records
Wylie got started collecting records when he has been just a teenager. “I didn’t have a lot of money then. The lot of times, I just bought seven-inch singles and stuff like 45s (record inserts). When I was a kid, you could buy one for want $2. ”
The first record he ever bought was that by the rock band The Police.
He recollects hanging around the records portion of the department store that their mom worked at, and of a certain Christmas season when he “begged” his parents to get him the Lord of the particular Rings music album.
“And gradually, I started to make enough cash when I was younger by taking up summer jobs, plus could actually buy full albums, ” this individual said.
Wylie then got a job as a head buyer from Virgin Megastore; but this time, their job involved buying CDs. By the time he left the company, he stated, records were coming back in style again.
But Wylie’s personal collection of CDs and records acquired grown so much that he or she promised himself he wouldn’t buy any more. And he did keep the promise for a while — browsing through the report stores on King plus Queen Streets in Toronto where he lived then, and going home empty handed.
It all changed when this individual got back to the west coast within 2012. A friend “forced” your pet to get a record player — “and after that it just kind associated with snowballed from there. ”
“So, sooner or later, I had a lot of stuff (records). ”
Wylie experienced fallen in love with records with regard to the second time — but this time he chose to make a business out of this.
He scoured the internet (vinyl auctions, Discogs marketplace, etc. ) in order to find rare and unique titles, traded with other record collectors, and invested hours hunting down specific information for individuals.
“I found the record for a guy who was looking regarding something that he or she couldn’t find anywhere. But I found it in Italy last week. He was super happy… really excited about this. ”
It was a record of the ’60s band The Little Boys Blues. “You can’t find it (their record) anywhere. It’s really difficult, ” mentioned Wylie.
At the store, his collection includes “harder to find” Britpop from your 90s, Japanese cds that are away of print, African and Brazilian songs, and more.
While Wylie wants to fill his shop with records that people don’t get in other record stores, he admits that it’s not an easy task.
“There’s not a lot of stuff upon the market, especially in Canada. ”
“And ever since the particular pandemic, individuals have begun to see the value in this — both the monetary value and simply the appreciation of the music value. So more people are starting to get interested, and the market is getting tighter, ” he added.
Since the time Wylie began selling records, a few other record shops that had been in the area like Redrum Records have shut their doors, he noted.
But as far because the business with Relove Information goes, Wylie said, “We get lots of local people coming within. ”
Many come in without knowing that will the soap store furthermore sells information, he said. And then there are those who come in without knowing that the particular record store also sells soaps, this individual added.
Yet what neither groups might know will be that this might be the only songs store where when you buy a funky record, a person build shop credit to buy some perfumed soap.
Relove Records and The particular Refill Stop are “storemates” and share the particular same location: 865 Carnarvon St .