James Pleyte, full-time student and founder of Records Redone, has taken the idea of upcycling and added his own unique and creative twist. James takes the vinyl records many of us have collecting dust in our attics and transforms them into anything he can imagine. From clocks to business logos, to a wide variety of wall decor, Records Redone can take those old records from boring to vintage chic.
Where the idea came from:
James has been collecting records since he was 15, so when he was asked for a “homemade gift” naturally they were the first thing he thought of. Over the span of a few months, his tools and talent continued to improve and his homemade gift turned into a business.
Problem he’s trying to solve:
Recycling and up-cycling are huge areas of interest right now; everyone is always looking for ways to bring older products back to life instead of creating waste. This is James’ way of bringing back vinyl.
James was excited to realize that his customers span many different generations. He sees twenty-somethings who want the product because its novel or vintage. But, he also sees those that grew up with vinyl and are excited to see it brought back in a different way and want the product for its nostalgic value. “It’s rewarding to be able to bring back an item in an unexpected way,” says James.
James says that setting reasonable expectations for himself has been one of his biggest challenges so far. “There are a million things a day you want to get done and a million ways to meet your vision,” says James, “But to make a functional business, it takes time.” He has had to slow down and not do too much at once knowing it can be discouraging if you don’t complete everything you set out to do.
James has been surprised to find out how motivating and uplifting positive feedback from customers can be. “It can really turn my day around if I’ve been frustrated.”
Records Redone has been self-funded so far. His startup costs were low and James started out with very simple tools, saving profits for a year before he could upgrade. Sales are good enough for the company that it doesn’t have to rely on outside funding.
With products in 7 stores at the moment, James wants to focus on improving, finding more unique ideas and really bringing out the things that have been in his head. He hopes to expand retail sales and get into even more stores.
James would like to tell future entrepreneurs to be persistent and patient. “It’s easy to get discouraged,” he says, but he kept going because he believed in his product and the time he had put into mastering it. “If you believe in what you are doing, it will work out.”
You can find Records Redone at many local events and festivals including the upcoming Common Ground. You can also buy them online at Etsy.