Jonathan Reseburg was never going to be wealthy or win the lottery. At least he says so.
But he decided to open a vinyl record store anyway. Reseburg had a job in information technology in Janesville, but was recently laid off. It wasn’t long after he and his wife decided to open Tin Dog Records in downtown Beloit.
“It’s always been one of those things we thought about doing for a long time,” he said. “We had an opportunity where a landlord was looking to renovate some unused space. The timing was right and we decided to jump on it.”
The space, at 312 State St. in downtown Beloit, is also right behind Type A Images, the photography business run by his wife, Amanda. Tin Dog Records will likely open in April, but Reseburg is also selling a few records on Ebay right now in order to develop some revenue to build up his record inventory.
The name “Tin Dog” comes from the popular BBC show “Doctor Who,” and the actual definition is a noisemaker used by farmers to get sheep and cattle moving.
“So with being a huge Doctor Who fan, and (with) the actual definition it seemed like a nice fit,” he said.
To date, Reseburg estimates he has collected about 2,000 records. For Reseburg there isn’t anything like searching out for a record. It’s tangible, and owned. Unlike digital media that prevents the user from lending the songs or trading records with friends.
“Kids today have been raised on digital music,” he said. “A lot of the kids in high school and college have been playing on mp3 since 1998.”
He admits he fully bought into the digital music age himself, but now at age 35 he’s still remembers going out and searching for a record at different record stores.
“After about 10 years it struck me that I wasn’t listening to music I was consuming it, having it on in the background,” he said. “I missed the tangible feeling of having something in my hands, and the thrill of the hunt looking for a record.”
A lifelong Beloiter, Reseburg moved to Milwaukee for about 10 years, but then moved back when he and his wife started a family. He said they are bankrolling most of the shop themselves at the moment.
He said he believes the shop will be one of the first to face the parking lot in back of State Street. The store front will face the post office, he said. The renovations are expected to be done by March 31, and he said he’d like to be open a couple weeks before Record Store Day on April 19. The day celebrates independently owned record stores, and even has exclusive records and CDs released on the day.
Reseburg said some stores have people lined up around the corner to get in on the day. He added he’d like to get the store open as close to the beginning of April to “get our feet wet” before Record Store Day.
Reseburg said sales of vinyl records are soaring over the last few years. He said over the last six months there has been a 33 percent increase in the number of vinyl records sold. He added in 2012 there were 2.2 million units sold, and while that is only a small percentage of total music sales, it shows a positive trend in the industry.
Right now he has about 2,000 used vinyl records he’s found and purchased from all over. He said some of the records he’s found in people’s basements. Customers can expect to see new titles of new acts, music paraphernalia such as T-shirts and stickers, and he’s working on getting some turntables to sell along with accessories. He added the store could have a smaller selection of CDs, but it depends on the square footage he will have.
He said he plans to participate in Holidazzle this year where downtown business owners decorate their storefronts in a holiday theme. He said he plans to use the space out front of his store as a “soft opening” before the renovations are complete.
Future customers can follow Tin Dog Records on Facebook to keep up with the renovations and updates on the grand opening.