Ok, so yes, there are some haters out there but for those that have experienced that intimate relationship with the vinyl record you know what we’re talking about.
We’ve read articles from young and old that all speak about that same experience with owning vinyl records; tenderly cutting into the plastic seam to expose the vinyl for the first time, gently removing it from its jacket to finally place that record onto your turntable and watch with anticipation the needle swing over and drop down to its position to play the first song, then settling in to that stress-free state, album cover in hand and eyes fixated at the incredible artwork on the LP cover and the images surrounding the lyrics.
We vinyl lovers and collectors have a connection and admiration for the artwork on the record cover, which we all agree is part of the music. We lost that union when we went to cd’s, streaming and cassettes. It’s definitely not the same!
So you can tell by now that we have a love for vinyl records and a true appreciation for the remarkable artwork that is published on the album covers. This is where our journey began, to research, source and brand Vinyl By Nature record album sleeves.
We researched plastic sleeves for vinyl album covers and contacted several manufacturers around the globe to assess what was being produced, what was in demand and in what countries. We ordered a variety of samples from manufacturers ranging in sizes from 1mil to 4mil, a variety of materials including polypropylene and polyethylene, and flat tops as well as fold-over flaps with a sticky strip, to see which we liked best. Once received, we spent an evening pulling out several single and double record albums from our shelves and sampled the ease of slipping each into and out of the variety of plastic sleeve samples, making notes about the pros and cons of thickness, material and openings/closings.
We knew which we preferred but that wasn’t enough so we asked vinyl lovers and vinyl collectors around the world if they were using protective sleeves for their record albums, if they would use them, if they saw any benefits to using them and what those were, if they saw any downfalls in using them and what those were, what thickness, material and style they preferred and whether or not they had sampled and tried other types of protective sleeves.
As individuals we shared conversations with and monitored comments of vinyl lovers and collectors around the world on forums such as Crates of Vinyl, Vinyl Collectors, Vinyl Man, Vinyl Lovers, Vinyl Community Records and so many more.
It didn’t take long to confirm our own choice of plastic protective sleeve was the preferred; that being 3 mil Polypropylene, open top with no flap and no sticky strip.
We had identified our product!
At this point we decided it was time to hire an expert in the Amazon industry, since this would be where we wanted to first introduce our record album cover sleeves.
We reached out to Reed Menssa at www.advancedamazonconsulting.com to help us with our brand, promotion and moving our business onto Amazon.
Coming up with our brand name was a no brainer. We wanted the name ‘vinyl’ in the brand and while having an unrelated discussion about whether or not clothing made from nature’s bamboo was environmentally friendly or not, it just popped together. We knew we were vinyl lovers by nature and so Vinyl By Nature became our brand, which Reed thought was a great choice.
Once we had our brand we needed a logo. We knew our logo had to include an image of a vinyl record so consumers could see at first glance what we were about, and the pin up girl of the 50’s was a must and she had to have some cleavage:) We sent our ideas and suggestions for images along to a graphic designer we hired on www.fiverr.com and within hours we happily had a draft of our logo design, which was a complete logo with a few tweaks.
We spent numerous hours over the course of 6 months in total before we finally made our decision to order, receive and open up sales of our outer album covers, Vinyl By Nature. But, there were other details that we needed to learn along the way, such as getting our first large shipment of record album sleeves into Amazon warehouses.
This we couldn’t have done without the help of a few other business owners, mentioned in no particular order of importance below:
Without Will Mitchell, Kyle Eschenroeder, and a few others at Start Up Bros, www.startupbros.com not only would we not be branding our own products, but we wouldn’t be this far along as an ecommerce business. We signed up for Start Up Bros Ecommerce Empire program 8 months ago, became a member of the Super Secret Ecommerce Empire Coaching Community on Facebook and truthfully feel the knowledge, best practices, the online camaraderie with other online sellers, ongoing updates and support we have received as well as been part of, has been immeasurable. Thank you Start Up Bros!!
We’d like to express our sincere gratitude to Abe Arabi, www.ramakasolutions.com . Abe is one of 14 authors featured in “The Muslim Entrepreneur Mind” in which Abe discusses his journey from a high profile position with a major auto manufacturer to a six figure Amazon seller.
Last checked “The Muslim Entrepreneur Mind was on Amazon’s best sellers list at: http://amzn.to/2dfDm1f
Night or day if we had a question or wanted to bounce an idea off of Abe when we were first getting started, and still today, he has been there to share his experience, guidance, as well as offer his greatly appreciated honest opinion. Thanks Abe!!
We’d also like to thank Rick Walker for his encouragement in moving forward with our dreams. Rick and his wife Marci own and operate www.natural-eyes.ca and have some very new exciting endeavors on the go.
Rick was our cheerleader no matter what we shared with him. Thank you Rick & Marci! (Can’t wait to hear about what’s on your horizon!!)
We are also very thankful to have developed a relationship with Jim Smith, owner of FBA Inspection, www.fbainspection.com in Fort Bragg, California.
Jim has been there for us every step of this journey. When we came across challenges that we didn’t think we could overcome, we knew after making that first contact with Jim that we could ask for his guidance and advice and get through anything, and we did. (We don’t think Jim really sleeps because he was always there for us day or night).
Jim was extremely instrumental in helping us get to the point of actually having our product delivered to his inspection facility prior to being shipped into Amazon’s warehouse(s). There were times we had questions that were unrelated to what FBA Inspection offers, but Jim was always there with an answer to help us through.
And, we won’t go without mentioning the staff at FBA Inspection, who are not only thorough and attentive in their day to day activities, but they are some of the friendliest and caring people we’ve met. Thank you so very much Jim and team!
The team at Jungle Scout www.junglescout.com offered valuable data through their online tools as well as beneficial tips and procedural blog posts and videos. Throughout our journey we've used Jungle Scout every week. We love Jungle Scout!
We mentioned Reed Menssa at www.advancedamazonconsulting.com earlier. We have to share with you that we thought we knew everything about using keywords in our product listings, but it turned out we were missing so much when it came to actually indexing our Amazon product listings so they’d not only get found, but get found AND purchased. With Reed’s coaching and encouragement, always saying “you can do this”, “you’ve got this”, we feel confident in knowing what we’re actually doing with our Amazon listings. Hooray!
We honestly knew nothing about using Amazon’s Pay Per Click Advertising Campaigns: setting up the campaign, how to search for the correct keywords prior to setting up the campaign, dollar amounts to spend and when to change these, how to understand the results of our campaign and next steps to keep moving forward. Thanks to Reed we have faith in our new understanding and knowledge when it comes to promoting our products on Amazon and know when we need the extra support Advanced Amazon Consulting is there for us. Thank you Reed!!
We continue to work with Reed Menssa at advancedamazonconsulting.com and Jim at fbainspection.com as well as constantly go back to our login at startupbros.com for support because we know that they have the skills and knowledge we need to help us move forward, the same work ethic and customer service delivery that we have, as well as the same passion for us to succeed as we do.
Rick and Abe have become true collaborators when it comes to our success, as have many others when it comes to our parent company, Up On Retail.
Thank you to all!
We feel fortunate to be able to have shared our story with others about the creation of Vinyl By Nature and hope that you will send your comments or questions our way!
To view our industry standard premium outer record sleeves please click here. (only 4 left in stock)
Vinyl By Nature is a product of Up On Retail (Check this website for our journey to Ecommerce during the past year and a half which will be posted in segments starting soon)
Up On Retail