Kevin and I opened MUSIC SAVES in 2004 because we loved music. Music was everything to us. Just as much, we loved sharing music with other people, and seeing how it could make them happy. We agreed that I would run the store full time, while he worked a full time day job. We took no money from the business for several years. It all went back in to build up inventory, and help it grow. We did great for the first 7 years. Sales increased each year, our customer base grew, and we were named “Cleveland’s Best Record Store/Place to Buy Vinyl” several times. We loved putting together events, working with local bands and venues, and hosting in-stores. It was a lot of work, and a lot of hours, but also very rewarding.

In 2010, everything started to change. Kevin and I got divorced, which put a financial strain on the business. Shortly after, I started to develop a series of health problems. This led to several years of doctors, testing, drugs, side effects, surgery, chronic pain, memory loss, and depression. It became increasingly harder for me to run the business on my own. I simply did not have the same level of energy and focus I started with. Some big changes started to occur in the music industry, as well, making it even more challenging for me to keep up. Business declined, and bills started to pile up. Our sales declined every year for the next 7 years.

I opened the web store this year with the hopes of saving MUSIC SAVES. It has been easier for me to manage, I’ve been able to take better care of myself, I feel like I’ve gotten my life back, and I’ve been available to my aging parents. On the flip side, this year has been extremely stressful financially. The web store simply is not generating enough revenue to sustain the business. I’ve taken on even more debt. I’ve hoped for so many years that things would get better, but the current situation has forced me to finally give up that hope, and let go of MUSIC SAVES record store.

MUSIC SAVES IS QUITTING THE MUSIC BUSINESS. The industry has changed in ways I could have never predicted 14 years ago. A lot of it feels really backwards. A lot of it has really worked against us. I feel like, as many other small businesses, small record stores are becoming less needed, as time goes on.

I will be selling almost everything I can from the store in an effort to pay off as much of our debt as possible. This includes: music, fixtures, displays, equipment, posters, our sign (NO CATS), among other things. There will also be at least one fundraiser next year.

MUSIC SAVES will keep its website and social media presence, and I will introduce MUSIC SAVES 2.0 next month, at the beginning of 2019. While I am definitely sad to say “goodbye” to the record store I put my heart and soul into the past 15 years, I am looking forward to a new beginning that will hopefully keep the name MUSIC SAVES alive. I named the store, and designed its logo. It has been my baby all this time.

I want all of you who have supported my business over the years (especially the web store this year) to know how grateful I am. I am truly grateful. Thank you for not just buying music, but coming to events, introducing friends and family to the store, giving us great reviews, voting for us, and becoming my friends. This record store changed me, and changed my life, and I will never forget any of it.