A vinyl vision comes to fruition 

Whistler’s first record and clothing store is now open for business in Function Junction and the venture has the weight of Whistler’s local DJs and party crowd right behind it.

Vinyl Lab is a dream come true for its manager, Lindsay Phillips.

"I’ve always wanted to have my own clothing store and I’ve had a passion for dance music since I was 16-years-old, so it made sense to me to combine the two and start a record and clothing company," she said.

The foundations were laid last June when Phillips started up Beats ’n’ Rags Records, which saw her sell records from her home.

"It was going well but I was always looking for a store location. There was nothing really available in my price range so I had to put the business on hold for a while," she said.

Phillips busied herself by helping local DJ Jamie Tobin with promotions for his Jungle and Breaks night on Tuesdays at Tommy Africa’s but the desire to open her own store never dissipated.

It turned out that Tobin knew a couple who had recently opened a record store in North Vancouver called Vinyl Lab and they were interested in selling records in Whistler. The owners, Jeremy Tooley and Shara Tamagi met with Phillips and decided to form a three-way partnership in the company, expanding Vinyl Lab with a sister store in Whistler.

"We started looking for a location in Function Junction and found one almost right away. The size was perfect, the location was great and we all feel so good about it," said Phillips, therefore igniting the birth of Whistler’s first and only record and clothing store.

It took a month to set up the store and decorate the walls, which is a tribute to Whistler’s bustling creative music scene.

"There’s a mural on one wall of our friends who are local DJs. There’s Plastic Surgeon, Jungle Soldier, Mat the Alien and DJ Primitive. It’s a club scene with me, my partners Jeremy and Shara and their one-year-old baby girl Chloe on the dance floor. It’s a wicked painting that was done by my brother Trevor," said Phillips.

Another wall features hundreds of flyers past and present from her nine-year collection.

"Everyone can come reminisce about the awesome parties that have gone by over the years."

Vinyl Lab sponsors several on-the-rise DJs in both Vancouver and Whistler. Locally, Jungle Soldier is the store’s musical mascot. He gave Vinyl Lab the U.K. break beat masters, the Freestylers, for their Opening Night party at Garfinkel’s last month.

"Jaime has helped out so much with the opening of the Whistler store and he will be working there from time to time too."

Vinyl Lab stocks new releases of house, breaks, drum & bass, hip hop, trance, techno, and down tempo. They even have a pre-loved section with second hand records in almost every genre of music. Right now Vinyl Lab can only carry the CDs of local DJs, but in the future will be carrying more mainstream acts.

The apparel features brands like Honeydrop, Lifetime, Needle and Vinyl Lab.

"I am going to stock up-and-coming designers’ clothes in the near future and starting in August we will carry LRG for the guys," said Phillips.

Vinyl Lab is open five days a week. Drop by the store at 101, 1080 Millar Creek Road or phone 604-935-1875 for more information. www.vinyllab.com

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