As a female vinyl collector, one of the greatest joys I have found in collecting is connecting with other women in the vinyl community. That hasn’t always been an easy thing to do; When I first started going to record stores nearly a decade ago, I was often the only woman there. I remember feeling very intimidated at times as someone who was new to the hobby. None of my close friends were into vinyl either, so I didn’t have another outlet for sharing my passion for vinyl with others. My generation didn’t grow up with records; CDs, downloads, and streaming services like Spotify were our gateway drug into music.
That lack of connection was ultimately what led me to join Instagram back in 2016. Things have changed dramatically since then. I have watched the number of female vinyl collectors explode, both online and offline. Now when I walk into a record store, I usually find a crowd that is as diverse as the record selection. And online, there is no shortage of amazing female collectors sharing their love for vinyl and music. I have found an extraordinary community of women who really strive to support one another and our place in the world of vinyl.
Women vinyl collectors have also seen their level of influence grow across Instagram and other social media platforms; record labels and audio manufacturers finally understand that we can turn more people onto better sound quality and a different listening experience than even traditional audio magazines.
A few weeks ago, I saw a call from Desuana of @deesvinyl asking if any women would like to help her finish a project she was working on. I reached out to see what she was up to and feel very lucky to have been able to take part in her wonderful idea to spread some positivity and shine a light on female collectors.
That project was the video below that she created highlighting several collectors from around the world; showcasing our individual tastes and our connection to one another through vinyl. It was so much fun to come together and share our albums with each other.
When I asked Desuana what inspired her to create the project, she spoke of the isolation we’ve all experienced during COVID-19 and wanting the video to be “a reminder that even though we’re all home and can’t see friends, music can transcend. We’re truly all in this together even when we’re not physically together.”
She also wanted to highlight the ladies of the vinyl community who are often overlooked, saying “It’s a hobby that’s mostly dominated by men, but I’ve met incredible women in this community.”
I most certainly agree. Our experiences with music, and vinyl in particular, can transcend everything else. As we share our records with other people, we share a little piece of ourselves and our stories with one another. Through that storytelling, we form connections over music and across borders that are quite powerful and meaningful.
Today, I want to put a spotlight on the wonderful ladies that participated in this video project. I asked each woman one simple question – “Why do you love vinyl?” Read on to see their unique answers, and head over to their pages to learn more about the music that has influenced their lives.
Carol Favorite @carolsvinyl
“I love vinyl because it is a way to hold and experience the music that I love. It’s an intimate experience with music that can only be experienced with vinyl! I love everything about being a vinyl collector and there’s no other form of physical media that compares. There’s no other better community to be a part of than those that collect and share their vinyl stories. Especially seeing and meeting all the female vinyl collectors of the world!”Carol Favorite, @carolsvinyl
Amanda Schutzman @wearesmelly
Jenn D’Eugenio @jennn_erator
“This is a hard question to answer because it’s been a part of my life for so long. From the nostalgia and sound to the artwork and tactile nature, for me there’s no better format. I work with vinyl, I collect vinyl, and I have a side project about Women in Vinyl, so it truly encompasses a huge part of my life.”Jenn D’Eugenio, @jennn_erator
Raniyah Dee @recordswithraniyah
“I started collecting because I grew up with my dad’s collection and it was a way for us to bond while I was away at college and during those early post-grad days. The more I started collecting, the more I fell in love with music and trying to find those elusive pressings. It’s also been an important way for me to build my doctoral research on identity development. I spend a lot of time tracking down jazz or soul albums that played a role in important movements around the world. Today, I can say that I love vinyl not only because of my childhood memories, but also because music has a way of connecting people from around the world. It’s amazing to have a physical piece of music that you connect with and can put on, lay back and just relax and listen and enjoy.”Raniyah Dee, @recordswithraniyah