“I just want to nerd out with some people and talk about music, instruments and vinyl records,” said Mel Flowers, owner of Wicked Wax Vinyl Shoppe. “Going to a big box store, there’s not always going to be that person there that you can talk to about music. You can’t go into a Walmart and expect the employee to be invested.”
Earlier this month, Mel Flowers opened up Wicked Wax Vinyl Shoppe, located at 32 Foxcroft Rd in Naperville. Launching the record store had been a long-time dream for Flowers.
“I’ve been a vinyl collector my whole life and I have wanted to open the shop forever,” said Flowers. “And it was just the right time, the right price and the right opportunity. So I went for it.”
In the modern day of streaming services, Flowers prefers the old-fashioned and authentic nature of playing a vinyl record on the turntable.
“When you open up a gatefold vinyl and there’s pictures of the band or some really cool artwork, that’s something you don’t get with streaming,” said Flowers. “There’s just something magical about opening a vinyl for the first time. Also the sound quality. You get the full experience the way it was meant to be when the artist recorded it.”
Flowers’ Love for Guitar
Flowers developed an interest in a variety of music at a young age, citing country artist Willie Nelson and singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile as her main inspirations.
She’s currently part of a grunge metal band called “The Waterfall King.”
“I started taking (guitar) lessons,” said Flowers. “I became obsessed to the point when I would get grounded as a kid, taking the guitar away was the grounding that would happen. But I just loved it, and I started playing in bands when I was a teenager.”
Wicked Wax doesn’t have the biggest collection of records, but Flowers has handpicked each album throughout the store.
“I feel like a lot of record stores have filler records where you have to really search for something that you may enjoy. While I do have a smaller collection than a lot of stores, I feel like I took out the filler record no one wants.”
Passion for Vinyl
The record shop’s website is on the way as Wicked Wax customers will soon have the option to grab the newest releases or the classics via curbside pickup, or shipping. But it’s not the sales that excite Flowers the most.
“I feel like it’s something I really love and enjoy, and I’m not just here to make a dollar. I want to have these discussions with people and really make an impact on the vinyl community.
Naperville News 17’s Will Payne reports.
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