- Posted July 18, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
From hobby to job
Notebooks as Inspiring as the Music
It all began when Katie Pietrak, a music enthusiast and craft hobbyist, was organizing her own record collection one afternoon – a collection of several thousand albums she started amassing when she was 15. Something clicked while she was admiring the shiny black vinyl, the colorful circular labels and the vintage album art. Why not take these beautiful albums and make them into notebooks?
Inspired by the idea of creating something truly unique, Pietrak, who has a Bachelors of Science from LaSalle University and an MBA from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and spent her career in the corporate world, decided to move back to her family’s home in Telford, PA. With the support of her family and her boyfriend, an avid writer, she launched Vintage Vinyl Journals in the spring of 2011.
“I created the journals as a new way to repurpose and reuse the vinyl albums I have been collecting for years,” Pietrak says. “It’s a great way for me to remember the music I love and still listen to. I love to doodle and write and making these journals marries two of my favorite interests.”
Today she has a healthy e-commerce web site (http://www.vintagevinyljournals.com) and hundreds of journals available for purchase crossing several genres.
Whether you bopped to the Beach Boys, hustled to the Bee Gees, rocked with Led Zeppelin or moshed to Nirvana, there is a journal on her site waiting for you. She accepts custom requests as well, and has recently created journals using records by Katy Perry, Bon Iver, Radiohead, The White Stripes and Taylor Swift.
Vintage Vinyl Journals has also received much publicity since it's launch. During the first year of business Vintage Vinyl Journals received press coverage both locally and nationally, including a feature on CBS3 Philadelphia Talk television program; Philly.com – Earth to Philly news, The Souderton Independent, The Intelligencer, and The Reporter feature articles; HelloGiggles.com Item of the Day; Eco18.com Top 18 Favorite Green products (other products chosen include Sigg Water Bottles, Method Laundry Detergent, Tom’s of Maine & H&M); and Diane Sawyer’s NBC World News – Made in America gift product list 2011 and 2012.
Recently Vintage Vinyl Journals was a 2012 Finalist for Entrepreneur.com's Indie Merchant Holiday Gift Guide in the eco-friendly category, featured on Fox's small business, and also featured on MSNBC's Your Business television show as a great gift for other small businesses.
Pietrak takes customer feedback to heart, and is thrilled to have received very positive reviews. “From day one we have had a lot of interest and customers are even going a little ‘vintage’ with their feedback,” she says. “We’ve heard, ‘they are really neato’ to ‘tres cool’ to ‘awesome!’”
The company unites all of Pietrak’s passions with her organization and business skills. The journals are truly works of art, handcrafted using the authentic record itself on the front, which is cut into a square so the label is in the center. Pietrak says most of the albums she uses are scratched or damaged and since they can’t be played anymore, they would otherwise be trashed. For the back and to reinforce the book, Pietrak uses a section of the album cover making each album truly unique. Inside are 220 acid-free high quality unlined recycled pages. The paper is thick and toothy, making it a pleasure to write on.
“We have great interest and pride in our journals and having a unique Made in USA product,” Pietrak says. “We hope others enjoy writing in them as much as we enjoy making them.”