Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lisa Luck Talks Yeti on Wheels Fundraiser

As you may have heard, our favorite local record store (and major C.L.A.P. supporter), Yeti Records, is
raising funds to transform their brick and mortar storefront to a mobile record shop. There are a bunch of great incentives packages that you can claim for donating (including an extra special C.L.A.P. music-themed limited addition!), and plus you get the satisfaction of supporting an awesome independent business! You can find more out about the fundraiser here. You can also check out how even the mainstream news is into it here with this sweet clip from KSTP on the shop and the fundraiser.

And now for the super fun part! A Q&A with Yeti co-owner, and C.L.A.P. contributor, the amazing Lisa Luck! 

1. What is the Yeti fundraiser and how did it come about?

Thanks for asking :) Our fundraiser project “Yeti Records on Wheels” was put together in an effort to raise enough funds to help our brick and mortar record store transition into a mobile store or “record truck”.

We are an all used record shop specialising in vintage vinyl and have been in business at our store front location (35th and nicollet in South Minneapolis) for the about 2 years now. Although it’s been a radical time, our overhead is nuts. We can barely make the payments and that is with us both having other jobs to try to supplement the costs. We love our shop. We love our customers. We love the community that is so supportive to us. We simply can’t afford the rent, the inflexibility of having a store front and we are simply not interested in being an online business. We don’t want to shut down and we don’t have to. We are just changing our approach and making it work for us.

2. What is happening with your business seems to be a reflection of the difficulties facing many small, independent businesses today—especially in the creative field! How do you see communities like ours supporting each other and evolving to ensure such culture still exists?

Gosh. What a question. The thing about businesses like ours... is that we aren’t business people. Our goal was never to make a ton of cash and if it was we would have gone into a different business. We just wanted to do something we loved and hopefully break close to even at the end of the day. Without “the man” in charge, big loans, investors.. that sort of thing running a small business where you can actually support yourself can just seem impossible. 

Oh gosh. Again. Hard hitting questions... I think the most important part of keeping independent business and culture alive is to simply support it. Eat at local restaurants. Shop at local shops. I’m not saying go nuts and never walk into a big box store again. Just remember that the unique shops you love can only sustain themselves if you actually shop at them. The independent magazines you love can can only survive if you buy them.. that sort of thing.

3. You’ve lived in quite a few places around the country—what do you think is unique and special about the Twin Cities in terms of creativity and community? 

Oh Minneapolis. Minneapolis is really one of my favorite places ever. There are so many creative and inspirational people here. For one thing, the music scene is fantastic. Now that I’m all super pregnant I don’t make it out to shows nearly as much.

That said, there are just so many great bands to see and a really welcoming music scene. One of the first places I have lived where I have felt that the music scene wasn’t exclusively a boy’s club. That in itself is special. As a woman, it’s an amazing feeling to be surrounded with so many other creative women. I have never been around so many confident and talented females in my life.

4. What are your future plans for Yeti and yourself as an artist?

The Yeti Records storefront will remain open throughout the summer. We hope to get the mobile store going by the beginning of July. This of course is dependent on whether we can raise the essential funds to get this thing going. We are already midway to our goal, so I’m feeling hopeful!

As for myself, independent of Yeti. I find myself transitioning back into working as a freelance illustrator and have recently gotten back into screenprinting. You can take a peek at a screenprint of mine on our indiegogo funraising page as we are offering some of these an donation incentives.

Now that I’m becoming a mother, a few things have changed for me. The first of which is the desire to work more from home, which is where my new home screenprinting studio comes in. The second is to make art and illustration work geared towards children.

While looking for decorative ideas for my baby’s room, most of the affordable (nursery friendly) art out there made want to “barf” a little bit. There were some gems out there but I see a need for better options. I’m sure a lot of other parents out there feel the same way.

5. What are some of your favorite female artists and musicians? Anyone you look to for inspiration?

My number one favorite female band in minneapolis is Cadette. They channel a part of me that hasn’t been awake since my chelsea cut days. Love them. Also Mother of Fire’s Naomi Joy is kind of girl crush of mine. Evident in this picture of us --->

Lisa and Naomi
 from Record Store Day 2012. Lets not forget Littlefoot in all her dreamy and weird glory. Love her. I could go on...

6. What advice do you have for would-be small business owners?
Do it! Plan ahead. Keep your chin up and don’t be afraid to promote yourself.

7. Why do you think business like Yeti are important?

Shopping at small independent businesses goes hand in hand with my philosophy on listening to Vinyl instead of digital files. It’s tangible. You can hold in in your hands. You can interact with it. Both are so much more rewarding then the other options. Independent business hold personal history and stories just as records do. It just feels more human.

8. You and Jake are about to be new parents—how do you see little Ira fitting into your creative lifestyle? 

He will be in charge of all future finances.

Think what Lisa is talking about is worth saving/doing? We do! To contribute to the cause, check out the fundraiser here! 

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