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Tunes, titles, and art: Irvington shop hits all the right notes as it nears its 5th anniversary

Posted at 7:19 PM, Aug 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-01 19:19:59-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Elysia Smith started collecting records with her dad when she was just a kid, but she didn’t go all-in on vinyl until she was in college.

She credits Travis Harvey with evoking her love of vinyl. He was the owner of Village Green Records, formerly of Muncie, now located in Montgomery, Alabama.

“He was there all throughout my college career and was super supportive of the local art scene,” Smith said. “That's what initially drew me to this type of thing is because I wanted to create a space where people could make art, a space that supports artists [and] that employs artists.”

That space came to Smith by chance.

“I wandered into the old Irvington Vinyl on a date and was like, ‘This place is incredible.”

But that iteration of Irvington Vinyl was in the midst of its own swan song.

The shop’s owner was closing the business, but Smith intervened, quickly assembling a business plan and pitching her plan to turn the tables on the record shop.

Now 5 years later, Smith is still loving every minute of it.

“Records require a lot of research and a lot of knowledge. There's so many different labels and it's a fun rabbit hole for me.”

It’s also a rabbit hole for people of all walks of life.

“I have 12-year-olds coming in here asking for Tom Jones. That's hilarious and wonderful.”

Smith prides herself on offering “all your greatest hits and then all your weirdest hits.”

But the hits don’t stop with the vinyl.

“We carry a really diverse selection of new and used books.”

From the classics to rare first editions, Irvington Vinyl & Books has a diverse lineup of authors.

“We have a ton of LGBT books, and that's a real focus of mine. It’s important to me to carry not just people who look like me.”

Smith isn’t just whistling Dixie. She truly believes physical media is vital in the digital world in which we all live.

“Books and records are important today because we're constantly connected to the internet. We're constantly on the go. People are always demanding our attention and that we answer them now. Books and records slow us down, and our bodies need that.”

If you’re in search of a new song or read, Irvington Vinyl & Books can help you name that tune.

Irvington Vinyl & Books is located at 202 S. Audubon Rd. in Indianapolis. The shop is open from noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday (minus Tuesdays), 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, and closed on Tuesdays.

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