Show Your Studio: Vintage Vinyl Journals

05 July, 2012 0 comments Leave a comment

We love having Philly-based designer Katie Pietrak Vintage Vinyl Journals in our shop!  The fun notebooks are perfect for aspiring artists, students, or people on the go. Vintage Vinyl Journals rescues the forgotten vinyl record and lovingly crafts a one-of-a-kind blank writing notebook for those who appreciate a simpler time – when albums started with a pop and a hiss as needle met groove and thoughts were recorded pen to paper. Check out how she works her magic!

Where’s your studio located?

Welcome to the studio of Vintage Vinyl Journals!

Our offices and studio are based about 40 miles outside of Philadelphia, PA in an old restored barn in the small town of Telford with a population of about 5,000.  On our property we do plenty of gardening and grow fruits and veggies.  We also house some bee hives (I’m a beekeeper and “bee” advocate), a small pond and have plenty of rabbits running around (trying to eat our veggies of course!)

Hippity Hop!  Now, what is it that you create?

Vintage Vinyl Journals™ are unique handmade notebooks created from recycled vinyl records and high quality acid-free paper.  These American made journals are for writers of all types, but especially for those who love great music.  The front and backs are the journals are handcrafted with authentic recycled vintage LPs and the original album artwork, making each journal truly unique.  The inside contains 220 acid-free high quality unlined eco-friendly recycled pages.

Vinyl Village! Music to our ears!

Wow, way to go green!  Where do your dreams become reality? Tell us more about your workspace.

After spending the majority of my working life in the corporate world doing Finance, I knew there just had to be more for me, but what?  After organizing my vinyl collection one day, I realized the black vinyl, colorful labels, and great artwork on the sleeves would make fantastic book covers and came upon the idea to make notebooks out of them.

The unique journals gained interest among friends and family who encouraged me to fully devote my time to making journals and creating a business.   In doing so I sold my home of 10 years and moved in with my parents.  My parents have been very supportive and offered me a space in their barn to work and live.  My studio is fully devoted to making journals, storing inventory, and shipping out orders.

Now, as owner of the company, I am able to merge my creative, organizational, and business skills into a unique and eco-friendly project as well as showcase my passion for music.

View of the Vintage Vinyl Journals Cutting Station!

Super cool and inspiring!  Now we’re wondering: how do you keep that barn of yours organized?  

Organization is key for me.  All of our records (for future journals) are inventoried and organized alphabetically as well as all of our completed journals.  I store cut book cloth in a storage cart and use old glass jars for scissors, pens, bone folders, brushes, etc.  Sometimes, in the midst of the day, things can get misplaced or out of sorts so I always like to take a Saturday or Sunday morning each week to reorganize and clean so my studio is ready to go come Monday morning when I’m refreshed and ready to start a new week!

Containers keeping her space tidy!

So, what tools and materials can you simply not live without?

I love my acid-free glue, eco-friendly paper and, of course, all the wonderful vinyl I spend hours scouring flea markets, yard sales and record shops for.

Ah yes, acid-free glue can go a long way.  What keeps you going and gets you inspired?

Being such a music geek, my collection just keeps growing because I buy everything new on vinyl and have access to all the records waiting to be transformed into journals!  My music tastes vary from indie to classic rock to “classic” pop. Favorite (new and old) artists include Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Ryan Adams, Ray Lamontange, Radiohead, Wilco, Simon & Garfunkel… I could go on and on here!!

Classics indeed. What’s in the works?

We have been getting a lot of custom requests recently for wedding books and customized journals which we love crafting!  We are also currently working on increasing our inventory and preparing to attend one of our biggest shows ever, the Philadelphia Folk Festival, being held in mid-August.  The festival is local and draws a large crowd.  On the horizon we are entertaining the idea to have a open barn house/sale in mid-fall to showcase other local indie & handmade artists too.

Awesome!  We can’t wait to see what you come up with.  If you had all the resources you needed to build a dream studio, what would it look like?

My studio is ideal!  I have plenty of space for storage and love the old barn feel for our journals.  If I had some extra resources I would add in a better temperature control system (using paper and vinyl I am constantly monitoring the temperature and humidity in the studio).  In the future, if the business expands, I would love to add a dedicated business office to the front of our studio as well.

Thanks for showing your studio, Katie!

Come by the store and check out Katie’s journals. You’ll be sure to find the perfect record journal for you!


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