Maybe you didn't know, but SmallBox has quite the Muncie connection. Marketing guru Dan F., wunder-assistant Kasey B., client-success-King Justin S., Musical Family Tree editor Jon R., and myself all spent formative years in the storied, state-funded, Cardinal-colored halls of Ball State University.
When thinking of who to interview for this Think Kit post about 2012, I had to turn to two Muncie-related connections who have an admirable online presence all their own. Not just creators, they're also curators of content, experience, creativity, and their respective passions; and that's all in addition to their day-jobs! Because I believe questions without context are like half-empty bowls of macaroni-and-cheese, I've tried to give you a full picture of these individuals before they present some highlights of the past year. These friends have personally informed my creative, professional, and human existence---I hope some of their passion wears off on you, too. Enjoy!
Something Between Want and Desire / Jacinda R.
Photography professor, working artist, all-around master of Good Things / jacindarussell.com
DD: Okay, the 2012 question. You are a master of lists. A connoisseur of alphabetical collections. But let's narrow this down. Gimme a couple of your favorite customer experiences from the last year or so.
TH: I think I have been graced with 2 of the best declarations a record store owner can be given this year.
I have had a few customers of the year state that the VGR has helped them overcome prejudices and judgements of music, and in turn it has opened their lives up in more ways than music. One shared with me that since trying new musical territories due to the VGR pushing him, he has also begun looking at movies, art, books, food and other things differently. It is incredibly rewarding to know that what I (idealistically) set out to do with the record store has changed someone's life.
I have also had two separate occasions this year in which two young customers came to me with inquiries to open new record stores of their own! They added that having the VGR in their community has inspired them and they want to share music with others! How awesome is that!
Just recently, I brought back an old Survey/Test pamphlet from the cobwebs of years ago. The survey has questions regarding personal taste, little bits of trivia, and is designed to help me devise a mix special to the participant, just for their taste. This disappeared a few years ago because it became quite time consuming but I chose to bring it back to reach out to my customer-base and inform them of new musical horizons and give them a better idea of what the VGR has to offer. The survey has been warmly received, and I have embarked on a massive mix making endeavor, bringing in new enthusiastic faces and fresh interests.