Our latest featured store is written by Graham Jones, Sales Representative.
I took a trip over to the Isle of Wight to call on the wonderfully quirky Reggie’s Retro owned by Sharon Holloway and supported by Michael Sumner.
Both have amazing backgrounds, so I asked them how they ended up owning a record shop.
Sharon: “I was originally from the Isle of Wight, I left in the 1980s to go to university and finally returned in 2018 where I now own and run a retro record shop in Ventnor, Reggie’s Retro, named after my late Ventnor, born grandfather, Reggie Morris.
As someone who had multiple careers and was definitely a visionary when it came to retail businesses, his influence impacts me throughout all my ventures.
Called to the Bar in 1994, I first pursued a career as a Criminal Defence Barrister in London, taking a sabbatical in 2002 to retrain in hair and makeup for film and tv and for some years had amazing opportunities to work on film projects in the UK and abroad. I moved to Southampton in 2008 by which time I had returned to part-time practice at the Bar whilst continuing my work in the film industry, which included winning awards for both my makeup work and a short film I had created as Writer and Executive Producer.
In 2011 I established Vintage Hair Lounge in Southampton with my hairdresser mum, Gloria, and for some years we built a UK wide reputation as specialists in vintage hairstyling, including creating specialist training courses, and featuring at many vintage festivals. After a short interlude as a cosmetics distributor, I broadened my vintage interests and honed the skills of emporium trading.
When settled back on the Isle of Wight, the early stages of Reggie’s Retro encompassed a second hand bookshop and a retro/vintage clothing emporium in which I hosted over 20 local vintage traders under one roof. In recent years we have added a large selection of new vinyl.
When I crossed paths with Mick, hunting for records at a local boot sale, it seemed the perfect opportunity to develop the vinyl records offering within my shop. By 2020, moving locations to a prime spot in Ventnor, the records really took off and by 2021 we have been concentrating on developing as a record store with some added retro offerings.”
Michael: “I started buying hip hop and electro records as a kid growing up in Loughborough in the 80s, when the breakdance craze hit the UK (which was particularly big in the Midlands). I spent my spare time after school and weekends trading records and Commodore 64 games in my local record shop, The Left Legged Pineapple.
As the 80s came to a close, I got into the ‘Madchester’ indie/dance crossover scene, and from there, began promoting large dance music events whilst at Southampton University.
During the years which followed, I work as an analyst at the Financial Times, a publican, Mexican takeaway proprietor, project manager for Sub-Sahara Africa, small business advisor, commercial fisherman, fishmonger, and tomato seller in London farmers’ markets! Despite this ‘Jack of all trades, master of none trajectory’, the records were always there as a constant.
As my record collection grew and I living to Brighton, I started DJing and buying lots of more records. I moved to the Isle of Wight and met Sharon, who was digging in the crates at a car boot sale. We started chatting, and I started selling my excess stock in her shop, Reggie’s Retro. The business grew to the extent to the extent that I am now self-employed full-time in the field I love.
I am delighted to report that Reggie’s Retro record store has opened in a second location in Southampton. The Mercantile Flea which opened in Bitterne on 22 October hosts over 100 individual traders alongside a bar, acoustic stage and live events venue, providing a great opportunity to build an ever more diverse vinyl customer base of music enthusiasts.
I asked Sharon what Proper releases was she looking forward to?
“We have had a lot of interest in the Viola Beach rainbow coloured picture disc. This poignant vinyl edition release has been welcomed by the families as a fitting celebration of what the bandmates and their manager did best together, make and perform wonderful music before their tragic accident.
We are also looking forward to the 8 LP Pixies box set ‘Live in Brixton’. Independent record shops get a signed version.”
Tel: 07966 303354
Vinyl, Vintage Fasion and Finds
Tuesday – Saturday: 11am – 4pm
5 Pier Street
Isle of Wight