We loved shooting around our home in Echo Park last week for our new fall collection. The neighborhood means a lot to us. We love randomly running into neighbors and friends on weekends, grabbing a coffee, a show, a quick drink, everyone doing their thing, having a good time… it’s that kind of community. So, in honor of all great neighborhoods, we’d love to introduce you to a slice of ours.
First up, Origami Vinyl.
Just two years old, Origami Vinyl is an integral part of the community. It’s here you can buy vinyl only releases of bands you’ve heard and have yet to hear, as well as catch free in-store music shows with both touring and local acts. Origami Vinyl has quickly become the place for music not only in Echo Park, but, in my opinion, Los Angeles.
Owner Neil Schield gives us the quick backstory:
What’s Origami Vinyl all about?
Origami Vinyl has a multitude of meanings to me. First off, it’s a childhood dream come to fruition.
It’s also about community. We really try and make this a place that brings Echo Park together through events at the shop, to working with local non-profits, and being heavily involved in shop hops, art walks, and festivals.
Live shows at Origami Vinyl.
And of course, it’s all about the music. Local music to be exact. We really pride ourselves on being a store that supports our city’s music. We think Los Angeles has the best talent in the world and we hope to showcase that by offering our loft to bands that have released their music on vinyl, promoting their tunes via our social media, having a section in our shop devoted to local bands, and by having a record label solely devoted to our local music scene. It’s always about local in our opinion.
What inspired you start this shop?
Owning a record store was a childhood dream of mine. However, over the years that dream became more of a fantasy. For the 10 years prior to opening the shop I had been working in the digital side of the music biz.
During that time it seemed the record store was going by the wayside. They were closing left and right and kids didn’t really have much interest in tangible goods when it came to music.
In 2008, I was laid off and I was feeling pretty down about looking for another job that would have me working at another large company and started to think of ways I could do something on my own.
I had my label (which was digital only at the time) and I was helping bands out as a sort of pseudo manager, but neither was gonna pay the bills. In an attempt to earn a little spending cash I decided to hawk some records I had inherited from my parents at a yard sale. I quickly learned that people were hungry for it! I sold over 40 records in a few hours and this was the stuff I didn’t want.
Scoping out good music wearing a Cassette V-neck.
My mind started racing and I thought, “What If I sold records that I liked?”. From there I started talking to people, stars were aligning and 8 months later Origami Vinyl opened up. It was all pretty serendipitous to be quite honest. It happened much easier than I had anticipated and that is when I knew I had made a great life decision.
Why Origami Vinyl in Echo Park?
I didn’t choose Echo Park. It’s where I live. There was no other place I wanted it to be. To be quite honest the location just fell in my hands. I didn’t even look into it. I had the space before I even had much of a business plan ready to go.
What your favorite thing about the neighborhood?
There are so many things! The people, the walkability, the architecture, the hills, Elysian park, the food, the small town atmosphere, the ability to hop on any freeway and get out of the city easily. I can’t really narrow it down.
Dreamcatching with a Dreamcatcher Eco-Pullover.
What is the most satisfying thing about being part of the Echo Park Community?
The most satisfying thing about being part of the Echo Park Community is the constant support people give to each other here. It seems everyone’s down to help each other out and look out for one another. I think that’s a rare trait in big cities and we are extremely lucky to live in a neighborhood like this.
Very lucky, indeed. Thanks for making Echo Park home, Neil! Our turntable thanks you too.
Find out what’s happening at origamiorigami.com.