By AMY GILBERT McGRATH, contributing writer
Published December 28, 2022
New record shop in Snohomish is homegrown
SNOHOMISH — Stargazer Records in the Historic District had a soft opening earlier this month as the only new and used record store between Lynnwood and Bellingham.
But why records when digital download is so accessible?
Father and son co-owners Derek and Mark Florian of Snohomish have been in the vinyl record collection scene for many years. It all began when Derek Florian was cleaning his garage and stumbled upon his old records. They gave them a listen, and Derek remembered why he preferred the sound of vinyl over digital.
"The sound quality is so much better. Sometimes when artists go into a recording studio, the background instruments and details aren't heard as well on a digital download. They come out better when played on a record or Hi-Fi," Derek Florian said. With COVID shutdowns, he noticed an upward trend in the vinyl industry.
"During the pandemic, people were stuck at home, and they began to drop the needle again," he said.
Father and son Derek (left) and Mark Florian have opened a new vinyl records shop at Second Street and Avenue C.
The family business is sharing building space with Three Bull Brewing Company. Three Bull’s new taphouse is currently under construction but expected to have a joint grand opening with Stargazer Records in January. They will have a well-stocked jukebox, a turntable that customers can use to play their records, and a pinball arcade. Customers can walk between the store and the taphouse during hours when both are open for business.
The Florians have designed their shop to be inclusive and family-friendly. As you grab the drumstick-adorned handle and open the bright red door, you will find a couch immediately to your left. Local artwork by Carrie Whitney Milburn and images of both musicians and album covers decorate the walls. Records are organized alphabetically and loaded into pull-out trays for easy searching. The business will be cashless until January.
“We wanted it to be a music-centric safe place if possible, for all types of people to come. Where they can kick back and hang out if they want,” Mark Florian said. His girlfriend, Myah McKinley hopes that people will find a connection to others and the music they find on the shelves.
“It’s a place for like-minded people to hang out; for the music nerds out there to meet others like themselves,” McKinley said.
Derek Florian loves seeing people’s reactions when they find something they owned growing up or an album that reminds them of the past. His wife, KellyAnn Florian, is the store manager who handles social media. Their younger son will soon be working in the shop.
“It warms my heart that this is a family business. Hopefully, one day I will retire from this, and my sons will continue it on,” Derek Florian said.
Stargazer Records, located at 127 Ave C, Suite F, has select business hours during their soft opening listed on their website at stargazerrecordsnw.com. They are also on Facebook and Instagram.
Three Bull’s brewery is at 809 19th Street, Snohomish.
The fruits of a major renovation of the first floor of the building at Second Street and Avenue C are coming together.
The Chiropractic Health Center is still one half. In the other half, many interior walls have been demolished and rebuilt as part of a floor plan restructure.
At Three Bull, a large forest mural is along one of the walls at the entry, replacing what was beige wallpaper.
The Tribune occupied the space from the late 1980s until Dec. 15, 2021. We’ve moved to an office upstairs near Second and Maple. Stargazer Records is in the space which was the reporters desks and editor’s office. Three Bull has the floor space which was the publisher’s office as well as the sections for front office operations staff, advertising sales and computer graphics design. — Michael Whitney
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