Move over Branson, Tom opens vinyl store at 16 in Newent
STRAIGHT out of school, straight into work.
Running your own business is a bold step for anyone, but at the age of just 16 it’s all the more incredible.
Tom Smith will pick up his GCSEs tomorrow – then go back to his new shop, TJ Music Record Store at The Shambles, Newent.
It’s been running about a month and sells vinyl only. He’s set it up with the help of his dad Neil, who runs RS Photographic in the town and encouraged his son’s entrepreneurial adventure.
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Tom said: “It’s been going pretty well. My dad and my granddad have always been into records so I’ve grown up with it and I think they’ve been back in a fashion more recently.
“The sound quality is so much better, I listen to them instead of CDs or MP3s all the time. I thought about working for my dad but he came up with this idea and we’ve gone for it.”
He had little interest in pursuing further education, so his dad Neil, 37, said getting him into the world of business seemed logical.
“He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t do drugs, he doesn’t smoke, he’s got a sound head on his shoulders,” said Neil. “His only vice is buying guitars and huge amplifiers, but he’s seen me fail as a musician so instead of trying to become a rich and famous rock star, he’s gone into the music industry this way. My brother-in-law and I have helped him out and he knows I’m here for any advice if he needs it – and he listens to it when he does.”
Tom has about 3,000 records in stock and said the rare and collectable ones are generally those that get the most interest. “The stuff people didn’t buy when they were younger are the ones that are worth something now,” he said. He has been joined in The Shambles by two others in recent weeks – the Courtyard Café and sandwich bar Errols.