When I started the store, I needed a name. I didn’t want anything cliché, so I started thinking about something quirky. Because I wanted to focus on the Canadian market and artists, it needed to represent something Canadian. Eager Beaver Records was an early idea, but I scrapped that when I started thinking about the alternate meanings.
A moose is pretty Canadian and it needed an appropriate adjective. “Funky” was filtered from a long list of other options.
Mark is not new to the music industry. He grew up visiting the local Dutch radio station that his dad work for and later worked for the same station right up until the week before he and his wife left for Canada. Mark also tells of his introduction to classic rock via his grand mother the Queen fan, “I remember playing “A day at the races” over and over.”
In addition to his love for vinyl and classic rock, Mark had some pretty significant web design skills which he turned into full time work upon arriving in Canada. Jump forward five years and Mark sees the opportunity to combine web design skill and his love for vinyl into Funky Moose Records – online sale of new and used vinyl.
I did wonder how Mark goes about finding his used vinyl since Bellevue had a population of 111 according to the 2011 Census.
A friend of the family loves hunting treasure at flea markets, garage sales and auctions. We got together, I taught him what to look for and how grade records on the spot. He’s in charge of the buying process of used records.
Judging from the selection of used vinyl, Mark`s friend has learned the vinyl crate digging craft very well.
Funky Moose`s vinyl subscription service is currently in the beta testing phase and I was curious about the club.
When the service launched, I called it the “Pilot”, where I hand-picked the initial subscribers based on their location (for the sake of cheaper shipping) and the genre they’re interested in. Those people gave me a good indication of what would be possible and what the actual cost would be to get it off the ground.
The beta phase is the same, but with the difference that everyone can sign up. I’m still expecting to receive valuable “intel” to mould the service into something that’s going to be a staple in the music industry (I know, those are big words, but in business, you need goals).
I considered doing a box of the month without a subscription model. People would order the box before a certain date, I would order the records on that date and ship them as soon as they’re in. The downside of that model is that it’s a very volatile number of records that you’d be ordering with your supplier. A subscription model is more predictable. Perhaps it’s harder to sell, but that’s a sacrifice I was willing to make.
Ideally, artists will find Funky Moose Records, but I’m actively making connections with small record labels around the country (which is terribly difficult, to be honest) to make them aware of the service.
The current catalog releases is a partnership with our distributor. My sales rep has his ears open in the music scene and sees requests from record stores all over the country, so they have a good idea of what’s popular. Every month, we get together and go over a list of potential releases. It then comes down to my ear to see what the best-suited release is for the next month.
How it worksEvery month, you’ll receive a record in the mail from a curated list of new and recent releases. This is how we roll until we have enough subscribers to justify the pressing of exclusive releases.
These exclusive releases are albums by Canadian artists.
- The records in the subscription boxes, pressed through Funky Moose Records are going to be limited to our subscribers. If we have 150 subscribers, 150 records (+ a few extra to replace defects) will be pressed on coloured vinyl.
- If no artwork is provided by the artist, the artwork will be done by Canadian visual artists
- Pressing will be done by Precision Pressing OR Microforum OR Kaneshii (all in Canada)
- Mastering will be done by The Lacquer Channel to ensure a consistent quality output.
You’ll see the latest releases a little further down on this page, but currently, the boxes that are being shipped will contain music in the indie rock or alternative rock genre. However, we do need your input, even if you’re not a fan of these genres.