It all began when Katie Pietrak, a music enthusiast and craft hobbyist, was organizing her own record collection one afternoon – a collection of several thousand albums she started amassing when she was 15. Something clicked while she was admiring the shiny black vinyl, the colorful circular labels and the vintage album art. Why not take these beautiful albums and make them into notebooks?
Inspired by the idea of creating something truly unique, Pietrak, who has an MBA from St. Joseph’s University and spent her career in the corporate world, decided to move back to her family’s home in Telford, PA. With the support of her family and her boyfriend, an avid writer, she launched Vintage Vinyl Journals in the spring of 2011.
“I created the journals as a new way to repurpose and reuse the vinyl albums I have been collecting for years,” Pietrak says. “It’s a great way for me to remember the music I love and still listen to. I love to doodle and write and making these journals marries two of my favorite interests.”
Today she has a healthy e-commerce web site (www.vintagevinyljournals.com) and hundreds of journals available for purchase crossing several genres. Whether you bopped to the Beach Boys, hustled to the Bee Gees, rocked with Led Zeppelin or moshed to Nirvana, there is a journal on her site waiting for you. She accepts custom requests as well, and has recently created journals using records by Katy Perry, Bon Iver, Radiohead, The White Stripes and Taylor Swift.
Pietrak takes customer feedback to heart, and is thrilled to have received very positive reviews. “From day one we have had a lot of interest and customers are even going a little ‘vintage’ with their feedback,” she says.
“We’ve heard, ‘they are really neato’ to ‘tres cool’ to ‘awesome!’”
The company unites all of Pietrak’s passions with her organization and business skills. The journals are truly works of art, handcrafted using the authentic record itself on the front, which is cut into a square so the label is in the center. Pietrak says most of the albums she uses are scratched or damaged and since they can’t be played anymore, they would otherwise be trashed. For the back and to reinforce the book, Pietrak uses a section of the album cover making each album truly unique. Inside are 240 acid-free high quality unlined recycled pages. The paper is thick and toothy, making it a pleasure to write on.
“We have great interest and pride in our journals,” Pietrak says. “We hope others
enjoy writing in them as much as we enjoy making them.”
About the Author: Jennifer Raphael
Jennifer Raphael is a Philadelphia-based freelance copywriter with almost two decades of communications, copywriting and public relations experience. She has been an avid journaler since 1984. You can find her online at http://jenniferraphael.com