When Russell and Hannah Baggett moved to Auburn from the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area in 2015, they jokingly talked about opening a record store.
“My wife took a job at Auburn. And I came with her, as you do when you’re married,” Russell Baggett recalled. “The first time we were coming down here in the car to look for a place to live, I was like, ‘What am I going to do in Alabama?’ I had no idea. So I was like, ‘I’ll just open my record shop. Hahahaha,’ just kind of joking around about it.”
But as he purchases inventory and spends time cleaning and painting the space that will become 10,000 Hz Records, Baggett is slowly watching his dream become a reality.
When the couple first arrived in Lee County, there was already a record store. After its closure, as well as that of Hastings Entertainment, they felt a void in the area for the music business.
“I like to buy records,” Baggett said. “I come from a place where there are multiple record shops and access to that kind of stuff. We have a vibrant music scene up in the triangle in North Carolina, where we’re from. So I kind of wanted to give it a shot, to try and provide a service that we weren’t finding here.”
Pop goes the shop
So 10,000 Hz Records was born as a pop-up shop. Baggett would load a collection of records into his car and set up his wares in local coffee shops, where customers could browse and buy them. The 10,000 Hz social media profiles always announced when and where the next shop would pop up.
“We ordered about 120 records for the first pop-up, and we sold about half of them we had bought for the first one,” Baggett said. “It was encouraging, so we just started making it a regular thing. We do it every two or three weeks, or whatever, and slowly built a little customer base and have a bunch of regulars.”
The space that will become 10,000 Hz Records’ permanent home is located at 717A First Avenue, in a former warehouse building in downtown Opelika. Baggett plans to have a soft opening of the store by the end of this month – although a specific date has not yet been set – and a grand opening celebration in August.
Looking to the future
The store will feature a collection of new and used vinyl records, as well as other merchandise such as turntables, speakers, polyvinyl sleeves and other accessories. It may also eventually carry CDs and tapes as well, Baggett said.
A step down in the back of the space leads to what Baggett plans to transform into a lounge area for customers, complete with seating, and a projector for screening concert movies and music documentaries. He said he hopes to be able to sell beverages in the store, thus encouraging visitors to linger in the space.
“We want it to be the kind of place people can come and hang out,” Baggett told the Opelika-Auburn News. “Everybody can’t come and spend $20 on a record every single day of the week. But we want it to be a gathering place, so even if they can’t come in and buy something, they can come get a $2 or $3 Coke, and just hang out and listen to music.”
Visitors can expect to find albums to suit whatever their taste may be, ranging from the latest indie releases to classic rock and country.
“People come at this stuff from so many different angles. And if you stick with it, keep listening, keep exploring different sounds and different artists, it’s really rewarding,” Baggett said.