All-American startup turns scratched vinyl into household treasures
Vinylux turns old vinyl records into clocks, coasters, journals, bottle openers – entirely in the USA
Got any old records lying around that won’t play on a turntable? Give them to Vinylux founder and owner Jeff Davis, who will turn them into your new favorite clock, journal or set of coasters.
"I get my vinyl from a combination of private individuals and distributors, collectors, record store owners who sell vintage vinyl. Primarily, the records we use for our products are no longer playable or have any real commercial value," Davis told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney Tuesday. "So we can collect close to 200,000 records every year to use to make for our products."
On "Varney & Co.," Davis explained how his graduate thesis project 20 years ago turned into a full-time, all-American business. Vinylux’s products are made -- start to finish -- within the U.S. supply chain.
Each year, the company recycles and reuses approximately 250,000 records or nearly 55,000 pounds of material, according to its website.
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"Coasters, magnets," Davis started to list. "We make clocks, bowls, we make bottle openers, journals. [There’s] a shot glass tray that spins, kind of celebrating the way the record spins around on a turntable; miniature record coasters, keychains, a whole variety of things."
A set of coasters or magnets cost anywhere from $10 to $20, while larger pieces like wall clocks, mirrors or even a customizable framed gold EP record sell for $35 to $285.
Davis purchases old records from sellers and pays some labor costs due to physically moving the records and taking them out of covers.
"The record jackets are recycled. We used to make sketchbooks using the album covers," the Vinylux founder noted. "But because our records are anywhere from 50 years old -- some of them not so old -- but the covers can get quite damaged over time and can be a little moldy or damaged, so we put those out for city recycling here in Philadelphia."
Vinylux is also committed to energy-efficient manufacturing, using each part of the record with any scraps going to record-processing plants where they’re re-ground and pressed into brand-new records, "closing the loop" on material stream, its website states.
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Despite having to pay for his record supply, Davis claimed he’s been turning a profit since week one.
"I was very fortunate when I started out. I was still in school, I was in graduate school studying product design," Davis explained. "My startup costs were relatively low, and I bought a few records at the Salvation Army, turned them into bowls and started selling."