THE MEDIUMRARE STORY
MediumRare Records and Collectibles began humbly in 2009 as a few scattered listings on eBay. I began selling a few pieces of my personal vinyl, memorabilia and autograph collection as a diversion from my day-to-day duties as owner of DIG Music. Over the next year, purging my "overstock" from bedroom closets became a regular routine and eventually the eBay store, MediumRare Records & Collectibles was born. By mid-2010, the online store was beginning to catch on. Fortunately, our eBay rating was stellar and we began to grow a very solid reputation. Could a bricks-and-mortar store be too far away?
Our first home was at the Urban Hive in downtown Sacramento. Very excited about our move, the office, and our beautiful glass front window, I went out shopping for a few pieces of used furniture to dress the place up. It was then that I came across a life-sized statue of Louis Armstrong. I had no idea why, but I just had to have it. I called our office manager, Ben Lefever, and asked if we could afford it. With predictable aplomb he responded, "It's your money!" I quickly made the deal and brought Louis to the office, giving him prime space in the center of our large glass window. From the moment I put him there, people would come out of nowhere to talk about the statue. I began thinking that I had made a mistake, as my daily work routine at DIG Music was continually interrupted by curious passers-by who wanted to talk about Mr. Armstrong. Like a very slow bolt of lightning, I rationalized "Hmmm, if folks are going to interrupt me all day long, I might as well sell them something!"
Home I went, gathering up a few hundred extra vinyl LPs and rock & roll collectibles that I had in my closet and brought them to the office. Needing a place to put them I designed a retro-looking rack and gave the blueprint to our in-house carpenter (Ben). He built them quickly and we now had two racks and a few hundred records in the office! I was still itchy to create more retail space. We moved out the turquoise leather sofa and added another rack. Next went the coffee table, replaced by another rack. Things were starting to get crowded. The final and most painful move was finding room for employees! Asking one employee to tele-commute was still not going to solve the problem. Then we simply took a deep breath, sucked it up and squeezed Ben and I into the very back of the office space, using EVERY square inch of the office as a record store. It was work, it was fun, and now it was real.
Over the next 5 years, we tried a number of locations, and finally in 2015 settled into our final home at The WAL Public Market, located in the beautiful WAL Building located at 1104 R Street in midtown Sacramento. Our dreams had finally come to fruition and in 2019 we were voted (SNR) as Sacramento’s Best Record Store!
Funny how that stuff happens!