I feel like every year I say, "This is going to be the biggest year for Colemine yet." And I don't think I've ever been disingenuous when I've said that. So when I say that 2016 is going to be the biggest year for the label yet, I mean it. We have more releases and more LPs scheduled right now than we've ever had in the past. It's a fantastic feeling and I feel like we are on the cusp of really pushing our label to the next level. So if you have the time and you're interested, please read on and I'll do my best to explain why I think we are growing so rapidly and why I am so excited for what the future holds.
The growth we've seen in the last 12 months is certainly the byproduct of a lot of factors (talented artists, time, loyal fans, etc.). However, the decision to open a record store
has had the most dramatic impact on how Colemine is operated. The most obvious resource at our disposable now is TIME. Before, I was working full-time as a high school science teacher and running the label in what spare time I could find. And while I would love to think that I was running the label perfectly, the reality was that the label's success was being bottle-necked by my time. So in addition to being at our shop full-time I also have the help of my brother, Bob Cole, who also quit his job as a computer engineer to help operate the label. So, now there are two of us here running the label and shop full-time. And while we are still stretched thin and working long hours 7 days a week, I think we are headed somewhere great.
When we started the shop, I had no idea how much it would change the operation of Colemine. For one thing, it really helps having a brother that is a computer engineer to help streamline retail and wholesale orders. It also helps to just have another perspective. When you are so deep inside of a small business it's hard to step back and see what you're doing wrong. Having multiple perspectives has been extremely helpful. But dealing with other record labels has been the real game-changer. As a shop, we deal with about 30-40 different vendors every week. Ranging from small independent labels to massive corporations. And the more companies you deal with, the easier it becomes to figure out who has their shit together and who does not. Who really cares and who doesn't. In the process of getting our record store up to snuff, we've run across some fantastic labels that we feel are doing it right. Whether it's their packaging, marketing, distribution, or little things they do to make the record buying experience a little more fun. So, our aim is to mimic the best and ignore the rest. Look at what labels are just crushing it and mimic what they're doing. As a shop and label, mimicking what we think are some of the best stores or labels in the country is the best way to step our game up. Pair an evolving business strategy with the slate of new music we have coming out, and you'll understand why I think this is a huge year for us.
We have eleven 45s done or nearly complete and five LPs that are ready to roll. That's insane. About a year ago we released Promises from Monophonics with the catalog number CLMN-129. I just filled out paperwork for CLMN-138. That blows my mind. This year we have new releases from groups we've worked with in the past like Orgone, Gene Washington & The Ironsides, Ikebe Shakedown, The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble, and Durand Jones & The Indications. But we also new releases from new artists like Kris Lager, Soul Scratch, and The Gripsweats. And that's just what we have scheduled! The future looks very bright right now and both Bob and I are very excited for what's to come. But for now we consider ourselves lucky to wake up every day and realize that our job is operating a record store and record label. Livin' the dream!!
Thanks for the continued support and keep an eye out for some new tunes soon!