Thursday, June 18, 2015

If You Build It Some will Definitely Come!



My husband Mike and I are very much alike. We have particular interests that are really passions, his vintage electronics, mine, my art and writing. What makes us alike is these passions are such a part of our inner fiber that we need to work hard and share them with others.

For the past 15 years Mike has run his own business of repairing and restoring antique radios, vintage hi-fi, vintage car radios, and now record players. I was the one who actually got him in to the business after witnessing too many corporate downsizings that left him dealing with young, poorly trained HR personnel and laughable salary offers. We'd recently moved in together and he was selling off his sports memorabilia and coin collection on eBay to make room for me, the artist. He started to dabble in buying vintage lunchboxes and re-selling them. But I suggested, since I love listening to NPR, that he "walk on the wildside" forget the volatile corporate world and become an entrepreneur, selling something on eBay he could restore himself, like antique radios–(Mike is an electrical engineer).

Well the rest is history and as mentioned, he added to the repertoire of vintage items he fixes and sells. But it was the vintage Hi-Fi that grabbed his heart at the urging of friend and collector Bob Pienkowski to focus more on early stereo equipment.

The passion grew so deeply that Mike and friend Bob Pienkowski have opened a museum, Mike received approval for a non-profit in June 2014. We found a space at 485 New Park Avenue in the bustling city of West Hartford Connecticut in November and we just celebrated the Grand Opening of The Vintage Hi-Fi Museum of West Hartford. The enthusiastic response from visitors was heart warming, many signing up for our future workshops, and others buying from the select items in our gift shop–(many designed by me) the proceeds go to the running of our museum.

So for all ye stereo enthusiasts visiting our Nutmeg State, we invite you to come visit the Vintage Hi-Fi Museum at 485 New Park Avenue in West Hartford, Connecticut. It is open every Saturday along with other wonderful eclectic shops in this old factory building that once housed a ball-bearing plant.

For Those interested in donating to the museum or in supporting it, you can contact my husband at: urbanradio@me.com or visit our ETSY shop, a portion of the proceeds will go towards supporting the museum: www.etsy.com/shop/RetroUrban