SELINSGROVE — Sarah Leason is turning her love of vinyl records and classic rock into a business with Saturday’s opening of Wren Records in downtown Selinsgrove.
The 16-year-old Selinsgrove Area High School junior’s mother, Heather McNabb, encouraged her to make use of her passion, so Leason spent a part of last summer visiting record stores throughout New England where she amassed an impressive collection of nearly 2,000 vintage rock and folk albums.
“My parents are entrepreneurs,” said Leason, of McNabb and Steven Leason, co-owners of Selins’ Grove Brewing in downtown Selinsgrove, who inspired her entrepreneurial spirit. “I really enjoy talking to people about music. This is a creative way to do it.”
Awed by her daughter’s interest and knowledge of music and the amount of money she was spending on records, McNabb suggested opening a record store.
“In my mind, she was spending a lot of money and I thought maybe she should earn some,” McNabb said with a laugh. “It’s not that risky since I had the space that had been empty for four years” when a nonprofit group moved out.
Leason has converted the space at 123 N. Market St. into a cozy shop where she has displayed the mostly used vinyl records, along with vintage concert posters, books and clothing.
While Leason enjoys music by Hosier, Fiona Apple, Phoebe Bridgers, the solo work of George Harrison and especially Joni Mitchell, Wren Records — which features Leason’s middle name — will offer a wide variety of music.
“It’s mainly from the ‘70s and ‘80s, but I do have Elvis Presley, and more contemporary artists like Jay-Z and Taylor Swift,” she said.
During her search for vinyl records to sell at her store, Leason said she’s been discovering artists she’d never heard before.
“Supertramp is really good,” she said, of the popular ‘80s English rock band whose best-selling album, Breakfast in America, was released in 1979, 26 years before she was born.
Leason is picking up some good tips in school, including from a personal finance class that is helping with budget and tax issues.
The grand opening of Wren Records will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday. Leason hasn’t yet decided what the hours of operation will be but plans to be open every Saturday and maybe Friday evenings.
Selinsgrove Projects Inc. President Malcolm Derk attended Leason’s soft opening during last month’s Market Street Festival and said it will be an attraction for Susquehanna University students and anyone who likes vinyl records and old music posters.
“We’re always excited to see a new store go in the downtown business district and we’re excited for Sarah,” Derk said.