Catonsville Patch: How long have you been in business in Catonsville?
Patch: What drew you to want to start this business?
Gebler: I love music. This is a niche market but it’s growing all the time. Older people are getting back into vinyl. They have an attic full of records and a turntable in the basement. Like that couple who were just in here: he said he just wants to get back and listen to his music again, so he was in here to buy a turntable.
Patch: Why did you choose Catonsville?
Gebler: It was the only place I was going to put a store. The concentrated number of musicians who come here make for a built-in market of people who appreciate what I do.
Patch: What do you like about being in Catonsville?
Gebler: Catonsville is a great little town. I love the small town feel. Even people who don’t live here seem like they do. Plus, I like what’s happening along this stretch of Frederick Road, like with the House of Time and Appalachian Bluegrass.
Patch: What services do you do?
Gebler: We convert vinyl to CD, that’s huge. From open to close, every day, we’re constantly doing that. We also have an extensive collection of used albums, new releases and reissued albums. On the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month, we have an Open Mic session from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. We also do mail order off our website. We buy albums. A lot of people are selling, especially in this economy. But the biggest thing is that people like to come in and hang out and listen to whatever I’ve got playing and talk about music.
Patch: Do you have a musical niche that you specialize in?
Gebler: We carry all kinds of music. That’s what really separates us from other stores that do what we do. We have everything and if we don’t have it here, I keep a storage locker with everything else and I’ll find it for you.
Patch: How do you keep track of everything?
Gebler: It’s all up here [pointing to his head]. I’m not computerized yet. My wife complains about it: “How can you remember that guy bought a Paul Simon album when he was in the store last year and you can’t remember your nephew’s name?”
Patch: What’s one of the hardest things about your work?
Gebler: There’s nothing that’s hard. I say all the time, “This beats working for a living.” If it gets hard, I’ll stop doing it.
Patch: What are you proud of?
Gebler: I’m most proud of opening a business two-and-a-half years ago when the economy was tanking and the economy is still bad but I am making ends meet and now I have a couple of employees so I can actually take some time off. It actually worked.
Patch: What’s your favorite thing about your work?
Gebler: It’s definitely talking to my customers, listening to their stories, their memories, concerts they went to, how a particular song got them through a hard time. People are passionate about their music.
Patch: What is one thing you think is needed in the business community?
Gebler: If everybody were to come together with the parking, it would help everybody. I know it’s territorial, but it’s so counter-productive for a community that wants people to come here to do business to tow customers.
Patch: What's the best piece of advice that someone has given you when it comes to running a business?
Gebler: Everyone told me, “Don’t go into business for yourself because you’ll fail.” But I’ve always been the kind of person who does the opposite of what people tell me to do.
I have to admit though that I’ve been shocked that it hasn’t failed!