Maria Harris, Owner of Tallbird Records
Specialising in stocking new and second-hand vinyl and CDs covering a variety of genres
I opened Tallbird Records in Chesterfield on 4 October 2013. I’d just turned 50 and needed something to do to fill the hours between sending the kids off to school and cooking their dinner when they got home again. I’d half-heartedly scanned the ‘situations vacant’ local ads but there was never anything that appealed or suited my skill-set.
I’d worked in music retail for most of my life, with a short detour into the cinema industry in my thirties. I wanted to do something I knew I’d enjoy and as there were no record stores in Chesterfield at that time, I had no option but to open one!
After signing the lease and toying with all sorts of names for the shop, ‘Tallbird’ popped into my head late one night whilst lying in bed; it was the perfect fit. I AM a tall bird (5’10.5”) and once I received the thumbs up from my husband and the kids, I sketched a rough idea for a logo and sent it to my father, who’s a graphic designer. He added his professional touch to it and that was that: name and logo sorted!
I had the summer to get the shop ready, so I busied myself with all sorts – including purchasing job lots of stock and a till, raiding IKEA for furniture and completely redecorating.
The first record I sold was a second-hand vinyl copy of David Bowie’s ‘The Man Who Sold The World’. I took this as a good omen – and that the people of Chesterfield obviously had great taste in music!
Since opening we’ve taken part in successful Record Store Days; hosted live events featuring local acts playing acoustic sets; released a seven-inch single for charity, as well as an LP by Manchester-based musician Songs for Walter, under the Tallbird record label; sold thousands of records and CDs; held vinyl fairs in the market square and in-store PAs by established artists; and become the town’s longest-established record store.
I take pride in offering a friendly, knowledgeable service whilst always striving to supply the record and CD titles my customers are looking for – whether that means ordering it in or even raiding my own personal collection!