It’s easy enough to buy a gift off the shelf at your local Target or Walmart, but putting time and energy into creating a unique and custom memento can be a much more intimate – and heartfelt – way to express emotion.
Vinylus, a custom vinyl record-cutting company based in Chippewa Falls, provides the Chippewa Valley with a unique outlet to express a love for music.
The business was started in March 2020 by co-owners Eric and Izabella Warner, who run the company out of their home and provide individuals the opportunity to purchase custom-cut 7”, 10”, and 12” vinyl records, complete with custom artwork and track listings.
We’re at the intersection of people’s relationships with music. It’s a gift that’s incredibly heartfelt and personal.
“We’re at the intersection of people’s relationships with music,” Eric Warner said. “It’s a gift that’s incredibly heartfelt and personal. It’s different than buying something that is mass-produced. Like someone at a photo shop sometimes see images only meant for one person to another, the projects can become very personal and very fulfilling.”
The Warners met in Australia in 2001 while Eric, an ex-rave promoter, pursued a master’s degree in electronic arts. From there, the couple moved to Poland, and their love for vinyl came to a head. The couple traveled to Germany to purchase a lathe machine from a well-respected audiophile and took it with them when they moved back to the United States.
In 2018, the couple started the record label Abstrakt Xpressions, then partnered on Vinylus to make use of their lathe machine in their free time.
“This is an experience people can live and then relive,” Izabella Warner said. “You don’t just get to listen to a record, and then it’s gone. You’ll always have this memento. Music is the ultimate communication medium, because you don’t have to have words, you can just have music, and it will say everything you need it to.”
The process for creating a custom vinyl record is incredibly intricate and requires attention to detail, according to the pair. The first step is Izabella making contact with the buyer and settling on a track-list and arranging the custom artwork.
From there, Eric takes over. A lover of all things audio, he takes the time to master the audio for each release prior to cutting their blank French-imported raw record and ensures the product is free of imperfections prior to shipping it out to consumers.
The majority of individuals who purchase products from Vinylus are couples looking for a unique gift for an anniversary, a birthday, or a vinyl LP with the music from their wedding – such as a couple’s first dance song.
Music makes up the foundation of both the Warners’ relationship and business, so Vinylus is a labor of love for the Chippewa Falls couple. Their days consist of working full-time, and raising a family, so spending their extra energy putting music out on vinyl is a project they both welcome with open arms.
“If it isn’t worth putting on vinyl, it isn’t really worth putting out, in my opinion,” Eric Warner said. “If it isn’t etched into something that will outlast you, what’s the point in putting it out at all?”