Why Capsule Records are Mixing it Up in Hove

We wrote in a previous post about working on the interior design for a new record shop in Hove, Capsule Records. The focus of that post was showing how we put our circular design principles into practice. Today we thought we’d go behind the scenes and find out a bit more about the team at Capsule.

As you might know, we love supporting local independent businesses like Capsule. And we’re always eager to discover the stories behind the ventures. So we asked Lawrence and Sarah to tell us more about the shop and their vision, and wanted to share their story with you.

record shop hove interior design

Read on for an inspiring example of entrepreneurial spirit and following your passion:

Q. What inspired your vision for the shop, and how did it come about?

The inspiration for the shop drew from our own experience of buying records – which I often found to be underwhelming. Music is such a joyous thing, and yet the process of finding and buying new music is often confusing, intimidating and soulless. We wanted to create a retail experience that redefined record buying. Making it more accessible, more inviting and easier to discover new music.

An experience not just a transaction.  

record shop design sussex

Q. How did you find the premises, and were there any challenges with the refit/ refurbishment?

We found that the shop was for sale when we went to view the flat above it, and got chatting with the owner (of both). And it just felt ‘right’. At that stage we hadn’t really been thinking about creating a record shop, but we started noodling on the idea over the pandemic lockdowns and worked up our thoughts into what we called our manifesto. This was essentially a stream of consciousness on how we wanted to do things.  

The building was built in 1837 and has been amended a lot over that time so it was always going to have some surprises! That said, the team we worked with to complete the refurb are an incredible bunch of people committed to finding solutions, so there was nothing that they couldn’t solve. 

interior design record store sussex

Q. Can you tell us about your manifesto?

As we said , the manifesto was a collection of ideas, intents and initiatives that we developed over time to build out the core idea. It’s less a business plan, and more a picture of what we wanted to create.

It’s all about moving away from the ‘crate digging’ experience of buying vinyl – rummaging through alphabetically arranged boxes of records with little guidance or context. We wanted to create a narrative around the music to help people navigate all the choices and explore new music.

We do this through a unique QR code attached to every record. This takes you through to a detailed product page packed with information about the artist and comparable or complementary records. It’s like talking to someone about the records you love, with all the excitement and enthusiasm of a personal approach at just the click of a button.

We also curate collections of essential, timeless music, borrowing from the fashion world’s hand-picked selections of capsule pieces. And a huge part of our manifesto was about bringing community together and building relationships around music.

Q. How important is community to your shop and business?

Very. Alongside the idea that we could create something quite cool, was a personal desire for us both to integrate ourselves into our new community (we only moved here in 2020) and we saw the shop as a fantastic way to achieve that.  Equally, we wanted to create something that our community would feel was more than just a ‘shop’.  It could be place to hang out, make connections and engage in.  

We have lots of ideas in this area (especially in regards to how we may use the basement space) and,  now we’ve launched and are hitting our stride, we can focus some energy on bringing them to life. 

coffee shop record shop interior

Q. Why did you choose Engaging Interiors for your retail interior design?

From the outset, Crispin understood that this was a new, untested venture and needed an inherently flexible approach to the structure of the interior so that we could flex the space as the business took shape and evolved. Equally, he just ‘got’ the manifesto and the broader ideology it contained and he did a fantastic job of interpreting that intent into a physical design. And the personal chemistry was great.  

Q. What are your interiors inspirations?

Nothing specific, only that the interior had to deliver on our intention to create a space that was welcoming to all, inviting, and very different to a traditional record shop.  

Q. Did you intentionally work with local suppliers?

Yes, it was a very deliberate choice.

Q. What are you 10 Desert Island discs?

Gosh, I’d struggle to do that! It changes every day now that I’m discovering more and more amazing new music! 

capsule records hove

Thanks so much Lawrence and Sarah! If you’re in Brighton and Hove, head over to Capsule and check out their amazing vinyl and coffee. Or you can find them on Instagram at @capsulerecordsuk.

And stay tuned here for more interviews with interior design clients and independent businesses.

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