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You Spin Me Round: Fez Records Opens Near Downtown Bellefonte

Calling all music junkies!

Fez Records opened up near downtown Bellefonte earlier this month on October 1. Owned by Michael Fester, the shop buys and sells a variety of old and new records, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Fester moved to Pennsylvania a little over a year ago. Before moving to Bellefonte, Fester had traveled and lived all over the country.

“I moved here from Arizona and before that I was in Las Vegas,” Fester said. “I lived my first eight years on this planet in the suburbs of Chicago and for the last 40-something years, I lived in the desert. Last year, the opportunity arose to move out here. My fiancée and I agreed that it was time for a change. When I visited here a few years prior, I was so enamored with the downtown Bellefonte area.”

Music has been a part of Fester’s life for as long as he can remember. From listening to vinyl or live concerts, Fester grew up absorbed in music.

“I have always loved going into record shops as a kid and as a young adult,” Fester said. “All my best memories revolved around music. I love being around music, so I thought it would be a great thing to do, tied to my passion, to open up a record shop as a side project. Maybe if it takes well, it could be my retirement plan for the future.”

Fez Records is Fester’s first venture into starting a business. He started the business online before moving to Pennsylvania. Through resources he received from the Pennsylvania Small Business Council, Fester was able to secure his website domain and obtain his business license.

“I started acquiring records in mass and building relationships with vinyl distributors before even coming here,” Fester said. “I started having an online presence and selling records through my website. However, owning a physical store has always been the goal. I like it, but my focus is definitely to have a place where people can come in and roam through stacks of records while enjoying the theme and vibe of the store.”

Fester also buys records from both distributors and his customers, with the hopes of providing a broad selection of records that any customer can enjoy.

Fez Records has been open for a little under a month and has already received a tremendous amount of support.

“My expectations have definitely exceeded,” Fester said. “I’m so grateful for how well sales have been and the feedback I’ve got from my customers.”

Despite creating a very active social media presence, Fester admits social media isn’t his strong suit. He utilizes both Facebook and Instagram to spread the word about new records that come in, events that may occur in his shop, and more.

“I’ve always been a consumer of social media and not a ‘poster,’ but I think I’m getting there and understanding the importance of it in this day and age,” Fester said.

Fester’s day job, however, is nothing like his side hustle. During the week, he works as an assistant principal at a local middle school.

Fester thinks of his week in terms of the shop. The business aspect of his life starts on Saturdays, preparing and managing inventory occurs during the week, and Saturdays and Sundays are when he makes most of his sales.

“I feel like my business is like a ‘Frankenstein shop.’ I pieced together the best parts of every record shop experience I have,” Fester said. “Every aspect of it is things that I’ve just really enjoyed over the past many years of going into record shops.”

You can stop by Fez Records from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m on Saturdays, or 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. You can also visit the shop’s website.

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About the Author

Evan Halfen

Evan Halfen is a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Newark, DE. Evan loves all things Penn State, tailgating, being loud, just about any beach, and his puppies, Butterscotch and Wentzy. You can direct all your suggestions, roasts, and jokes to his Instagram: @e.evan.halfen.n.

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