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North Canton record shop owners push through pandemic problems with music

Posted at 6:28 PM, Jan 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 18:49:47-05

NORTH CANTON, Ohio — Starting a business isn’t easy and doing it during a global pandemic is even harder. But that didn’t stop one North Canton family from stepping out on faith to bring the healing power of music to their community.

Surrounded by talented artists, both global and local, Josh Harris is living out his dream as the owner of Dr. Frankenstein’s House of Wax, a record store he opened with his wife Stacey in June 2020.

“I just love everything about music because you can get lost in it,” Josh Harris said. “Vinyl right now is coming back in a major way. It's actually outselling digital music three times to one.”

But that’s only part of the reason why the Harris family decided to open a business in the midst of a pandemic.

“It's something that he’s been kicking around for a few years and we finally just took the opportunity to do it,” Stacey Harris said.

Josh Harris’ work as a machinist started to slow down at the beginning of 2020 and Stacey Harris' did too, so they decided to take a risk to support their family.

“We do it now, or we don’t. We got to do something because you can't rely on other people to do things for you,” Josh Harris said.

Since then, they’ve had ups and downs.

“When the mask order came down we saw a drop in our attendance,” Harris said. “That really kind of hurt us a little bit but we found a way to just push forward and keep going.”

They’ve kept going not just for themselves, but also for the community.

They have a bulletin board where small business owners can post fliers and cards and they sell music from local artists without taking a profit.

“I know how hard it is to just make a buck being a musician because when you're a local musician, you know, it doesn't feed your family,” Harris said. “I wanted to just expose as much local music as I could to help the bands, especially today with a lot of the clubs being shut down and they can't play.

But most of all, they’re using their shop to bring people together during these tough times.

“One thing that binds everybody to something is music. Music binds everybody. You know it's a great stress relief too,” Harris said.

The Harris family has big plans for 2021. They want to move Dr. Frankenstein’s House of Wax into a bigger space, broaden their collection of music, and eventually host live music shows to showcase local bands and musicians.

Jade Jarvis is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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