Della Marie Levi officially made history when her store, Della Soul Records, opened its doors for business on Nov. 4 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It’s a childhood dream that finally came to life for Levi, who grew up listening to her father’s vinyl record collection.
“I’ve always loved music. My father was a record collector growing up. He loved vinyl records. He was in the special zone whenever he listened to his vinyl records,” Levi said in an interview with WoodTV.
Reflecting on her childhood, Levi said she remembers the weekends in the 1980s when her father would sit back and enjoy his records.
“My father would sit in his favorite chair, with a cocktail, and dimmed lights. He would listen to his records and sing along,” Levi wrote on her website. “My daddy was happy and content. Those records brought him so much joy. He was in a beautiful zone surrounded by music. My father transitioned in 2008; however, those moments serve as beautiful memories.”
The Michigan entrepreneur played with vinyl records when she first launched her career as a DJ.
“For many years, I desired to learn the art of DJing on vinyl. In early 2021, with the help of an experienced DJ mentor (DJ James B), research, and practice, I became a DJ, DJ Della Soul,” Levi continued on her site. “When I commit to doing something, I do not allow myself to quit, only to re-work the idea in order to make it better.”
Levi decided to take her career to another level by opening a vinyl records store.
“I started collecting vinyl and I thought, what is my next going to be? And I said, I’m going to own a record store, and here we are,” Levi said in her interview with WoodTV.
The ultimate goal for Levi is to provide a space where her customers can feel comfortable and connect with fellow music lovers.
“I want to be here for a while. I want people to know where to find me. I want them to know that this is a space for them,” she said.
Levi shows gratitude to her late father for being her inspiration.
“I know if he were still alive, he would be in this store today listening to music, sitting on my sofa and beaming from ear to ear with joy,” she said.
Della Soul Records’ website states that its vinyl prices are affordable and its store offers various genres of music.
“I chased after and caught this dream of owning a quirky, quaint, eccentric, and colorful record store at age 48!” Levi wrote on her business’ website. “My record store is a community hub, a place to buy vinyl and unique gifts, and a space to enjoy intimate listening sessions with local artists. I am bringing the community a place to celebrate music, culture, Blackness, vinyl, light, love, and energy.”