Unique gifts of great craftsmanship are increasingly hard to find these days, however, The Market Collective (TMC), located downtown at 124 N. Wayne St., specializes in high-quality antiques, refurbished items, and exclusive gifts to Milledgeville.
One such product, restored horns from old Victrola players made by ReGroove Music Company (RMC) out of Macon, is adding great style to how music from modern technology is emitted. TMC owner Donna Collins said that the player is a wonderful way to reclaim a beautiful yet nearly useless piece of history and make it productive for contemporary living.
“The horns come out of the old Victrola cabinets and [are] usually not in great shape,” said Collins. “They (RMC) take the cabinets apart, remove the cast iron horns, and create the work of art that can be used to play music off of a phone or iPad.”
A cradle is notched into the foundation of the piece where the technology is placed to channel the sound. The music or any other desired podcast, recorded book or news is broadcasted naturally throughout a large area.
TMC is the only store in town selected personally by ReGroove Music representative, John Harrison, to carry the product. After conducting area market research and meeting Collins, he said he knew it was the perfect match.
“To be honest, we weren’t even ready to go to market yet, but her passion and understanding of what ReGroove Music Company was trying to accomplish made the decision to work with her very easy,” said Harrison. “Donna’s relationships with her clients is impressive. We’re very selective about who we work with, and I wish we had 50 more just like her.”
Collins said she literally could not keep the victrolas on the shelves for any length of time before someone comes in the store and decides they can’t live without one or that it would make the perfect gift for someone they know. The devices can run between $400 to mid-$600s depending on the amount of restoration needed to bring it back to life.
According to Harris, the models are labors of love for the company’s employed artists.
He said, “Each of our pieces is unique — they have their own history. We won’t bring a piece to market unless selling it brings some regret and heartache. It’s bittersweet, and we fall in love with each and every piece we sell. Who wouldn’t? How many of your friends are using a gorgeous 100-year-old piece of history paired with state of the art technology to listen to music?”
When reviewing the accomplishments of a young company such as RGM, Harrison said he is most proud of their team working together developing an idea and bringing a quality product to market. He said although the company is still in the infant stage, they have many more accomplishments left to achieve. He admitted he spends more time thinking about what they are going to do in the future and how they plan to get there.
Collins wants anyone interested in the victrolas to stop by TMC for a look and a demonstration on how great it sounds.
“I believe it will make a wonderful gift to yourself or anyone else on your list,” she said. “We also have a bridal registry that it can be placed on for that special couple who love unique items-several friends can go in together for the purchase,” she observed.