DJ 5ifth Element, far right, chatting with a customer and co-owner Tony Fields, left, at Conservatory Vintage and Vinyl. (Nick Ulanowski/H-F Chronicle)
Business

Conservatory Vintage and Vinyl celebrates 5-year anniversary with DJs and sales

Conservatory Vintage and Vinyl, a mid-century modern furnishings and record store in downtown Flossmoor, first opened in July 2019 and has begun to celebrate its five-year anniversary with events every Saturday this month with DJs and sales.

DJ Zulu, DJ Sean Doe, other record collectors and music fans and Conservatory’s owners and employees gathered at the shop at 1042 Sterling Avenue on Saturday, July 6, for the first of four five-year anniversary events.

DJ 5ifth Element, far right, chatting with a customer and co-owner Tony Fields, left, at Conservatory Vintage and Vinyl. (Nick Ulanowski/H-F Chronicle)
DJ 5ifth Element, far right, chatting with a customer and co-owner Tony Fields, left, at Conservatory Vintage and Vinyl. (Nick Ulanowski/H-F Chronicle)

“Five years ago next week, we officially opened our doors with the ribbon-cutting. So, we’re celebrating all month our five-year anniversary with different activities,” co-owner Tony Fields said.

“We’re super grateful to be here, to be a part of the community,” co-owner Chogie Fields said. 

Throughout the afternoon, customers came and went. Many stayed inside Conservatory for at least a half hour. They flipped through the store’s record selection, listened to the DJs, smiled, laughed and chatted with each other.

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DJ 5ifth Element was among those looking through the records and chatting with other customers. He wasn’t DJing the event, nor will he be any time this month, but he’s DJed at Conservatory before. He’s also recorded his podcast, Side A, at Conservatory.

“There’s stuff in this store that’s not on any streaming platform,” DJ Fifth Element said. “You’re only going to find it by having a physical copy.”

He said that it’s convenient to be able to play music digitally in his car. However, he said when he’s in his basement, he likes having a rare and unique record, something other people might not own, to play for himself or house guests.

DJ Sean Doe was the first DJ to perform in the early afternoon. He ended his set at about 3:30 p.m. Afterwards, DJ Zulo took over, performing until Conservatory’s closing time at 5:30 p.m.


“This is like home. I’ve known the owner forever,” DJ Sean Doe said, referring to co-owner Tony Fields, who’s also a DJ. 

“As a kid, my mother had a record collection,” DJ Zulo said. “She listened to music all the time. Music was in me. Growing up, I was just drawn to it.”

DJ Zulo described his set as playing jazz, soul, rhythm and disco music from the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s.

Vinyl sales specialist Jeremy Cargill and retail assistant Madison Clarke were preparing records for the big sale set for the following week on Saturday, July 13. Cargill was grading the conditions of the records from poor to near mint and Clarke added the price tags.

“As a summer job as a college student, I really enjoy the environment and the people I’m working work with,” Clarke, a Howard University student, said regarding working at Conservatory.

Conservatory will have another DJ and a two-dollar sale on select records this Saturday, Tony Fields said, adding that the sale will probably be on about 4,000 different records. 

On the third Saturday of the month, July 20, Conservatory is set to have a sale on furniture.

“On the fourth weekend, we’re going to be highlighting local labels,” Tony Fields said. “The owners of those labels happen to be DJs. And we’re going to have a couple of those guys DJing the store for us.”

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