WINDSOR TERRACE — A local designer is putting a stylish spin on record collecting.
David Stanavich, who runs Brooklyn Custom Metal Fabrication, Inc. on Prospect Park Southwest and 10th Avenue, recently launched a new business called Wax Rax that handcrafts rolling carts for storing vinyl LPs.
The carts were inspired by the "record store experience," Stanavich said, and allow collectors to easily flip through their albums, the way customers in a record shop do.
Each cart holds roughly 200 albums. They're designed to help audiophiles interact with their record collections in a way that's been lost in the age of the MP3, Stanavich said. While programs like iTunes make music fit in your pocket, listeners lose the chance to savor album covers and consider the album as a stand-alone work of art, Stanavich said.
"There was a period of time where you would just hit 'shuffle' and hear hours of music," Stanavich said. "But it look people away from the artists' intentions. This is a great way to rekindle that experience and have listening to music become social again and experience it with friends and family."
Stanavich has been in the metal fabrication business for 23 years. He is self-taught and started working in metal shops shortly after receiving a fine art degree from Pratt Institute.
He started Brooklyn Custom Metal Fabrication in 2003 and runs it out of a ground-floor workshop with a view of Prospect Park. He and his wife live upstairs from the metal shop, which Stanavich believes is one of the only manufacturing businesses overlooking Brooklyn's largest park.
The shop, which has two employees, builds one-of-a-kind furniture, prototypes and fixtures out of aluminum, bronze, steel and plastics. Stanavich's past work includes a prototype of a park bench for the High Line, and a stainless steel and neon piece for the artist Doug Aitken.
A couple of years ago Stanavich decided to launch his own line, and thought at first he would make tables and chairs. But then he realized it made more sense to create something he was passionate about, so he decided to build a piece that would serve his record collecting hobby. Stanavich has about 1,000 LPs ranging from jazz to punk to hip-hop.
On a slow day in his shop he built the first version of Wax Rax for himself. Now he's ready to manufacture the carts for a wider audience, but he's not going to be churning them out factory-style. Each anodized aluminum cart retails for $4,750 and requires time and highly skilled labor to build. "I wanted to put out something that would equal in design and quality the music it contained," Stanavich said.
He's built just over a dozen of the made-to-order Wax Rax carts so far, but he could be stepping up production soon if current trends continue. Vinyl record sales have climbed for the past six years, while digital music sales dropped last year, Slate recently reported.