Collecting couple turns hobby into livelihood

The Mosley’s moved Melodies and Memories from 10th street to the square in December. Bobby said the new store location warrants more foot traffic and more space to display their eclectic collection of vintage items.

Julie Sisler

When Bobby and J.C. Mosley began collecting over 20 years ago, they had no idea it would one day become their livelihood.

Bobby has always considered himself a music lover. He began by collecting music: records, tapes, CDs and whatever struck his fancy.

“Records are just now sort of coming back,” Bobby said. “But I was collecting them way before they were considered cool.”

Mosley, a fan of classic rock, eventually found his collection of vintage items to include not just musical albums but also equipment like stereos.

“I really like it all,” Bobby said. “I have quite the collection of stereo systems at home.”

While Bobby focused his collecting on items of a musical nature, J.C. began her own collections. J.C.’s love for games and novelty items led her to begin collecting gaming consoles and games. Like Bobby, J.C. concentrated on finding vintage items.

“I just liked the toys and games,” J.C. said. “I played with them with my boys, and I just started finding more and more of them. So I started looking for more and collecting them.”

J.C.’s collecting also reached into other various categories, including films, books, toys and novelty items.

“Really, we like everything,” J.C. said of her and Bobby’s diverse collections. As Bobby and J.C.’s collections grew, so did their ambitions. The couple decided to make their collections public by opening a store.

“About two years ago, we got the idea for the store,” Bobby said. “We had started collecting more in the last five years or so, and I knew we really had enough for a shop.”

This idea evolved into Melodies and Memories, a specialty buy-sell-trade shop that Bobby said aims to have the best variety of games and records, providing something for everyone to choose from.

“The store’s name really shows what we’re doing here,” Bobby said. “We’ve got music and a lot of things that will take you back and bring back memories.”

The couple originally opened a small storefront a short distance from downtown Bowling Green but relocated after about seven weeks to a larger venue right in Fountain Square Park, opening officially on Dec. 15.

The new location, though still being worked on, includes two floors full of merchandise. The first floor features bins of records, shelves of movies and games, cases of novelty items and wall-to-ceiling coverage by posters—all for sale.

“We’ve had a few times where someone will point straight up at the ceiling because they like a poster, and we’ll just say, ‘Let me grab the ladder,’” J.C. said.

The second floor showcases musical and stereo equipment. The couple said plans are in the works for a stage area for local bands.

The entire building is filled with items new and old such as vintage stereo systems, a record of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumors,” a book about the band Queen and a steam whistle at the front counter.

Bobby also noted that if the in-store collection does not have what a customer is looking for, he will find it and keep it on hold for the customer.

“Over the years, I’ve bought a couple duplicates of some things, so if the one in-store gets bought, I’ll tell a customer to give me a day to go dig it out at home, and I can bring it in for them,” Bobby said.

Putting the items they’ve collected over the years up for sale has not come without challenges, and both Bobby and J.C. admitted they’ve struggled to bring in certain items.

“It can be hard to bring some stuff here,” J.C. said. “There have been some things that I’ll bring here, and if they don’t sell fast enough, I end up taking it right back home to keep it for myself.”

Opening the shop also led Bobby to expand his horizons in terms of what he purchases.

“I’ve always been into older music,” Bobby said. “But now, I’ve been starting to order newer music and getting records of newly released music.”

Bobby said this is an effort to appeal to both new and old collectors. He said he hopes mixing new in with old will draw in individuals who otherwise might not be interested in records. However, Bobby said vintage is on its way back in.

“Old music is making a comeback,” Bobby said. “Vintage is starting to be cool. That’s why everyone wants a record player and a record collection.”

The proof is in the foot traffic, which Bobby said has been higher than he expected. He said he’s been able to speak with individuals of all ages, including a great deal of college students.

Bobby said he hopes the store will eventually become a place in Bowling Green people go to when they want what they can’t find anywhere else.

Features reporter Julie Sisler can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]. Follow Julie on social media at @julie_sisler.