Echo Park’s Origami Vinyl record shop closes

Origami Records

Origami Records

Storefront ReportECHO PARK — The owner of Origami Vinyl, one of the first Eastside shops to open amid a revival of vinyl records, has closed the business, turning the space over to a Chicago-based record store and voiding all outstanding  gift certificates.

After opening seven years ago, Neil Schield announced the closure of the narrow Sunset Boulevard storefront  over the weekend. He said that Permanent Records, a vinyl record shop with outlets in Chicago and Highland Park, will take over the Origami space on the same block as The Echo nightclub.

Schield, a resident of Echo Park, did not say exactly what prompted the closure. His email message said:

“While this may come as a surprise to many of you, it has been something I’ve been thinking about for the past year. It is time for me to move on to new challenges and adventures and I will cherish every moment, relationship, and experience the shop has given me. Origami Vinyl started as a childhood dream for me and I feel so fortunate to have lived out that dream.”

A going away event will be held on March 26 at the store.   Schield also had more bad news for Origami customers: all outstanding Origami Vinyl gift certificates “will not be accepted and are void.”

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  1. “It is time for me to move on to new challenges and adventures”, like how can I get other suckers to buy gift certificates for my new scam.

  2. Not a great record store and not a huge loss for EP (except, of course, for those who had outstanding gift cards).

  3. The gift cards being void is a pretty bad move. Whats that about?

  4. Lance and Liz are awesome people and echo park will benefit from having permanant move into the space

  5. People…. if the shop is closed, how can you expect to redeem your gift certificates? You have until the 26th, stop being jerks, You’ll miss small businesses when they’re gone.

    • If you read carefully, it says “all outstanding gift certificates will not be accepted and void”. So, I’m assuming they are open until the 26th but they stop accepting gift certificates from now on? Yes, it is a bad business practice…

  6. i give permanent 12 months tops before that space turns into a juice bar

    • What we really need is our own Officina Profumo Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella. I KNOW there is the one on Melrose Place that in all honesty Los Angeles is blessed to have, but the community is crying out for one that we can call our own–and don’t have to fight westside traffic to get to.

  7. If the owner was thinking of closing up shop starting a year ago the considerate and honorable thing to do would have been to give his customers advance warning that gift cards would be expiring. From what I am reading it comes across as nothing but a dick move. You would think he would at the very least be concerned about his own karma even if he isn’t concerned about his former customers.

    If he made the announcement today one hopes he wasn’t selling gift certificates as late as yesterday…….

    • The shop stopped selling gift cards in January knowing the business would close, and the owner has stated on Facebook that nearly all were redeemed already. He has said that if anyone still has a gift card, they can email the shop (they still check the email) to work it out. It sounded like the amount of leftover gift cards numbered in the handful. People here need to stop freaking out and throwing out insults to a business owner and business who was dedicated to this community.

  8. Neil - Origami Vinyl

    Just wanted to clear something up. Origami Vinyl went out of business on the close of Friday, March 11th. Permanent Records took over the lease and bought our remaining inventory and fixtures, but not the business. The money we received in the sale paid outstanding debts and creditors. The move happened quite suddenly and we were left with little time to announce the closing. Knowing that the business was not in a healthy state, we stopped selling gift certificates in January. Most customers had redeemed their gift certificates. If a shop or restaurant goes out of business it’s a given that those gift certificates would no longer be valid as the business no longer exists or doesn’t have inventory in which to redeem them for. Sorry people think I’m a dick. It was not my intention and hope this clears it up. If anyone has a gift certificate and would like to email me personally, I’d be happy to speak to them at [email protected]

    • I suppose but, haven’t you benefited from the sale of gift certificates. Now your walking out on a promise. Aren’t these people also debts and creditors.

      • Neil - Origami Vinyl

        I haven’t walked out on anybody, hence why I replied and offered my email address.

        • The original post sounded like you were not going to honor the gift certificates.

          “all outstanding Origami Vinyl gift certificates “will not be accepted and are void.””

          Simply leaving your email address on a website that gift certificate owners might randomly come across seems like you are just trying to get out of paying for the majority of outstanding gift certificates.

          “If anyone has a gift certificate and would like to email me personally, I’d be happy to speak to them at [email protected]

          Not to say that it is your intention, but it sounds like you are leaving your email address for anyone who wants to negotiate. It doesn’t say anywhere that you will offer a refund for those GC’s you sold.

          I think your best bet would to just change your stance and offer refunds on all GC’s for up to a month.

          • Culturally Unwelcoming

            Not a month, in perpetuity. And information on how to contact the owner should be disseminated much more broadly than via an e-mail address posted on a random blog.

        • In hindsight, probably it would have been better to not mention the gift certificates. But the good news is some losers are doing some early spring cleaning and will never find said gift certificate. We are fine people…its records… not a gift certificate on heart replacement.
          God, it sucks to close. Have some heart. Snooze you lose.

      • No, he’s not walking out on a promise. I get where some of the outrage came from because the article is unclear, poorly written and confusing, but Neil’s response is totally reasonable. Quit being a dick, kirby.

    • Technically if the owners had honored gift certificates before paying out creditors the creditors could sue. At least that’s the case in Chapter 11 bankruptcies (which may not apply here). In the case of bankruptcy a judge literally has to tell a company if it can or cannot continue to accept gift cards. I believe even outside of bankruptcy, the first responsibility when a company is going out of business is to the secured creditors. A gift card holder is an unsecured creditor and are not a priority in the eyes of the law. When a business goes under the unredeemed value of the gift cards will go towards paying creditors, in order of preference (the court decides this). Unfortunately that’s how businesses work. If Neil is honoring outstanding gift certificates he does so likely from his own pocket and not on behalf of Origami. Because the law. And because Neil is nice. (source: my boyfriend is a bankruptcy attorney)

  9. The article did make it seem like the owner sold the business and was being a callous dick about stiffing the people who had gift cards but if the guy went out business due to financial difficulties that is a different story and he has my sympathy.

  10. When an entity is sold, the buyer purchases the credits and debts. The gift cards are part of the debt of the business. Sadly you may have to sue in small claims to get it and these guys may be playing that hassle factor to get out of paying off. Hopefully this bad PR will change their misguided decision.

    • Culturally Unwelcoming

      The owner’s post says that the new tenant didn’t buy the business, just the inventory. The responsibility remains his, I believe.

  11. Culturally Unwelcoming

    “If a shop or restaurant goes out of business it’s a given that those gift certificates would no longer be valid as the business no longer exists or doesn’t have inventory in which to redeem them for.”

    This isn’t correct. California Civil Code 1749.6:

    “(a) A gift certificate constitutes value held in trust by the issuer of the gift certificate on behalf of the beneficiary of the gift certificate. The value represented by the gift certificate belongs to the beneficiary, or to the legal representative of the beneficiary to the extent provided by law, and not to the issuer.

    (b) An issuer of a gift certificate who is in bankruptcy shall continue to honor a gift certificate issued prior to the date of the bankruptcy filing on the grounds that the value of the gift certificate constitutes trust property of the beneficiary.”

    If Origami’s owner has declared bankruptcy, gift certificate holders can get in line with other unpaid creditors–but a debt doesn’t just vanish because a business decides to close shop. Nor should it.

    • He’s not saying he won’t pay people back, and he left his email in the comments (presumably) to allow people to reach out and do that. He’s saying Origami gift certificates won’t be honored at Permanent Records, which makes sense.

  12. WOW. What a LOT of banter from a bunch of privileged stuck up hipsters. I find it hard to believe any of those complaining about gift certificates or the closing of Origami Vinyl have ever run a business or been an entrepreneur.

    Neil is amazing, kind hearted and brought so many great events in and around Origami to Echo Park. The saving grace of reality is that those that sit around and complain never have the power to change the physical work & the events Neil and the Origami crew made happen.

    You do have the power to taint the waters for other future small business owners & creators in Echo Park. If you don’t want to live where people stick their necks out and try and can fail with the support of their community and neighborhood, then move back to the suburbs & the corporate big box stores.

    • I wonder how many of these complainers actually shopped at Origami? I’m guessing ZERO. Lots of people here who love complaining but don’t support the local businesses in our community.

      As an EP resident, and as someone who started shopping at Origami on DAY ZERO, I’m pissed to see all thse people here spout off and insult Neil without having met the guy, been to the shop or even bothered to learn that the article was poorly written and misrepresents the gift card issue.

  13. All of this ‘discussion’ and I haven’t heard from one person with a gift certificate.

  14. Just another shop closing, SO WHAT? OVERPRICED!

  15. It’s too bad the focus of the gift certificates became such a big deal. Closing up a business isn’t easy, Permanent Records probably could have been a bit gentler about this angle…but it sounds like they want a fresh start. (Their press release has some awkward language about the consignment items too = pick them up or they become a donation!) http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=66ed055acbd714b6a916b73ff&id=b8e92b2e06

    We loved Origami from the start! & discovered some great stuff there. Good Luck

  16. Hey Eastside Commenters – Quit being Dicks.
    Hey Eastsider Editor -Nice job screwing Neil w/this post.

    Origami has been a -fantastic- part of Echo Park.
    The people who ran this shop were super cool , always pleasant & friendly –
    and they ran an expertly curated shop.

    Lets Thank Neil & his staff for all of their work and sacrifices (if you don’t think running
    an indi-record shop is tough, you don’t know anything) – not slam him over some stupid
    gift certificates -which the Eastsider editor didn’t need to bring into this post at all -seriously,
    Mr. Editor…that was very uncool.

    Anyone who’s ever been into Origami would know that these people cared about the
    music & the neighborhood – not ducking out on some lingering gift certificates.

    Jesus H. Hockeysticks – you all owe these guys an apology.
    & Mr. Eastsider Editor – those apologies should start with yours.

    & Origami – Thanks for everything. You guys were/are classy -And you’ll be missed!

  17. …Also, lets send some thanks out to Chris at Blue Bag Records, who also closed his doors last weekend.

    The two best record shop in Echo Park closed on the same weekend.
    That’s the story.

  18. I think I missed something. What do I do if I just want a gift certificate?
    would it be bad to buy gift certificates from this guy and give them as gifts, kinda knowing that the recipient is going to have to barter it’s value with a past shop owner.

    • You absolutely missed something. Origami is closed. You are no longer able to buy gift certificates from them as they do not exist. You are able to buy gift certificates at Permanent Records though and redeem them at either of their locations.

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