While other Wollongong record stores have fallen by the wayside, Music Farmers is celebrating 15 years of turning people onto new sounds and inspiring them to do their own thing.
Back in 2004, if you were placing bets as to which record store in the Wollongong CBD would be the only one left standing today, you probably wouldn't be putting your money on Music Farmers.
Jeb Taylor and Simon Dalla Pozza had opened up a tiny store in 2004, upstairs in Central Chambers. Not the most well-known location; there would still be people today who wouldn't have a clue where that was.
For the record, it's in the mall, the same place as all the other record stores - all of which were much easier to find.
"There was a lot of record stores around at that time," Taylor says.
"Redback was still there, Rock Factory was still there. I think Wilson's was there and Sanity still existed."
Today they're all gone, but that small shop with the weird name that started out upstairs in the mall is still going today.
Yes, it's moved a few times - to Crown Lane and then to its current location in Keira Street - but Music Farmers has always been around since those days of 2004.
Taylor says there wasn't any grand plan to start a record store; initially it was meant to be an office and storage space for Taylor's HighBeam Music label and distribution business.
"When we started, a lot of the stock was pretty obscure stuff and local bands," Taylor says.
"That was our point of difference then. They [all the other record stores] were all competing with each other at the time. We had a small space that we rented ourselves, whereas they were big retail spaces and had to pay lots of wages and stuff like that."
For Taylor, the secret to Music Farmers' longevity is that they started small and took their time to get bigger.
"I think slow growth is what's kept us here rather than trying to be too ambitious too quickly," he says.
"You see a lot of businesses coming to Wollongong and they try and set up really big, really quickly - and they don't last. We wouldn't have lasted if we did that."
By 2007, they decided to get quite a bit bigger - relative to the tiny shop upstairs - and set up in a cavernous space in Crown Lane (where Kneading Ruby is today).
I remember being in Europe in 2010 and just starting to see that vinyl shops were busy and there were a lot of shops - that was my trigger that this would work again in Australia.
This was where Music Farmers made a real move towards vinyl - they'd mainly been stocking and selling CDs before then. That meant the store was ahead of the vinyl resurgence that would start a few years later.
"It was really starting to come back, though Australia was a little bit slower to catch on," Taylor says.
"I remember being in Europe in 2010 and just starting to see that vinyl shops were busy and there were a lot of shops - that was my trigger that this would work again in Australia.
"Record Store Days got really big around 2013 and that gave it another sort of kick on. It was still a bit more underground, but then there was a point when all the really big mainstream records started to sell on vinyl as well."
The move to 5 Crown Lane also saw the addition of a cafe, an art gallery and live shows - it was also the time when Dalla Pozza left and current business partner Nick Irwin came on board.
"We just wanted to be able to run shows and run in-stores - and there were a few other people around at the time looking for space as well to do different projects they were working on," Taylor says of 5 Crown Lane.
"That place just gave us heaps of space, maybe too much. Sometimes we'd think 'what are we gonna do with all the space?'."
For three years, that space would be used by local artists and musicians until Wollongong City Council spoiled the fun.
The venue had been staging bands without the appropriate licence and, when Taylor found how much that would cost, figured it wasn't worth it.
So they held a final gig in December 2008 and that was it for the venue. The doors were closed, but Taylor and Irwin were still working inside - using it as an office for the record label and online sales.
Taylor says the city was changing, with new venues like Music Farmers, Yours & Owls (which was still a cafe at the time) and the Otis bar starting up.
This caught council by surprise, he says, and it didn't know how to deal with these new venues in a regulatory sense.
A few years later, council started to realise the value of what it now tagged as "the night-time economy" and this led to Taylor and Irwin to re-open the doors in 2011.
Of course, the construction noises coming from the Wollongong Central shopping centre across the road made it hard for any complaints about a band's loud music to stack up.
But then, after they'd suffered through all that noise from the drilling and construction of the shopping centre, Taylor says the landlords at 5 Crown Lane offered them a new lease "which was four to five times what we were paying before".
Taylor and Irwin said no, and ended up in the Keira Street shop where they are now - and there's still space up the back for bands to play a gig.
"The timing was a bit annoying," Taylor says of the move, "because we put up with construction for two or three years but in hindsight it's been way better being down here anyway.
"The shop space just became more of a real shop space."
Both Taylor and Irwin are hands-on in the shop, doing some time behind the counter. They also hire musicians from local bands to work shifts.
It's the face-to-face interaction with music buyers that Taylor sees as an important part of running a record store.
"It's so easy to find music now in other ways, but there is still something about going to a shop and talking to people in real life and discovering music like that," Taylor says.
"And it's also discovering the wider community around it as well, beyond music, because it connects with the art scenes and a load of other different creative outlets."
Taylor is too modest to talk himself up, to put a measure of how important Music Farmers is to the Wollongong scene. Instead, he turns the focus towards what others have done.
"The other day I was up at Triple J when Bad//Dreems were doing their Like a Version, the breakfast producer there was a kid who grew up in Wollongong," Taylor says.
"He used to come into Music Farmers in his lunch breaks at school. He said he remembered buying his first ever record from us.
"That's the thing you'd like to see; people who have discovered a lot of music through [the store] and then gone out and done their own cool things."
Music Farmers celebrates its 15th birthday next weekend with shows over three nights. On December 13, Scabz and Floodway play in the store from 4pm.
Later that night, Shining Bird and Sunscreen headline a show at La La Las in Globe Lane.
Saturday sees the Music Farmers doing the DJ thing at Howlin' Wolf, while the Hard-Ons and Babymachine are at the top of the bill for Sunday's Dicey Riley's show.