If you had a reason to call Best Vinyl in the past few years, you probably heard the voice of Kat Tingey, who answers the phone and greets visitors in the lobby at the company’s American Fork location. If she placed your call on hold, you would have heard her voice again, in a very different way: she wrote and performed the hold music.
“I started playing guitar my senior year in high school, and picked up the chords really quickly compared to the piano,” Kat said. Finding it easier to sing along while playing, she started writing her own songs and realized it was something she enjoyed. She pursued her music in college, ultimately earning a degree in guitar performance from Utah State University in Logan, and has recorded two albums of her own.
During the day, Kat’s work isn’t especially musical. In addition to answering phones and greeting visitors, she handles a lot of the details that keep customer contracts going smoothly. “I’m kind of a geek,” she says. “I actually like typing, so I really enjoy the data entry part of my job. But the best part of my job is the people I work with.”
Kat started her job when Best Vinyl was owned by a private equity firm — not the rosiest period in the company’s history — so she appreciated the change when Redmond got involved in late 2010. “Maybe the difference isn’t as extreme as night and day, but it’s been much better,” she said. Becoming a division of Redmond allowed the company to renew its original focus on people, which the equity firm had abandoned.
Music means a lot to Kat, but she’s not sure she wants it to become a career. “I worry it would start to feel like work,” she said, “and I like my job here, anyway. I don’t plan to go anywhere else.”