"Music is my lifeline," says Sweat Records owner Lauren "Lolo" Reskin.
And why shouldn't it be? Music courses through the veins of the Reskin family. Her father is a trumpet player and composer, and her grandmother and grandfather were musicians as well. Her late grandfather also opened the Allegro Music House in the 1960s.
Reskin found her own way into a musical life when she was barely 16 by scoring a dream job at the Virgin Megastore in the Shops at Sunset Place. During her six years there, she also played tunes at a college station, worked on street teams for indie labels such as Matador, and, at the age of 17, landed a DJ residency at the weekly club party Poplife. That experience led her to help organize Revolver, another legendary regular club night.
Lauren "Lolo" Reskin
Even before the Virgin Megastore closed in June 2006, Reskin realized there was a gap in the local music scene.
"I knew that Miami had enough people in it with good taste in music that it could support an indie music store," she says. "By the time I had graduated from high school, most of them were gone or veering in a different direction. And one day, I had a 'Why not me?' moment."
With her best friend Sara Yousuf, she opened Sweat Records in March 2005 in Wynwood and later moved it to Little Haiti. The store has fought through the death of the record industry, massive damage from Hurricane Wilma, vandalism, and theft to flourish in an unlikely location, next to Miami's landmark Churchill's Pub. They've picked up a legion of fans and a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation along the way.
Now, when she's not running the shop, Reskin can be found working on the in-store record label, sitting in on Miami's Arts & Entertainment Council, and DJing at special events around town.
"I didn't really have any background in doing this stuff," Reskin says. "But if I can do it, anyone can."
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