Tucked away in a 1900s Edwardian-style building, near Hampden Road in Battery Point, lies a treasure trove of vinyl records by artists such as Taylor Swift, Dusty Springfield, Carol King, and Dolly Parton – just to name a few!

This is the home of Suffragette Records, who have been putting Tassie on the map since 2022 for selling music made exclusively by women. Making noise and making herstory, this family-run store is the first of its kind in Tasmania.

Meet the Carter crew: Lauren and Oberon, and their three children Audrey, Maisie, and Xanthe. The Carter kids don’t just help run the show in-store; they’re also the brains behind their viral online content.

We had a chance to hang out with the Carter family, spin a few records, and have a yarn.

So, what’s in a name? The Suffragettes were known for championing gender equality and women’s rights. Lauren confirmed it’s the same ethos that fuels the record store –

“The spirit behind the Suffragette movement of pushing women’s voices forward really clicked with what we wanted the business to be about.”

Before they started smashing the patriarchy in the music industry, the couple were founders of Zero Waste Tasmania and even wrote a book called ‘A Family Guide to Waste-Free Living’. Living completely waste and recycling-free, the Carter family promotes their waste-free lifestyle in-store, by trading in and selling second-hand records, using cardboard mailers, compostable packaging tape, and a digital receipt system.

“It seems hypocritical but the plastic items we’re trading in are intended to be used for 100 years. They’re not single-use items, these records are multi-generational heirlooms that can last years if they’re looked after.

“We have records that were pressed in the late 1950s that still play perfectly.”

So just how bad is gender inequality within the music industry? Suffragette Records have statistics displayed in store stating that women represent less than one-third of artists supported in the music industry today.

“Any record store you go into will only have 20 per cent of space devoted to women artists because that’s what’s generally available. So we thought about how it would look if you filled a space with just that 20 per cent. And what kind of story would that tell.”

This cosy record store is quaint yet powerful! Sustainably selling new and used records while also educating and empowering collectors. Suffragette Records have created a safe space for not only women but all their customers who want to dip their toes into the world of collecting vinyl.

“We have a lot of people come in and find records they’d forgotten about because a lot of women artists fall off the radar when you’ve got popular artists like Deep Purple, Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and other artists that have to be in a regular record store. When you remove them, it makes space for women artists.”

Aside from buying their vinyl records, to support women in music Lauren urges collectors to go see their live shows, buy their merch, support their Patreon or Bandcamp, and most importantly – tell their friends!

“The most ethical way to listen to music is paying for it, downloading it, and owning it.”

Instead of dwelling on the negative statistics, Suffragette Records are more about celebrating women in music and fostering an inclusive and inviting community in-store –

“We love being able to talk to customers about music, make recommendations, and play them records they might not have heard.

“Customers can sit on the couch and we can spin records and it’s just a really nice personal experience that you don’t get from a Spotify algorithm.”

The Carter family have recently been taking TikTok and Instagram by storm. Their viral videos often feature music recommendations based on artists that you may already be listening to -– check them out on socials and discover your new favourtie artist!

“You just don’t get these recommendations from an AI-driven streaming service. That’s why we love what we do, making other people happy about their music choices and purchases, and exposing them to new stuff too.” 

Who is Suffragette Records’ best-selling artist? Yep, you guessed it, Taylor Swift! The economics of Taylor Swift (Swiftanomics) strikes again!

“In 2020 there was a huge resurgence of vinyl collecting, particularly because young women started collecting vinyl, especially women who are listening to Taylor Swift. As well as being our top-selling artist, she’s the biggest-selling artist on vinyl in the last five years.”

Record Store Day is fast approaching (April 20), as well as the release of Tay Tay’s upcoming album (April 19) – Suffragette Records’ quiet sanctuary is set to transform into a bustling hub teeming with Hobart’s local collectors and tourists alike.

With 90 per cent of their online sales being from outside Australia, Suffragette Records have become a ‘destination store’ for vinyl-loving tourists –

“We had someone last week comment on a post and say I’m coming to Australia to visit your shop specifically and the rest is a bonus!”

Put Suffragette Records on your list for Record Store Day this weekend, where they will be hosting a range of exclusive sales as well as several live music performances in-store.

Make every day International Women’s Day and visit them in-store or online today! Because who run the world? Girls!

Seek them out at 52 Sandy Bay Road, Hobart.

Open Tuesday – Friday 11 am – 5.30 pm and Saturday 10 am – 3.30 pm