Neil and Kathy Wilson were looking for something different.

So they quit their jobs, sold their house and bought a vinyl press.

It sounds like a big risk, and in many ways it was for the Brisbane couple.  But at the same time, they were looking to file a hole that desperately needs filling in Australia – high quality vinyl at reasonable turnaround times.

“We have been long time music fans and festival fans and really believe in the power of music,” Kathy said.

“And we started to learn about how there was this massive over demand and under supply of vinyl worldwide, particularly in the Australian market and we wanted to be able to offer high quality vinyl at reasonable turnaround times for Australian artists.”

So the couple launched the Pinkenba-based Suitcase Records in August.

Kathy and Neil in front of their brand new pressing machine.

“There was vinyls and cassettes and then CD’s came in the 80s and basically the story was that CD’s was going to dominate the industry, which they did,” Kathy said.

“They were indestructible, they were pure music. All the rest of it and at that point pretty much everyone thought vinyl was dead and dying.

“So the vinyl pressers were thrown away, dumped whatever. There was no value in them anymore.

“So then mp3 files came along and then streaming and streaming makes it very difficult for artists to make money off their art and music.

“And it is intangible, digital music is convenient.

“But there has been a push from the artists because the only way artists can make money now is to tour and through merchandise and the best type of merchandise is vinyl.

“And there has also been a pull from consumers who like vinyl, who like the experience of it, they like the realness of it, the warmth of it, the fact it is something physical, they can engage with the artists and support the artist.

“Broadly it is a human, honest, warm medium that people love and we love it too.

“It is almost an antidote to the speed and pace of everything at the moment and I think people know that we need to have musicians in our world and we need to support them and people are prepared to support them and vinyl is a great way of doing that.”

Suitcase is the third vinyl manufacturer to set up in Australia.

Kathy said the demand Suitcase had experienced since launching in August had exceeded expectations.

“There is a lot of demand, there is so much demand that it doesn’t feel like we are competing with each other we are working together to educate everyone that vinyl is a viable industry and it is easy, high quality and we can reduce the timelines for people,” she said.

“We’ve been delighted by the support that the music community has given us, we have had far more orders than we planned.

“Our standard turnaround time is about 12 weeks but we are coming under that more than often.

“But if you need to send it off-shore it can be far longer than that.

“A lot of the big European plants aren’t even taking new orders at the moment because they are so busy and there are issues with worldwide supply with the war in Ukraine.

“So our 12 week turnaround time is very good.

“And because we are local people have enjoyed being able to come in, see how the presses work, get their test pressings, it is that instant engagement so we can jump on any issues straight away.

“We are extremely pleased as to how we have been received in the industry.”

Suitcase’s collaboration with CCS, who have an extensive history of supporting and working with the music industry, has assisted this.

“We’ve really enjoyed working with CCS they have been great from start to finish,” Kathy said.

“They have a long history of supporting the music industry and a long history of working with the music industry.

“We particularly leaned on Joe’s (Joe Ryall CCS’ business development manager) experience early on and because they are so well known in the industry it was a way we could show our credibility the fact that CCS is so established.

“It is really important for us that we get the quality of vinyl exactly right and the quality of printing is just as important.

Snapshot of sleeves and gatefolds produced by CCS Packaging for Suitcase Records.


“People really care about the artwork and we needed to make sure that people knew we were going for quality and going with CCS that enabled people to trust us because of the reputation while we were establishing ourselves.

“I feel like we have established ourselves now but in the early days it was just a nice way of proving our credentials.”

Suitcase have also appreciated CCS’ focus on sustainability.

“It is really important for us and increasingly so. There is a real big shift and push in the industry for sustainability,” Kathy said.

“We’ve done quite a lot of work on the energy we use, we recycle, we have very little waste because we recycle the vinyl we reject and the offcuts. We put that back through the machine.

“So it is all very important and this is only increasing.”