Heather Nijoli Robinson, 37, DJ, Purveyor of Vinyl, Part Owner of Soul Streamers

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Where are you from?

I was born and raised in South Knoxville. I’ve always lived here—well, except for a seasonal job in New York City. I was working for the Kerry Campaign. I hated New York. I love the South. I think I have to live in the south.

How long have you worked at Lost and Found Records?

Technically, two years. I have helped them out for about 15, though. Mike and Maria are my best friends. I can’t emphasize how close to a family we really are. I used to work in the corporate world. A cubicle, mindless, colorless work. The money was good and I could afford great vacations, but I was miserable. Eventually I stripped my life down so I could do the things I love. DJing and working at Lost and Found have allowed me to stop worrying about things that don’t matter. Now my life is way better and quite amazing.

Why did you choose to become a DJ?

I believe in promoting and preserving the culture of vinyl records. That is what makes me happy and what I want to do for the rest of my life. It’s not always easy to be a female DJ because the scene is a boys club. Zach, the owner of The Discoteca in Chattanooga has given me a big chance to DJ some great shows there and I look forward to doing more of that here in Knoxville.

What is Soul Streamers?

It’s a mobile record store/dance party in an Airstream trailer. I’ve had the idea for years, but the most important part is having the right people come on board. Discoteca Zach and John, the owner of Leo Handmade Gallery in Chattanooga, have turned out to be those perfect people. They both took stripped-down spaces and turned them into amazing venues. I knew they were the right people to help me achieve my dream. They are great guys and excellent DJs. We want to travel around the country to different venues and festivals.

What is your style inspiration?

My style is literally equal parts comfortable and free. And I mean free as in it didn’t cost me anything. Knoxville is excellent for clothing swaps. I love walking down the street and a stranger stopping me and telling me that my shirt belonged to them at one point. I would also have to say that my style and personality are directly derived from my grandmother and mother. My grandmother was an amazing, over-the-top, confident woman. I thought she had the most amazing style. Loud, garish prints, and even the platforms with goldfish in them. My mother was more of an influence on my personality. As soon as I was job-interview age, she told me to never say that I can’t do something if I can just go check out a book about it. I’ve always lived my life like that. I just assume I can do anything.

Worn Clothing

Shoes: by Roxy, purchased at Amazon.com, $30, nine months ago

Flower (in hair): $1, 6 years ago, no idea where it came from

Cardigan: Kate Bike, clothing swap at the Birdhouse, two months ago

Shirt: My sister Kelly, two months ago

Skirt: Birdhouse clothing swap, no idea who it belonged to

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