Jeff Pettit Memorial Fund

$9,549 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 147 people in 24 months
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On Sunday, August 23th, 2017,  my business partner and best friend, Jeff Pettit, suddenly passed away while working at the store we created together, Fond Object Records.  My name is Jem Cohen. I am the co-founder/owner of Fond Object Records. I grew up in New Jersey, Florida, and Los Angeles. I moved to Nashville 9 years ago and while on tour met Jeff in Austin, TX nearly 11 years ago. 

Jeff moved from Austin to create this store with my band, The Ettes,  in 2013.  He left everything behind, packed up his records, and drove up to Nashville with just a dream to have his own record store. Together we created Fond Object Records in Riverside Village which has become more than just a record store. It has become a community space for shows, movie nights, a petting zoo, art spaces, local fashion designers, whatever you can creatively imagine with records being the heart of the store.

When the Riverside Village lease was threatened we were able to open a second location to make sure that the business would stay alive. Neither Jeff nor I could believe that we actually could have a record store in downtown Nashville, and we do and it’s amazing.

Jeff lived his life in record stores. He lived in Tempe, AZ where he worked at Zia Records, then moved to Austin, TX and worked at Cheapo Records. He moved to Nashville where he finally was able to open up his own record store and use all that incredible knowledge he gained throughout the years. He gave everything to this store and community, most of his awesome records, all of his knowledge, and nearly all of his time. 

First and foremost we want to take care of his family and their needs. Secondly, we want to keep the business he created alive and thriving. I will be in charge of the finances, and will make sure that the money gets to the family first and then goes towards keeping the business alive.

We are going to use these funds to pay for his family accommodation, travel expenses, transportation and storage of Jeff's belongings, and give the family money to deal with whatever else may arise in the process of taking care of Jeff.

As for Jeff's business we are asking for funds to make sure that our employees get the professional help they need to deal with this tough time. We also need your support to keep the business going in this transitional period. The community deserves to have Fond Object Records - in Riverside Village or Downtown - ideally both! It has always been DIY and owner-operated with nothing but love. We never made a dime, never expected to, and probably still won’t, but that’s never been our end game.

In the longer-term we’re in need of a new hire (or two, or three) to at least attempt to fill the hole Jeff’s passing has left on the daily operations at Fond Object. As many of you know, he was a wizard at finding, pricing, grading, and ordering records. To give you a peek behind the curtain of what it’s like to own a record store - those duties are no small chore, take great skill, and aren’t easily taught. To be honest, most of us here are barely proficient in this, Jeff was practically renown for it, and naturally was criminally-underpaid for his expertise. We won’t have this luxury with the person we’re looking to hire to fulfil this role, so this fundraising effort will help pad our budget to pay this person.

Your generosity is greatly appreciated by both the Pettit and Fond families.

There will be a memorial show to celebrate Jeff’s life tentatively scheduled for Tuesday August 29th, 2017 in the Fond Object Backyard. Please check social media for updates.
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I just wanted to give a quick update on the fund usage and thank you all for donating! These donations have been extremely instrumental in taking care of what the family wanted covered, and keeping the store alive during this tough time.

The initial donations went directly to the family as follows:

1. Opryland hotel stay - $606.96
2. Food and Gas for Renee and her family - $702.79
3. Leslie and Phyllis to sign the business over to me so they didn’t have debt and liability in their name. - $1,000

This totals $2,309.75 to the family.

Around 8.5% was taken out by Gofundme, so the rest of the money totaled $6,440.59.

The rest of the money went right back into the business to float both stores since the main store was closed for 10 days.

The East Nashville store (which was floating the downtown store) usually makes around 5-6k in 10 days. As you all know, Jeff passed away inside the East Nashville location-- we just couldn’t bear to go back in for a while. There needed to be a moment of silence. Without this money, generously donated by all of you, Fond Object would not have survived, neither location.

The stores operate on a month to month basis, let’s face it, it’s a record store, it doesn’t make a lot money. It just makes what it needs to stay open each month. This gave us exactly what we needed to keep our doors open and to carry on what Jeff and I started.

It was never an option to give the family more money than what it took to keep the business alive. I gave the family exactly what they asked for. The rest barely allowed us to keep both stores open. The reason I didn’t just give all the money to the family and close the stores, was because Jeff and I fought for this store, and we kept fighting together up until he died. I am still fighting. Whatever was left over, from just keeping the business up and running, went to giving our employees a very small raise. They’ve all stepped up so much to fill the huge void left when Jeff passed away.

If anyone is unhappy with the fund usage, and I’m aware that there are a few of you out there in Phoenix, please email me directly at fondobject@gmail.com and we can talk. If you want your money back, we can do that as well. All of the money was used exactly how I stated it would be used in the Gofundme statement.

I want to thank you all again for your generosity, love, and support. It is because of you Fond Object lives another day.
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$9,549 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 147 people in 24 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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