For some music retailers, “new technology” products bring feelings of trepidation or concern. Low margins, the plethora of other channels that sell these items, and the sheer amount of new gear coming out monthly can be overwhelming. Yet the consensus is that customers want to see music technology products in your store, and it’s part of our landscape–whether we like it or not.
Gracewinds of Corvallis, Oregon is one of those overnight success stories that actually took more than two decades to evolve into a bustling full-line store. Ken Oefelein, a graduate of Western Iowa Tech, launched the business repairing band instruments out of a garage. On a beautiful fall day we talked extensively with Sharon Oefelein, Ken’s wife, and their son Travis about the transformation of Gracewinds.
The annual Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) was held Nov. 8-12 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. For the first time in the event’s 30-year history, the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World” played host to more than 6,000 drummers and percussionists from around the world for the four-day convention.
One can hear a lot from George Hines. As the owner of the 10-store two-state dealership that is George’s Music, you’ll hear that business is more about personal relationships than anything else. As a founder and current chairman of the Finance Operations Committee of the Alliance of Independent Music Merchants (AIMM), you’ll hear him discuss the importance of manufacturers and retailers communicating and understanding the challenges of each other’s business. Heck, get him started on guitars, and he’ll tell you about his personal preference for semi-hollow bodies.