Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Who Would Have Ever Thought of That!?

When people find out that I am a professional Band Instrument Repair Technician, they often ask, "How did you ever get started in that?" {pause} "I guess someone has to fix them."
Here is how it all started: When I was in high school, I bought trumpets whenever I found a good deal. By graduation time, I had a stash of 12 trumpets. Then I started to sell them. It was fun and I made some money at it, so I started to expand into other brass and woodwind instruments. I also had many other interests, so there were many other interesting career opportunities. After looking through the entire Yellow Pages, (I figured that the phone book would have almost every imaginable career in it) I had it narrowed down to train engineer, crop duster, or band instrument repair. After prayer and consideration, I decided on band instrument repair because it would be the most conducive career for a good family life. Also, I was already working with instruments and I figured if I could fix them, they could be sold for a better price.
That is how I got started in this very unusual career.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Upstate Oddities

Every career has its good points and every career has its bad points. One of the not so good things about band instrument repair is the pay. I sacrifice money to have an enjoyable job that is also good for my family. To suppliment my income, my wife and I sell things on ebay. I sell musical items under the user name "thebrassandwoodwindshop". My wife and I work together to sell everything else under the name "upstateoddities". We love to go to sales and auctions together. (For the sake of full disclosure, my wife only likes some auctions.) In Upstate Oddities, we have a lot of kitchen gadgets and kids' clothes right now, but it constantly changes. It could be anything; like a grand piano lid, hand pedaled tricycle, 20 by 30 foot stage curtain, lot of 4000 books, paper jogger, etc. I always say that there is never a dull moment in our household.

Monday, August 9, 2010

You Help Me, I Help You

People often wonder about the competition among music stores. You may think that we are all trying to undercut eachother and put the other guy out of business. Sometimes this happens, but more often, music stores try to help eachother.
There are two music stores in my tiny little town of Burnt Hills, New York. We get along fine with eachother. I do mostly repairs of wind instruments. The other store does mostly lessons, accessories, instrument rentals, and guitars. He sometimes brings instruments to me for repair and I sometimes send people to his shop for accessories and music books. There are also four other music stores that I correspond with regularly. They give me a lot of instruments to repair and I send people to them when I cannot meet their needs. We try to help eachother in any way we can.
Rather than trying to beat up the other music stores, it is helpful to everyone to work together. There is plenty of business for everyone and it allows each of us to specialize in one or two things and do them well. It also helps the customer to get better service.
Thank you to all of my fellow music store owners.