Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Hip in Detroit Talks One Year in Business with Third Wave Music

Everyone talks about small business as being the backbone of our economy, but we don't give small businesses enough credit for taking a chance and opening up in the City of Detroit. It's easy for corporations to take advantage of the city's perks and give it a shot because they can take the risk, but small startups don't have as much wiggle room. Detroit needs a strong backbone of local businesses to provide the community with the resources it needs, but small businesses need the support of their local communities to keep their doors open. So, when a cool business takes a chance and opens their doors in Detroit we have to show them our support!

One of the coolest businesses to open in the city was Third Wave Music. It was Detroit's first musical instrument and equipment store to open its doors in decades and it has delivered much more than it originally promised.
Not only has Third Wave Music become a one-stop shop for local musicians, it has also become a gathering place for the music community. The owners are as passionate about people and community as they are about music. The store is constantly adding new stock and offering new services, as well as bringing in the community together to learn about and appreciate Detroit's musical community together.  

We reached out to Jen David to check in with her about Third Wave on the heels of their one year anniversary. Her passion for music, community and Detroit comes through as you read her words. Check out what she has to say after one full year in business and stop by soon to check out all their new stock!  Don't forget, they are having a huge Shop Small sale this Saturday! 

HID- Why did you decide to open a music store in Detroit?
Jen David- "I feel I had a unique set of life circumstances to lead me to this place. I was gigging and living across from where the shop is for a few years and thinking about how ridiculous it was that Detroit didn’t really have a music store even though there were SO many musicians. Mostly out of my own selfish annoyance of driving to Guitar Center or Gordy’s or having my mom grab me stuff from the music store she was managing. That too, the combination of having a music store manager mom (in the business about forty years) and a jazz pianist father brought me to this point. I literally grew up in a music store and now I own one."

HID- How much of your stock is new and how much is used?
Jen David- "I’d say about 50/50. We carry an extensive inventory of breakables, those are the things that every player needs to replace. Guitar players need strings, woodwind players need reeds, DJ’s need needles, drummers need sticks and so on. For our instrument selection I seek out interesting and affordable used synths, band instruments, guitars, drum stuff, any instruments I can get a good deal on and pass it along to customers. I’m really excited about our vintage synth selection right now, because we have some really rare items that I’ve gotten lucky at some estate sales to find. It’s kind of a hunt, very rewarding to be able to play synths I’ve only ever heard of! When it comes to new instruments I am a little bit choosier, I specialize in local businesses and innovative companies making quality products. Some examples include a woman who grows her own gourds and turns them into shekeres, Red Panda a popular guitar effects company who are actually located across the street in the Green Garage, Artifex Detroit upcycled seatbelt guitar straps, Alley & Eye eyewear that keeps musicians looking fresh, to bigger electronics companies such as Korg, Vox Amps, Teenage Engineering and Critter & Guitari."

HID- How does someone start taking lessons at Third Wave?
Jen David- "Right now we have a roster of 6 talented teachers that teach on voice, guitar, strings, saxophone, and piano. You either come in, or give us a call, and we figure out a time that works for both you and the teacher and we get you going. The lessons run 25/half hour and you get your own time slot reserved every week."

HID- I know this sounds dumb, but how does consignment work? 
Jen David- "Not dumb, we sell your instrument for you and take a commission, and in our case it’s 20%. So if you want to make 100$ selling your guitar, we sell it for 120$ and you keep the 100$ and we keep the 20$."

HID- What are the three best memories that you have from the first year in business?
Jen David- "I’m just gonna name the first three big ones I can think of cause otherwise I will obsess about this. We recently hosted a really intimate and beautiful live music event with three talented performers (Kaylan Waterman, Kathy Leisen, and Rosali, check them out!) and man the vibes were just so good! Towards the end a customer brought a friend who happened to be this bomb ass harp player that I have been a fan of and was so excited to meet! She started throwing down and singing on piano, and Joshua jumped on drums and I played bass and it just felt so good and fun. Getting to play music randomly with such cool people is definitely a perk. Like I remember this drummer Shana stopped in, she’s friends with our guitar teacher Deekah (both also amazing local musicians) and we had the Oberheim synth that was used in the song Jump! by Van Halen and a customer came in, and on Saturdays we just kind jam, and he knew the entire keyboard part and we already had people on bass and drums and they just launched into the song like perfectly. I was laughing so hard! Shoot,  I think that’s two memories now…. Okay…here’s another one…Dally in the Alley and filming our latest video with Andrew Miller. I just love getting to connect with him on these Third Wave videos cause he captures me just being myself and it really resonates with people. I loved this video in particular because there was a woman who commented on it when I shared it saying “This video is no joke, I recently visited the store and she really is like this.” Haha! It’s great to be at Dally because it really just puts things into perspective for me, I was part of the organizational team from 2011-2013 and now my business is inside of it. Cool feeling. Is that three? I could go on and on - working on music with Devin who helps run the shop, Devin playing nose flute with my Dad improvising on piano, seeing that first coat of white paint on the brick wall with my best friend and husband, the first time I paid myself 500$ (last month haha), the first Wavy Week, my first big sale (Yamaha CS50), my mom cutting out an article about us from Music Trades magazine that came to the store she manages."

HID- What plans do you have for the store for the second year? 
Jen David- "I would like to expand our selection of new instruments, brands like Focusrite, Moog, Roland, I want to focus on studio gear, interfaces, it’s important to me to keep our inventory competitive with bigger dealers (cough cough Guitar Center cough cough, but fine-tuned to what our customers need. This first year was interesting because I really tried to just stock everything for all types of players, and now I am working on expanding and contracting and changing with those needs. Also doing more smaller intimate shows, and getting a lineup of seasonal group workshops and lessons, things to keep the community engaged."

HID- How often do you have live music inside the space?
Jen David- "We have live music in conjunction with larger scale events, Movement weekend, Noel Night (come listen to Efe Bes Dec 2nd!), opening week, anniversary party … but we recently had our first show just to have it and it was so nice, really want to do more of that."

HID- Why do you think music is so important to Detroit? 
Jen David- "Music is important to humanity and Detroit is important to music. This city has always inspired me the same way it has inspired the rest of the world. I’m just lucky to live in it, where else but Detroit could a little girl from the suburbs with a jazz player daddy end up singing backups for Martha Reeves at Bert’s on a random night? Don’t know… but I love it!"

HID- Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
Jen David- "Word of mouth is our best friend, so please stop in, say hello, and spread the word!"

To learn more about Third Wave Music and to find their hours and learn more about their sales and specials follow them on facebook here


No comments:

Post a Comment