Canby Music is hosting its annual anniversary block party this weekend — and they’ve got a lot to celebrate. Canby’s local source for instruments, repairs, supplies and lessons is commemorating 15 years in business and three years at their new location on Northwest 1st Avenue.
And, speaking of that new location, the renovated former single-family home originally built in 1923 also happens to be enjoying its 100th birthday this year.
“It’s a good time,” Canby Music owner Brian Haines said of the free annual event. “We’ll have a huge block party with a bouncy house, hamburgers, hot dogs and prize giveaways. Live music on the porch, performed by all the people who work here and a lot of our friends.”
Haines started the store in 2008, when he was a professional musician fresh off a six-month tour. But he was 29, looking to get married, settle down and start a family, and knew he needed the stability that a career on the road would never provide.
The inspiration for Canby Music came, quite unexpectedly, when he and a friend visited the (now defunct) Tigard Music Store to buy guitar strings.
“We were in there, and he said, ‘Wouldn’t it be neat if you could just do this all day?’,” he recalled. “And I said, ‘It would be kind of neat.'”
Haines didn’t have a business plan. He didn’t know how much retail space should cost or how to purchase inventory at bulk rates. But he knew music, and he knew — and trusted — his community.
He built a loyal client base by listening to their needs and building his business according to what they asked for. What began as a retail operation quickly acquired lessons, rental and repair programs.
“It was interesting, because I had never in my life taught a guitar lesson,” he said with a chuckle. “But from the very beginning, that’s what people asked for. And, really, the store’s been based around lessons ever since.
“People come here and, now, they even bring their kids here to take lessons. And they might buy supplies, or rent an instrument or get something repaired. But it’s very much a teaching-centered store.”
He estimates, conservatively, that he has taught more than 25,000 lessons over the past 15 years. And counting, though much of the instruction these days is handled by his capable staff of experienced musicians.
Haines said he has learned a lot of lessons along the way: Be patient, listen to your customers and, above all, strive for excellence in everything you do.
“A lot of the credit goes back to our community, who has supported us over the past 15 years,” Haines said. “And we’ve always tried to give back, to be involved in Canby and the surrounding communities. It’s really important to be involved.”
Canby Music’s 15th anniversary bash will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 3, at the store located at 590 Northwest 1st Avenue. For more information about Canby Music, call 503-263-2263 or visit canbymusic.com.
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