SHERIDAN — The Craft Brothers, who have made a name for themselves in Sheridan and beyond, opened their own Craft Bros. music store in August 2022 with instrument rental and repair, hoping to expand the local music scene. That December, retail items arrived at the store.
“We’ve been playing music since we were little kids for over 40 years, and historically, we’ve driven hours to get to music stores that can meet our needs as musicians,” said Craft Bros. Music Shop co-owner Mitch Craft. .
“My brothers and I, along with Elizabeth, have been talking for decades about this dream of opening a music store in Sheridan that serves the needs of our local musicians, supports music students, supports places like the WYO Theatre, the Sheridan College and all. at the highest possible level.”
In the spring of 2022 the process of opening the store began. Co-owners of Craft Bros. Music Store, also co-owners of Ebia Hearing and Sound, JT and Elizabeth Craft had a hard time filling the space dedicated to Ebia Hearing and Sound, so Craft Bros. Music Shop naturally moved into that empty space. .
“We already owned Ebia Hearing and Sound, using about 25,000 square feet,” said Elizabeth Craft. “We renewed it with the idea of the music store dream. We think it would be a great little business mesh”.
Craft Bros. Music Store began with rentals and repairs. Community feedback spawned the need for a retail portion of the store.
“We thought maybe in a few years we would open a retail space,” Mitch Craft said. “I’m not entirely sure what happened, but we put our first retail items up in December and here we are now with a selection of a bunch of stuff ranging from violin strings and saxophone reeds to high-tech sound systems we have. . They have installed in churches and schools.”
The Crafts said they always make sure they have a wide selection of items for sale to meet everyone’s needs. If they don’t have something in the store, they make it a priority to get the items for the customer.
“We’re continually adding these providers to continue to build that provider network so that whatever people want, we at least have one or two or three really good options for them, and that’s working very well,” JT Craft said. . “People appreciate that, so if we don’t have it, we can usually get it, and we’re very competitive with prices online. It’s nice when the local musician can come in and get something he would have had to wait a few days in line for for almost the same price.”
The Crafts will also be placing instruments on consignment, which means the public can bring instruments they find around their home to sell in the store.
“It was kind of an interesting coincidence,” said Elizabeth Craft. “The owners of CB Music have been friends of ours for a long time and they decided to retire. Initially, when we launched our retail side of things, we took a lot of products on consignment for them. They were looking for a way to transition and they had a ton of inventory.”
Along with retail, repair, and rental, the Craft Bros. Music Store houses the space for a variety of music lessons. The Craft family does not teach the lessons itself; however, they work to find highly qualified instructors to come into the shop.
“They’re just allowed to program and work in this space,” JT Craft said. “We don’t charge rent. The student pays them directly and encourages growth in music. We have many instructors for anything from voice to piano to string instruments. If we don’t have one, we propose to find a good instructor”.
To sign up for lessons, contact the store for a list of instructors. From there, the instructors take over.
Elizabeth, Mitch, and JT Craft all have other jobs, so they are working to employ a variety of staff for the Craft Bros. Music Store. Recently, Craft Bros. Music Store General Manager Colin Stroup joined the team with the goal of bringing his experience to the business. Stroup and his family are very involved in the Sheridan Public Arts Committee.
Stroup found his way to Portland, Oregon to play music professionally, but ended up moving back to Sheridan to attend Sheridan College.
He said he hopes his position at the Craft Bros. Music Store is another step in the right direction.
The Craft family hired a Certified Wind Repair Technician as well as a Belt Technician.
“We are going to be able to address a need in the region,” said JT Craft. “It’s not something readily available in the state and it’s beneficial for schools. We are trying to support the schools and continue to support the arts. We use the community as a foundation to grow and help clarify our mission.”
The Crafts aims to provide a wide variety of services to meet the musical needs of the Sheridan community.
“Our mission is to foster growth, build community and create jobs through music,” said Elizabeth Craft. “This is a passion project for our family and perhaps a legacy project for our children one day. It’s been a lot of fun and it’s been an interesting hybrid between the two companies that share the space here. There are many crossovers and it creates a positive atmosphere between the two. Who knows where we will be in a few years.”
Marly Graham is an intern at The Sheridan Press.