B’s Music Shop: The melody on Mission

B’s Music Shop, located at 613 N. Mission St., is a unique do-it-all store. Everyone from seasoned music veterans to newbies ripe with potential stroll through the doors to consult with the staff.

Brian Hansen, founder and owner of the shop, has always had an interest in music. He credits his interest in music to the tape recorder his parents got him as a child, his fondness growing with each track’s play and replay.

Hansen started working in a music shop at the age of 16. By the time he was 20, he had opened his own, citing unemployment as his inspiration.

“Everyone thought I was crazy,” Hansen said.

Ten years later, his doubters remain silenced as the entrepreneurial spirit of B’s Music Shop continues to grow.

“When I started the business, everyone told me that most businesses fail within six months,” Hansen said. “When I made five years, everyone told me that was the hallmark of success.”

While B’s has made its mark, the shop itself also has a long history. It started out as the warehouse of an alcohol distributor in the 1930s and eventually became a Christian bookstore before evolving into what it is today. The back of the store — where nowadays lessons are held — used to be an old freezer.

The building is much larger on the inside than it appears to passersby on the street. To Hansen’s delight, customers are typically in shock of the store’s size, resulting in a good first impression.

Hansen refers to his business as a “machine.” Through trial and error, he has developed a nearly self-sufficient store. The machine survives thanks to the staff on hand including Hansen’s wife and to the steady business the Mount Pleasant area provides.

B’s Music Shop offers a variety of services to its customers.

“We do repairs and lessons mainly,” Hansen said, but also added that general sales account for 80 percent of the store’s business.

The shop currently provides lessons in guitar, vocals, percussion and piano with five separate rooms. While the number of students grows each month, the owner hopes to expand the shop’s lesson scope and is looking to add a fiddle and violin instructor to the staff in the near future.

“We have a pretty legitimate lesson program,” he said. “I basically want a school of music here, and I’ve been trying to push toward that.”

Hansen explained the shop’s potential direction and its day to day workings. As he delicately unfolded the process of selecting stocking procedures and instrument brands, his passion became apparent.

“I just want to do a good job, and I want people to be happy,” Hansen said. “I want them to feel like we are honest with them.”

Scott Vogel knows a thing or two about B’s business practices. He is one of the shop’s most valuable clients with several guitar purchases under his belt. Vogel says the staff attempt to identify the client’s musical identity and find its counterpart in a piece of equipment.

“From a music standpoint, they do quality work when they repair things,” Vogel said.  “They stand behind their products and they know what they’re talking about.”

This is exactly the review Hansen looks for as he draws up big plans for the music shop. He says he takes the time to plan things out, and he wants them to be right the first time.

This year marks a memorable milestone for Hansen and B’s Music as he celebrated his store’s 10-year anniversary this past June.

“It seems like I’ve been doing it forever,” Hansen said.  “You just kind of put your nose to the grindstone and all of a sudden you wake up and it worked.”

Hansen contended that after reaching the five-year mark in his business, he knew he could be successful. Once he reached 10 years, he said, there was no stopping the business.

Photos by Neil Barris