Local musicians, Music Row artists and Belmont students will have another place to jam when BLVD Music Shop opens on at the corner of Belmont Boulevard and Bernard Avenue on Aug. 20.
Seth Whiting, a senior entrepreneurship major from Portland, Maine, has joined Eric Guroff, a junior entrepreneurship and music business double major from Pittsburgh, Penn., to open an instrument consignment store that will host in-store jam sessions to help local artists and students increase their visibility.
Whiting, who plays the drums, guitar, bass and keyboard, said Buzzy’s Candy Store inspired him to become a student entrepreneur. He teamed with Guroff, who had plans to sell strings from his dorm room, and their business plan earned them $10,000 from Belmont’s Center for Entrepreneurship.
“So I started thinking of business concepts what would work and what kind of business Belmont students would go to,” he said. “At least half of the Belmont student population plays instruments and breaks guitar strings and needs drum sticks. I’m hoping that a lot of people right across the street at Bongo Java, neighborhood musicians, famous people will see the store, be interested and walk over.”
This summer Whiting stalked Craigslist looking for instrument consignors. BLVD Music Shop will allow consignors to set their own prices and determine when to drop the prices of the instruments, and it will also take 15 percent of the consignment price.
The shop will sell accessories, such as sheet music and guitar picks, at retail price as well as second-hand music instruments. With BLVD, Whiting and Guroff plan to push beyond the role of the conventional music shop and post video of local musicians demoing its instruments on social media websites.
“Musicians can promote their music at the same time that word gets out about new instruments available in the store,” Whiting said. “Likewise, BLVD will be a space for musicians to jam to their heart’s content.”
BLVD Music Shop will host an open house Aug. 20 with performances by Bruin Publishing songwriters. An Aug. 21 event features Sons of Lions, Jordan Hull and Couched. Grand opening festivities conclude on Aug. 22 with appearances by Evan P. Donohue, Reid Magette, Big Surr, and Diarrhea Planet. All shows are free and open to the public. It will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and closed Sundays.
The shop takes the former home of Buzzy’s Candy Store, which relocated to a bigger suite two doors down. Owners Areej Rabie, Julia Cecere and Mandy Strader are adding a new product to their lineup of gummies, chocolates, sours and vintage candies.
“We’re going to make a huge transition and open with our new transition in late August or early September,” said Cecere, who said she could not disclose the new product because the company was finalizing details.