Finding a niche is what its all about in the business world, and David Evans thinks hes found just that in Kingstowne. Hes opened the Kingstowne Acoustic Music Store to get the creative juices flowing in this part of Alexandria. Owning a music store has been a passion of mine, Evans said.
The store opened in early April amidst a shopping center with several restaurants, a cat clinic, a bookstore, Starbucks and Giant Foods. At first glance, the exterior is just a sign and big pane window but once inside, there are guitars, banjos, mandolins, violins, and accessories adorning the walls. Several shelves contain music books and items of all types.
Although Evans and his wife Jackie have had the store open for only a few weeks, he thinks the affluent, well educated clientele who live in the Kingstowne area of Alexandria will embrace his dream. So far, more people have walked through the doors than he expected.
I think theyre receptive to music in general, he said of the community surrounding the store. Clientele is mostly middle aged to young adults, he said. Lessons in all of the instruments are available and due to the amount of enrollments so far, were looking to bring on additional staff, he said.
In the past few years, the area has seen the demise of several music stores in the area, starting with the fire at Venemans Music in August 1996. The store rebuilt, and struggled for a few years until finally closing in April 2000. Then Mars mega music store opened in Springfield Plaza, but closed a few years later, leaving a void in the Springfield-Franconia area for musicians. One evening last October, when the Evans were sitting down at dinner, David Evans grabbed a napkin and pen and started hashing out their plans. He was in the mortgage industry at the time, and picked a good time to get out [of that business], Evans said.
One afternoon around lunch a customer came in toting a guitar, with a familiar request. She needed new strings, and handed it to Evans. I havent played for a really long time, she said, but wants to start. Evans put on a new set of guitar strings for $15.
Evans is a bluegrass musician who got his start with a plastic guitar. I found a way to make music on it, he said. Since then, hes mastered the banjo, and has hooked up with the the Capitol Area Bluegrass & Old Music Association.
I built the store around my bluegrass friends, he said, some of whom attended his grand opening jam session on April 21. Evans plans on holding jam sessions about twice a month. Its an opportunity for musicians to get together, he said. Saturday, May 12, is their next planned jam session, but anytime someone comes in and grabs an instrument, the talk and tunes flow like water.
I just cant say how impressed I am with this area, he added.