Photo: Jeanie Stephens |The Telegraph
ALTON — A new brick-and-mortar music store officially opened since plans were delayed, providing a convenient, friendly shopping experience to regional musicians and the community.
Owners Jared and Jenny Unfried of the Alton Music Exchange, at 556 E. Broadway in Downtown Alton, were planning for the business since last fall, originally looking to open this past spring, but the Unfrieds are just as excited now to offer a new specialized experience to all.
With new and used music gear ranging from instruments, amplifiers and guitar pedals to accessories, such as guitar strings, cables and cases, the store operates as a place for customers to buy, sell and trade music equipment and other gear.
“It looks nice,” said Jared Unfried’s wife and business partner, Jenny Unfried. “When I come in now, it’s a music store. Before, it seemed like we needed more stuff.”
By encouraging local musicians to bring in guitars, amps and whatever else they might have for trade or sale, the couple hopes to build a hub for local musicians and strengthen the local music community.
“I don’t want to slow down,” said Jared Unfried, now that the shop is officially open and ready for business after months of preparation. “I’ve got to keep moving. It will always be a work in progress.”
The couple is happy to see everything come together.
“We’re looking for inventory,” said Jared Unfried, noting a good selection of guitar pedals and amps, but needing more guitars. “Our consignment is 30 percent up to $1,000, 25 percent over $1,000 and 20 percent over $1,500.”
The shop also provides musicians and bands a place to sell their albums, CDs and other merchandise.
“People aren’t playing as many shows as they normally would and this is a place to sell their merch all of the time,” Unfried said. “We’re not taking a percentage or commission. It’s just a place for them to do that.”
It’s also a safe place for those in the community to conduct marketplace trades and transactions during regular store hours, which are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The store is closed Sunday and Monday.
Locals ordering their equipment online can even have items shipped to Alton Music Exchange, if needed, although Unfried reassured customers that he can order anything online that any other store can order and ship.
“Just notify us, let us know it’s coming and what day it’s coming,” said Jenny Unfried, noting that her husband also can offer advice and answer questions about guitar pedals and other gear.
Overall, the Unfrieds look to grow the business over time, planning to increase inventory, provide lessons, hold small meetups and other events to engage the community.
“As soon as we get one thing done, we’ve got to look at the next thing that needs to be done,” Jenny Unfried said.
For more information, visit the Alton Music Exchange Facebook page or call 618-433-9252.