Ace Music first joined us as tenants at The Thought Lot in April of this year, becoming our first retail location open to the public. As retailers and consigners of guitars, amps, strings, and a menagerie of other music products, opening their doors within an actual music venue only made sense. However, Ace didn't get their start at the Lot. With their five-year anniversary approaching in late August, we'd like to share the history of Ace Music, and the path that led them to where they are today.
Ace initially set up shop in 2010 in Newville, less than 15 miles away from their current Shippensburg location. Starting with a small inventory of about 10 guitars, one brand of strings, and a few other miscellaneous items, Ace worked to carefully pick and choose a selection of products that they were knowledgeable of, and felt comfortable selling to customers. "In this way, we managed to slowly but steadily to find out what people were looking for, and for a time established what we unofficially became - a music convenience store," Ace Music's Sara Cooper says of the shop's early beginnings.
Although their Newville location garnered them a loyal customer base, Ace still struggled to make a big impact in the public eye. "Leading up to the last month or so of being there, we still had people coming in saying they 'only just found out we were there,' despite any amount of advertising." However, Sara admits, it may have just been due to the Newville shop's "less than obvious" location. The building was situated back away from the street, and resembled more of a small house than a storefront. Though Ace still made an effort to be seen with a number of signs and banners.
Becoming a part of The Thought Lot community has been an absolutely invaluable opportunity for us.
Eventually, it was time for a change of scenery. After over four years in Newville, Ace packed up shop and moved to The Thought Lot, where they re-opened for business on April 1st, 2015. "Becoming a part of The Thought Lot community has been an absolutely invaluable opportunity for us, having a large influence on our way of doing business, moving forward. We are in direct contact with our customer base at shows, be it with those that are playing, or those attending that might be inspired to play," Sara says regarding the move. She also states that Ace has been able to expand a great deal in the short time since relocating, however, they're still taking baby steps. "It's still a slow process, as we are familiarizing ourselves with an entirely new customer base, while retaining a considerable portion of our original base before the move."
It's obvious that Ace has come a long way since opening their doors in 2010, and it seems apparent that they're bound to go even further. Some might say they've beaten the odds as a small business finding success in a small town. On August 29th, The Thought Lot will be home to Ace Music's anniversary show, commemorating a five-year milestone for their business. As a way of saying "thank you" for helping their business progress to where it is today, the concert will showcase a handful of musicians that Ace has met and worked with throughout the years. For a full lineup, details, and other news, visit the Ace Music 5 Year Anniversary Show Facebook page. Tickets are available online via our Eventbrite page, and will also be available for purchase at the door.