Belmont music lovers and enthusiasts now have another hangout to call home on Belmont Boulevard.
BLVD Music Shop, a consignment store and part-time venue, opened one of the campus business spaces in late August, and its presence in the community and popularity among students is a sure sign that the unique business plan will continue to thrive, said senior and co-founder Seth Whiting.
Whiting, along with junior Eric Guroff, started BLVD with multiple visions. The shop’s main purpose is to be a music consignment store for used instruments and other equipment and to hold in-house jam sessions and promote local acts.
Both Whiting and Guroff had seen needs in Belmont’s music community before deciding to pitch their ideas separately to run a student-run business.
Whiting had taken notice of the lack of music supplies on campus, while Guroff was starting his own business selling strings out of his dorm room.
With the guidance of Dr. Jeff Cornwall, director of the Center of Entrepreneurship, the two teamed up to combine their proposals and won the opportunity to fill the space made available with the departure of BLVD Photography’s.
The shop’s consignment element is meant to work with the ease and freedom that online classified site Craigslist provides. Sellers name their own price and are free to raise or lower that price when they feel the need. There’s also a plan for BLVD to enter these instruments on Craigslist as well as sell them in store.
Unlike other consignment businesses that charge 30-40 percent commission on sales, BLVD will collect only 15 percent, Whiting said.
“We want to strive to be a part of Belmont’s musical core,” Whiting said.
The shop has also started hosting genre-specialized music networking nights. Every Wednesday since early October, BLVD has held a networking evening categorized into Rock, Urban/Pop, Country, and Christian genres. Students are given a nametag stating their instrument(s) of choice, and they’re free to converse with other musicians.
The meaning behind the nights is to connect musicians in the same genres. Whiting said that he hopes that connections will bring them back to the store during BLVD’s designated evening jam session hours.
The shop also holds concerts to promote Nashville’s local music scene.
“We want to be involved in every step of the music-making process,” Whiting said.
BLVD has held performances featuring Big Surr, Reid Magette, Diarrhea Planet and Evan P. Donahue and has also held a CMA Writers Night.
In the future, BLVD plans to implement a string delivery service on campus catering to recording sessions or late night jams.