[Editor’s Note: This Q&A interview with New Canaan Music owner Phil Williams kicks off our holiday series spotlighting local businesses, running daily through Christmas.]
The holiday shopping has officially arrived on Main and Elm Streets downtown with Black Friday. We dropped into New Canaan Music at 90 Main St. to talk to owner Phil Williams about what holiday deals he and his staff are offering at the popular store. (Williams himself is a New Canaan resident who serves on the Carriage Barn Arts Center board of directors, and has served in the past as a member of the Planning & Zoning Commission and New Canaan Chamber of Commerce board member.) Here’s a transcription of our conversation.
New Canaanite: For people who don’t know New Canaan Music, tell them about your store. It turned 10 years old this year, right?
Phil Williams: It’s our 10th year here. We’re really excited that we’ve made this milestone. We’re still doing what we do as a part of the community, and we feel we’ve earned the respect of the community.
For people who haven’t wandered in here, how do you describe what you offer in terms of sales as well as services/lessons?
We’re hands-on service. I’m the owner, I’m here in the store every day. Gabby’s here, and Claire. We really pay attention to our customers. We’re receptive to their needs and try to help them find what they’re looking for. A lot of times people don’t know what they’re looking for. We try to steer them in the right direction. We do that with our lessons as well. We always kind of have an initial informal consult—not really a ‘consult’—but we feel out what they’re looking to do. Everybody has different goals when they’re learning an instrument.
And talk to me about what you have going on for this holiday season. Any special deals you’ve got to offer? Any new products you want to spotlight?
We’ve got a lot of new products that are always coming in. New amplifiers. We just got a busker amp, a lower-priced performance kind of amp—one line for guitar, one line for vocal handheld. Rechargeable. Really nifty thing. A lot of electronic drums, which are really popular just because they’re not nearly as loud as acoustic drums. They fold up smaller. We’re having a big sale for Black Friday. We’ve got quite a few instruments, all brand new. Manufacturer’s warranty. We’re doing 35% off everything in our front window. That’ll be going on all weekend and that’s a big big thing. We just need to clear out space.
What’s it like being a retail business owner in this community during the holiday time? It seems like we have this special downtown and you have certain events like the Holiday Stroll that put the spotlight on local merchants. What’s it like being part of the business community here?
It really is wonderful. I mean, there’s a, you know, we all kind of stick together. Everybody’s here. The Holiday Stroll is always a big fun event that we always look forward to. We’ll have an open house on that night. We’re performing, some instructors and myself, at the Holiday Stroll to kick it off, and then afterwards our doors are open. We’d love visitors to come by and see us, see what we have, chat.
Anything else you’d like to say to our readers as we come into the holiday shopping season?
That we’re here, we have what you need, our prices are competitive and we’d love to see everybody.
New Canaan Music at 90 Main St. is open 10 to 5:30 Monday through Friday, and 10 to 5 on Saturdays, and noon to 5 on Sundays. It’s open seven days per week until Christmas.