West Music's Artisan String Shoppe is Thriving

November  04, 2013

People who play the violin, viola, cello, and bass no longer have to go to Chicago, Des Moines, or other large cities to buy a new instrument. This fall, West Music opened an Artisan String Shoppe at its flagship store in Coralville.

Christina Gentzsch is West Music's Orchestral Educational Sales Consultant. She started working for the company three years ago. And about the same time, West began taking stringed instruments on a tour of its six locations, including the Quad Cities. She says the last one was very successful, so the company decided the market could sustain a string shop with instruments year-round.

To sell the stringed instruments, and keep them in a controlled environment, Gentzsch says West built a separate room for the shop in the Coralville store. Many of its elements, such as the floor, are made from local materials.

West Music also employs a master luthier who repairs, adjusts, and builds stringed instruments.  Gentzsch and the luthier buy some of the shop's instruments in the US, and others from Europe and China. Their customers include musicians, orchestras, schools, and colleges all over Iowa and Illinois.

Photo: West Music Artisan String Shoppe, Coralville, IA (submitted)