Cool Violin Purse -un, Ruth Brons, Takes a Violin Shop Tour
This entry was posted on November 30, 2015.
"Bow Hold Buddies" on Calif. & Colorado Violin Shop Tour
with Cool Violin Purse -un No. 27
Ruth Brons is a Violin Purse owner and one of my business mentors. She uses her violin purse as a gig bag on stage during holiday concerts. Ruth maintains a full violin studio, free-lances in the greater New York classical music scene, and is the entrepreneur of the award winning business, Things 4 Strings LLC. When I was first introduced to her, she told me about her experiences both with manufacturing and with getting products into each violin shop. See our first interview with her at: Violettes’ Exclusive Interview with Things 4 Strings Owner, Ruth Brons.
Things 4 Strings© accessories for beginning string players were developed in 2008 with the imagination and determination of violist/violinist Ruth Brons, and her mother, cellist, Martha Brons. Initially developed for students in their own studios, Things 4 Strings© Bow Hold Buddies© for violin/viola and Cellophant© for cello teaching aids speed learning and optimize valuable instruction time. They make easy the typically difficult to learn, but critical for success, bow hold technique.
- Violettes: Your business, Things 4 Strings LLC, has come a long way in the last few years. Can you give us an idea of the size and how many wholesalers, retailers and countries you are in today?
Ruth Brons: Gosh - we are growing every week! We currently serve customers in over 40 countries through our distribution network. Now partnering with our State of New Jersey's Business Action Center, we will continue to expand service to our worldwide customer base.
- Violettes: What has been your biggest growth challenge? Do you any have new ideas coming?
Ruth Brons: Re-tooling for higher production volumes is a huge investment challenge we have been managing the last couple of years. As for new ideas, we are looking forward very soon announcing a project we have been working on since the spring for the benefit of classroom string teachers.
- Violettes: You keep winning awards. Tell us about them.
Ruth Brons: We have been very honored to have been recognized for our innovative and passionate work in music education. Important from a business standpoint, our Intellectual Property has been awarded patent protection by the governments of the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, Australia and the European Union. Locally, we were named the Most Inventive “The West Orange Invention Lives Challenge" , of West Orange, NJ , the hometown of Thomas Edison and birthplace of thousands of his inventions. Last year we were cited for Excellence and Leadership as a Top Leading Woman Entrepreneur of New Jersey. Both this year and last year we were honored at the Annual New Jersey Family Business of the Year Awards hosted by Rothman Institute of Entreprenurial Studies of Fairleigh Dickinson University. Very meaningful to us is the following award given to us last November by our peers of the American String Teachers Association: Kudos Award, for "tremendous impact" in the string education world.
- Violettes: You traveled during the summer presenting your products. Were you a vendor or demonstrator at music camps...?
Ruth Brons: I have traveled, both here in the United States and abroad, quite a bit for Things 4 Strings LLC over the last 6 years. Usually the trips are to support our dealers or distributors by exhibiting at a music industry or music education event or conference. But this summer's travels were a bit different. As our accessories were presented at the Performing Arts Medical Association Conference in Aspen, we started our trip in Colorado to make sure this fantastic group of medical and arts professionals correctly understood our products -- and then we just ran with the idea of a fun dealer tour. We enjoyed visiting over 50 violin and music shops in Colorado and California! No two businesses were remotely the same, except to serve the musicians of our community.
- Violettes: How are you balancing the growing business with your teaching studio? How many students do you have? Are you mainly a Suzuki studio?
Ruth Brons: Things 4 Strings LLC absolutely grew out of my life in music. Teaching and playing is what feeds my soul. So I will always make room for that in my life, even though I must limit my teaching to less than half my pre-Things 4 Strings LLC teaching schedule, and limit my performing engagements to gigs convenient to my calendar. I currently work with 35 private students each week in my primarily Suzuki violin studio, and am currently looking forward to five holiday orchestra concerts next month.
- Violettes: What is your favorite thing to do? Do you have time for it anymore!
Ruth Brons: I love spending time with my mother, who two years ago relocated to a house in my neighborhood.My husband and I very much enjoy walks around the lake in our local county park, and (never enough) B&B get-aways.