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Who are we, anyway?

Chantal & Louise

When we’re asked, who/what is “Strings and Things?, I automatically say that Louise is the one to call if you need anything. After all, she’s the friendly face of our “mobile music boutique” at the Ottawa Youth Orchestra group class days and events, as well as that “Suzuki Mom” who was at both the National Capital Suzuki School of Music and Ottawa Suzuki Strings. Although I’ve staffed the boutique at NCSSM and other events in the past few years, I’m happy to do the backend work here, such as the bookkeeping, website and social media managing and helping Louise with supplier accounts and orders, etc. Especially, now that I’m managing these things from my new home in Toronto, it’s been really up to my business partner (and her amazing, supportive husband Rolly) who’ve been doing the front line work for us in the past few months.

Yesterday, I attended the QuickBooks Connect 2017 conference here in Toronto as a way to help me gain more insight into how we can make S&T even better for our customers and our partners in the future. I met a lot of other small business owners, self-employed people, bookkeepers and accounting pros who use QBO or Intuit and for one day of this 3-day event, we rubbed elbows together and shared some really interesting perspectives.  I have to give a shoutout to Hamza Khan for his “Personal Branding” breakout session for Small Business. His ideas really hit home for me, and the #DrakeEffect presentation alone was such an eye opener but this question he put to us of  “who are you?” has been playing around in my head ever since.

I mean, we’re not just what we sell and the services we provide are we? Everyone, be you entrepreneur, individual or organization is unique of course but it got me thinking about just how unique our little enterprise really is. I mean, it was an idea borne over 10 years ago from our predecessor, Anna Gut, who got S&T going with just a few sets of violin strings and Suzuki method books made available during her long breaks between her daughters’ group classes. When she sold it  to Louise, in 2013, for a long time, and still even now once in awhile, people still ask for Anna.

Our “brand” is the promise of a friendly, knowledgable, fellow-nurturer of musicians who will always have what you need, be it a string or a thing or many times, not even a thing but just an an ear to listen and share the amazing experience of raising kids with music.

Even though my kids are grown and off in their own directions, I still feel privileged to share this with other parents and teachers through our little business. Last month I was set up at the SuzukiMusic Play-in for the first time in a couple of years and was so overwhelmed with the warm welcome I received from old friends and new. I look forward to another exciting year ahead.

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Valentine Instrument Sale!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Strings and Things!

 

All of our current in-stock instruments are on sale until Valentine’s Day!

At this time of year, kids can have big growth spurts and may outgrow their current fractional instrument. We have many in-stock, gently used violins of all sizes, as well as cellos and viola which we’ve marked down, but just until Valentine’s Day! ( Or only while supplies last.)

Are you thinking about serenading your sweetheart? We also have ukuleles and gig bag packages on sale in Concert or Tenor size. See our website under Instruments for the full range of available instruments.

“If music be the food of love, play on…” ~ William Shakespeare

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1 week ago
Who are we, anyway? – Strings and Things

Here's a thing I wrote after a fun day of introspection and learning at #QBConnect in Toronto yesterday.

When we’re asked, who/what is “Strings and Things?, I automatically say that Louise is the one to call if you need anything. After all, she’s the friendly face of our “mobile music ... See more

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3 weeks ago

Setting up at the SuzukiMusic Play-in today. See you there! National Capital Suzuki School of Music, Ottawa, Canada

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1 month ago
Music Sudoku Activity for Students

For those "I forgot my (instrument/music/bow)" days...

Print the free Music Sudoku activity, and challenge your students to solve the puzzle!

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1 month ago
Strings and Things

Happy Halloween 👻! Here's a throwback to 2015, when it landed on a Saturday sales day.

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1 month ago

It's that time of year! As the temperature drops and the furnace comes on, the humidity drops quickly too. From cello to guitar to the smallest Suzuki-sized violins, we have what you need to keep ... See more

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1 month ago

Not just any Saturday it's #SmallBizSaturday!
Thanks to the people in our Ottawa music education circle who seek out and support our small enterprise. We love to serve you and we appreciate the ... See more

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2 months ago

Happy Thanksgiving!

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2 months ago

Regular group classes are back at both Ottawa Youth Orchestra Academy and National Capital Suzuki School of Music, Ottawa, Canada and we'll be serving both schools on Saturdays again this year. Look ... See more

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3 months ago

Happy Back to School everyone! 👩‍🏫

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Play something for Mom today…

Happy Mother’s Day to all the music moms out there! If that sounds like your mom, why not pick up your instrument and play something for her today? One of the best Mother’s Day gifts I ever got was when my girls put on a little private concert in the garden. They had just finished their first full year of learning their instruments and were so proud to play their Book 1 pieces for me. They had even made a little program.

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I was reminded yesterday, how busy moms and dads are when their kids are that age; running from the final concert, to another recital, or to the soccer game afterwards and then trying to make it to the older one’s play that evening. No kidding, these were actual people’s schedule yesterday. When we’re in the thick of it, maybe we don’t realize how quickly all this business will be over. Enjoy these precious times, moms, and hopefully a day off-schedule today.

 

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A new journey begins…

We’re excited to announce the addition of a new partner at Strings and Things! Louise Aubrey and Chantal LeBlanc have teamed up and are now co-owners. We’re looking forward to providing simultaneous on-site sales at our school locations on Saturdays as well as Monday evenings. Our “store” is always open if you’d like to contact us to pre-order items for delivery at group classes/rehearsals anytime, and we now offer service in french!