Business: Don’s Music Shoppe
Location: 5808 Edgewater Ave., Ventnor Heights
Owner: Don Ellsworth, 37, of Ventnor
Employees: Owner operated
Don’s Music Shoppe is a consignment shop, a little different from a traditional music shop. What’s cool about it is you never know what type of instrument is going to come in the door. My inventory changes fairly regularly.
At the moment, I have a few acoustic guitars, a few electric guitars, some pro audio equipment such as amps and speakers, as well as a Roland keyboard and various professional audio processors.
I also try to keep in stock some accessories such as guitar picks, guitar strings, drum sticks, instrument and microphone cables, those kinds of things. Just so people don’t have to go off the island to pick up something that’s not very expensive. I know what it’s like to have to travel 20 miles to pick up a $5 or $6 item.
I’m also giving music lessons — piano, guitar and singing lessons. I’ve already got a couple of guitar students and a couple of piano students. I’m offering a half-hour lesson for piano or guitar for $30, and $35 for voice. I’m hoping they’ll want to sign up for a package of lessons, which will drop that price per lesson.
I’m also a working musician who plays in various restaurants in the area and at the casinos.
I’ve been entertaining for 20 years, since I got out of high school, and have been writing songs as well.
Even though I was born in Atlantic City and spent a lot of my early life here, I lived in Vermont and went to high school and college there. I graduated from Castleton State College with a degree in music. A lot of my early performance experience was in the ski lodges up there.
I’ve won performance awards in Nashville, gotten honorable mention in a Country Music Television song writing contest and have opened for Darryl Worley at the House of Blues in Atlantic City. I currently play at Sofia Restaurant in Margate on Thursday nights.
Entry: I saw that some of the gigs were changing or not as plentiful, and I saw this rental space was available. I thought the consignment aspect of it would be a little different take on the business and reduce the amount of overhead for the business.
The future: If someone wanted to explore songwriting, I’d like to offer that as well.