For about a year Al Myers has religiously placed a sign on the sidewalk of Winter Street near the “short-cut alley” to let potential customers know the existence of his music accessory shop.
He opened the business, Cross Strings, 11 1/2 W. Winter St., Suite A, in October 2015, but attracting foot traffic to the 600-square-foot store is a challenge despite low overhead costs.
“A lot of people don’t know this alley exists,” he said. “I’m off the beaten path.”
Sometimes Myers will not see anyone take a step in his store from Tuesday through Thursday with his busier days during the weekends. Myers’ store features an eclectic mix of guitars, amps and other instruments with seventy percent of his inventory on consignment. He also provides a teacher for instrument lessons at his store.
“There’s not a huge way to market in downtown,” he said.
Usually, the mom and pop shops take two to three years to become established, Myers said, but he’s not sure if he’ll wait that long. Myers stretches time by helping his wife with her coffee shop, Choffey’s, 17 W. Winter St., and as an assistant pastor for River Community Church, 2419 U.S. Route 42, in Delaware.
Ministry work is important, Myers said, and runs his music store on Christian principles. The store is named after the cross used to crucify Jesus Christ, the central figure of Christianity.
Myers said he get’s a full range of people of all ages that come to the store with the help from social media. He’s found successes by selling cigar box guitar kits and ukuleles.
“You have to find your niche especially when you are a small business,” he said.
Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.