Monday, 25 March 2019

Another year, many more pianos...

Spring 2019 news

Somehow we're well into 2019 and this is the first blog of the year! We're delighted to say that we've never been busier and our team continues to grow.

The team expands
Our Man Friday, Mark, who helps with casework is still incredibly helpful, coming in once a week to speed up repairs and is enjoying developing his refinishing skills, as well as burnishing brassware, reassembling cases and fitting backcloths. We still undertake veneering and polishing work on other pieces of furniture - skills honed on large grand piano lids are always in demand for dining tables and so on!

Our tuner Tom Read is in great demand with private clients and venues alike; he's currently with us 1-2 days a week but is planning to increase his availability for us this summer, which is very exciting. He will shortly be taking on the dubious honour of booking in tunings, so we hope to have slightly more organised systems in place very soon! Tom is also a skilled technician so is able to undertake minor repairs on the road and advise on larger jobs. When he's not out tuning, he loves coming into the workshop for a day or two, helping Bill restore the numerous pianos always awaiting repair.

Pixie loves to help Tom sort out his tuning schedule...
Finally, (and continuing the part time, self-employed theme!), we were delighted to welcome Henry Perry to the team late last year. Henry has two degrees, including a Masters in piano performance, and is keen to learn the other side of the keyboard as a complement to his recital and teaching work. He's already enormously helpful on the technical side, and is restoring an upright piano for his own use in his spare time - finished in Farrow and Ball dark grey, which looks fabulous. The only downside is that we're all reluctant to play in front of clients now when Henry is with us! We're all far too rusty these days, so we're only too happy to let him demonstrate when clients aren't experienced pianists.

Henry and Tom are also going to help us develop a proper client database so that we're far less reliant on memory and scraps of paper - which, although a huge challenge for them, will hopefully be a great bonus to both us and our long-suffering customers!

Sales company
Although piano sales are a comparatively small part of our business, the administrative side can be tricky to manage so we've been advised to create a new company specifically for sales. This has just been done and we're awaiting new business cards and invoices for that side of things. The new company is called W Young Piano Sales Ltd and will run seamlessly alongside the current Tuning and Restoration business.

We were delighted to agree the sale of our gorgeous Bluthner grand the other week.
This restored Bluthner boudoir grand in rosewood came from the BBC's Maida Vale Studios, where it had been used for many years for recordings. It will go to a new home in the French Alps in the next few weeks.
A Canadian couple living in London have earmarked this ex-BBC beauty for their home in the French Alps, which is currently under construction. We will all be sad to see it go but it couldn't wish for a more glamorous new home!

I keep meaning to get some 'team' photos on the website and blog and hopefully this will happen soon. However, in the meantime the office is as busy and chaotic as ever. I'm hoping that Tom taking over tuning bookings will free me up for more of my own work as well as making it easier to stay on top of repair estimates and scheduling.

It's wonderful to see the sun this week and Spring finally feels as though it's here. Working from home in the glorious Devon countryside is always a huge blessing, but never more so than at this time of year!

Does your piano need help?
We'll be back soon with more news, but in the meantime if your piano needs any TLC, from a sticky note and fine tune to a full rebuild, do get in touch. Our additional pairs of hands mean that we've brought the waiting list for large repairs down from over a year to about 8 months now, and we're hoping to refine that even more. In the meantime, we can usually squeeze smaller jobs in within a month or so.

Many thanks to all our valued clients for continuing to trust us with your heirlooms - whether it's a priceless ancestral instrument or an auction bargain brought here on a cattle truck (that happens more often than you might think!), we're always delighted to help.

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