St. Louis, MO - October, 2017 -- Self-storage has really become part of American culture.
Almost 1-in-10 households rent self-storage units.
There’s even a TV show called Storage Wars that has become the most popular reality show of all time.
But, would you ever have thought that a violin maker in St. Louis, MO would end up using self-storage to help manage and grow his business?
Well…that’s exactly what Gateway Strings Violin Shop is doing at Beyond Self Storage, a new state-of-the-art self-storage facility that opened on McCausland Avenue in St. Louis this summer.
Gateway Strings Violin Shop is a locally-owned, small business that services, rents, and sells violins, cases, and accessories throughout the St. Louis area, but doesn’t have a storefront, so renting a storage unit has turned out to be the perfect solution to help manage the business.
“I use the unit at Beyond Self Storage primarily to store instruments for my rental program,” said Michael Kocher, owner of Gateway Strings Violin Shop. “It’s an ideal storage facility for my violin business because it’s affordable, it’s climate controlled, and I’m able to drive my vehicle inside to load and unload, which is something I wasn’t able to do at other facilities,” he added.
Gateway Strings Violin Shop has been in business for eight years, but Kocher has been making violins for over thirty years and he’s been repairing and making instruments in the Saint Louis area for twenty years, so he’s one of the region’s premier violin experts.
The shop offers a wide range of instruments for sale on their website, from student-level to professional, and they have a very affordable rental program that includes free delivery and pick-up service.
“Most of the time, I visit customers in the St. Louis area, even as far away as Champaign-Urbana, Illinois,” Kocher said. “I pick up instruments and bows at the customer’s location, bring them home to work on them, and then deliver them once the service-work is complete, so there isn’t a compelling need to rent out expensive office or retail space and having a nice, modern self-storage facility with extended access hours works out perfectly for me,” he went on to explain.
This kind of personalized service has helped Gateway Strings Violin Shop build a reputation as one of the leading violin shops in the area.
Gateway Strings services all four of the instruments in the violin family – the violin, viola, cello, and bass. The shop also provides the important service of re-hairing bows – the hair on a bow has a major effect on the the instrument produces and it needs to be replaced about once a year.
Kocher lives in the Dogtown section of St. Louis, only blocks from Beyond Self Storage on McCausland Avenue, so he was happy to see a new self-storage facility open in a location so convenient for him, but he points out, “I’m also able to use the conference room at Beyond Self Storage when I have to meet with customers to look at repairs or do a demo, which has been invaluable for my business given I don’t have a showroom.”
Customers are able to schedule a time in advance to meet with Kocher at the storage facility and it has worked out great so far.
Kocher added, “customers sometimes wonder about meeting me at a self-storage facility, but, once they pull into the parking lot, they see how nice Beyond Self Storage is, and they’re always very impressed with the business center.”
Self Storage Director of Operations
Photo(source: Northpoint Development / Beyond Self Storage)