New Instrument Repair Shop Opens On Square
For any musician, having access to reliable instrument repair is – well, instrumental. UNT sweethearts and musicians Jen Guzman and Tony Barrette saw Denton’s need for a local wind instrument accessory and repair shop - and after years of dreaming and months of planning, TB Winds was officially opened last Friday.
TB Winds has always existed in a sense – Barrette, a UNT alum and former member of the saxophone studio, has had an independent repair business for some time. Friends and clients remark on his expertise in repairing and bringing out the best in the instruments he services. His wife, Jen Guzman, is a current member of the UNT clarinet studio and active member of the newly minted UNT music entrepreneurship program. With their combined expertise, hopes for a concrete storefront,and the opportunity for a loft on the north side of the Denton square, the plans for TB Winds were set into motion during this past summer. Following the couple’s honeymoon, they came across the loft on W Oak St and fell in love – previously unsure if they would stay in Denton, now there was no doubt now that they would begin their business in the city where they had studied and taught music for years.
“We just felt like there was a market need for it,” Guzman says, explaining the edge she and her husband possess with their first-hand knowledge of what students and musicians are wanting to buy and test-drive. “We know what people are looking for because that’s what we’ve looked for.” In addition to a display of reeds (hand-built by Barrette), TB Winds also offers the opportunity to try out different mouthpieces, ligatures and even plastic Legère reeds. The ability to test-play wind accessories sets their repair shop apart from other music services in Denton – for students especially, the opportunity to try new equipment is relegated by interactions between professors, who in turn have to facilitate the process of checking out test parts to students. “The value of trying a few different mouthpieces of the same model is indispensable,” Guzman explains – and her words ring true. Every mouthpiece is different, and finding the perfect fit for each student is not always possible in the confines of a 50 minute lesson, even when assisted by a professor.
Guzman and Barrette hope to expand the inventory of TB Winds to include more accessories for brass and double-reed players. The store began with what Guzman describes as the “bare-bones of needs within [the saxophone and clarinet] studios,” and she even envisions an entire wall of the 1890’s loft covered in instruments. “The space is beautiful, so even if you have no need for repair, come on up and get the best view of the courthouse,” Guzman insists. Repairs at TB Winds span nearly every instrument family, and are available for students and professionals of any level of expertise.
TB Winds could have not been possible, the couple explain, without the help of UNT’s Music Entrepreneurship program and of the ineffable Dr. Fabiana Clauré, whose first year of residency has included having UNT on Billboard’s 2017 list of 15 Best Music Business Schools. The couple also received guidance from Stoke Denton, a coworking space and entrepreneur center where innovators can go to receive help in forming their business ideas; their mentor, Ndaba, has been running a business for 20 years that aids small businesses in getting off the ground. Without these entities guiding them along the way, Guzman is certain TB Winds would have never existed. TB Winds plans to participate in Small Business Saturday, and looks forward to their involvement in Denton’s Main Street Association. “We’re happy to be a part of Denton, a part of its quirkiness,” Guzman beamed. Musicians alike are happy that TB Winds has decided to become an integral part of the music scene here in Denton.
Header image courtesy of Mallory Frenza
Header design courtesy of Christopher Rodgers