One Year At The Mixdown – by Tristan Curtis

I will be the first to admit it. When The Mixdown first opened on Dalhousie Street last November, it looked like a flea market stand. Seeing that the store looked a little bit temporary, the most often question asked was, how long are you here for? My answer, always with a chuckle, was as long as you want us to be here. I think it’s safe to say that the people of Brantford want a store like this to exist, since we are coming up on our one year anniversary. Though this journey has not been anywhere close to easy, it has been a pleasure and it has brought a lot of growth to my own personal understanding of business and the people in this unique downtown area.

When I first opened The Mixdown, I started things by selling my own personal collection of CD’s, DVD’s and vinyl records, along with generous donations from friends and family. The selection was lacking but, obviously, the quality was not. For the first three months, all the money that the store brought in, went right back into buying more product. We soon got to the point where the store was beginning to expand. Nine short months later and we’re starting to run out of space!

Beginning in February we started hosting live music events. Every Thursday there’s something new and different for any one of any age to enjoy. Though local musicians make up the bulk of performances, there have been artists from Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Cape Breton and parts of the U.S. Having live music in any downtown is essential. But for under agers, where can they go to see or play live music? It’s amazing to think that we have consistently had music every week since February, proving that Brantford has so many talented musicians who are always eager to perform. I would like to thank all of those musicians who have performed over the past nine months and I hope you all continue to do so.

When we first opened I was considering having a discount for students. I soon dropped the idea. Not because the students don’t deserve a discount, but more because of the honest support that I receive from a customer base that consists of people who live here in Brantford. Sure the students come in and check things out, but really, The Mixdown exists today because of a regular, Brantford based clientele. I thought that the summer would be a slow time because of the absence of the students, but June, July and August were our best months. And that shows me that the people of Brantford truly do support this business.

Over the past year I have also taken much criticism. I have had people complain about the hours, selection, prices and even people trying to create animosity between myself and other used record store owners. Any business owner is faced with all the criticisms and all the haters, but in the end, honesty between myself and the customer has been the cure for all ill-natured ordeals. We have also had shoplifters in the shop who cleaned me out of all my Blu-Rays. Not that I wasn’t expecting this to happen, but I was naive in thinking that people would treat a small business differently than a corporate business. But again, I am still learning, everyday.

If I may, I would like to say that there may be many reasons why this business has been successful thus far, but there are many people who have been extremely generous. Without the help of Jonas Held and Dan Hill, the walls would still be yellow. Without Nic McKnight, the store would have fewer hours. Without Roan Bateman, our business card wouldn’t look very good. Without Enterprise Brant, I wouldn’t have the knowledge and support. Without Chris George and Chris Gall, we wouldn’t have new CD’s and Vinyl. 

Without all of the people who have come into the shop to look around and see what’s new, we wouldn’t even be here at all. Andrew, Lucas and Marc at The Advocate, you asked me write. I’m not a very good writer but you gave me and many other people the chance to do so and I thank you for that. And to all those who I haven’t mentioned (you know who you are), you should know how much I appreciate your loyalty and friendship.

In November, we will have a sale on all month to thank you for your support. We hope to keep bringing live music and quality products to downtown Brantford for years to come. Thank you so much Brantford. You Rock!!

One Reply to “One Year At The Mixdown – by Tristan Curtis”

  1. Gene Emslie

    Thanks for the candid update on The Mixdown. Some good insight on business, large and small and acknowledgment of help from others in the success to date. As being a preveious partner in a record store many years ago it is heartwarming to see you taking a chance and doing something you enjoy while engaging the community. I hate to admit I have not been in yet but will make a point to stop by and I am sure I will find somethign I will enjoy!

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