Recently Shane ventured away from his full time job to strike out on his own. It was of particular interest to most online Sonor
buyers, because the majority of them were already dealing with Shane. We are fortunate enough to have been given a few
minutes from Shane's busy schedule to ask some questions about his new venture...
JR: Thanks, Shane for agreeing to do this interview. First of all, how is the new business coming?
SK: Thanks! It’s going great. I have never worked so hard in my life but I have been enjoying every step of the way.
JR: Have you encountered any surprises or disappointments along the way?
SK: Tons! There have been disappointments, but I have taken those in stride. You have to expect that. Nothing will work out
perfectly every time, but I am over that hump. The pros have heavily outweighed the cons. It’s like buying a house, something
ALWAYS comes up, and you just have to adjust and fly with it. I’m not one to dwell on things, so it’s been ok. I’m a silver lining
type of guy, which helps with pitfalls. Here’s one for you: my friend is an awesome graphic design guy who did the DCP logo, and
it took him a little too long to get it done, so once I got it, I approved it and sent it off to my sign people and attached it in my
newsletter. What I didn’t notice was that it was a keystone badge which is a registered trademark of Ludwig. I had to frantically
stop production on the sign and make the appropriate adjustments to respect their trademark which I did. Bummer right? Well
that opened the line of communication between me and Ludwig, and Ludwig offered me the line
and I signed on, and they are selling great! So there is a great example of turning the bad experiences into good ones.
JR: Is DCP the result of a long time ambition, or did you find yourself needing to make arrangements other than the Drum Shop?
SK: It really is the result of me doing what I know best. I spent years pushing my playing, or my writing, or stand up comedy, but I
found that this is what I do best, dealing with customers, getting them gear. It also has been the most rewarding and makes me
happy. I really enjoy selling drum stuff. It’s just a passion of mine. I decided that this is what I needed to do and there was no
opportunity for me to grow where I was, so here I am.
JR: What are your thoughts about modern drum companies and the current landscape of globalization and the economy? Do you
feel that compaines are loosing their heart with the changes?
SK: Some are taking it in stride and some are being very stubborn. Many are trying to keep the numbers the same, or expect an
increase which just isn’t happening. Some have buy ins that make no sense at all. It’s not a size issue, some of the biggest
companies are being the most flexible, others not. I think we will see a leveling off of a lot of companies. Sadly, a lot of good
people and good jobs will go away, they already have in some instances, and we will see a lot less promo, i.e endorsements, clinic
tours, and sponsorships, stuff like that. I think Mapex is poised right now, if they continue to keep their overhead modest, they
can usurp many of their Asian competitors. The new generation of players has no bias against them, and they are delivering a
superior product at a lower price. Ludwig is doing the same. They are being very linear with their offerings, appealing to every
target. It’s very smart. Other companies seem to be hoping that their product sells on name alone. I wish them well but have
zero interest in trying to promote products when they expect me to make adjustments they aren’t willing to make.
JR:Do you feel like you chose a good time to venture into your own business? How are things moving compared to your
expectations? What sets you apart from other drum retailers?
SK: I think it’s the best time. The people who really love it will do well, in ANY industry. I have always enjoyed my jobs. I loved
being a dishwasher. I loved waiting tables. I loved working in a drum shop. If you have passion, it doesn’t matter what you do.
You will succeed. That’s all I can say really…I just love what I do. Retail is changing. I think we are at the precipice with it now.
I am walking in with low expectations and I am only looking up. I’m not hoping to reach past numbers, and some companies really
want to help. They need to increase their sales, and unfortunately, there are a lot of sinking ships out there. Some are even
going out of business which just stinks. I don’t want to see people unable to make a living in drums. Things are moving along
slowly. Part of me expected to have a lot of business off the bat which hasn’t happened. I have done a fair amount, probably way
more than a typical store that just starts does, but I was used to people walking in all the time with the phone ringing off the
hook. This has been a slower pace, as it’s a brand new business. I don’t have the walk in traffic or footing in the community. It’s
going to be a slow climb, which is for the better. It allows me to implement systems with little snags
for the customer. It also allows me to continue doing all the logistical stuff that goes along with starting a business. It has also
allowed me to not feel overwhelmed. It’s been a very stress free experience. It’s great. What sets me apart it seems, and this is
what I am told, mind you, not what I know, is that I seem to care about making people happy. I never thought that that was that big
of a deal, I was just doing my job, and I take pride in my work, simple as that. I guess that is not common in drum retailing. I know
there are plenty of successful stores out there, but I have always had ownership in what I do, even when I wasn’t an owner. I
really cared about satisfying customers. You can’t fake that. Now that I do own it, it’s much better, now I get to add my personal
touch to things. I don’t know how different that is from what the other guys do but it seems to work for me. I definitely get a lot of
JR: Do you feel like the customer following you had at the Drum Shop was because of your knowledge and service, and did most
of those customers follow you to the new business?
SK: Absolutely. People keep saying that they weren’t dealing with them, they were dealing with me. Some haven’t come over
because they either preferred their relationships with the other people there, or they just don’t even know I left. But I get calls
daily from people that are just finding out.
JR: Are you satisfied with your product offerings? What's next on the horizon?
SK: So far, yes. I have many, many tricks up my sleeve with products that I am so excited about. The stuff on the horizon is just
expanding the community. I think the manufacturers will stop flooding the market with new product which would be nice, and it
will allow us retailers to focus on building a line. A lot of brands have been built: now let’s build some lines.
JR: If a large company approached you in 10 years with an aggressive offer to buy you out, do you see yourself as able to walk
away from the industry?
SK: I really can’t think that far ahead. Who knows. I do know that whenever I walk away from music, a sadness moves into my soul
very slowly. Before I know it, I’m depressed. The problem is, I don’t realize it until I start playing again. Drumming is who I am and
what I do. It’s my companion and soul mate. When I ignore it I am less fulfilled. So if I left, I would have to stay involved in one
facet or another. I have always wanted to design product lines or consult manufacturers on product offerings, so maybe I could
do that. I also have an interest in the marketing end of it. I do know that I like having a lot of a little involvement all over the
place, so who knows what the future holds.
JR: Anything else you'd like to say?
SK: Just a whole hearted thanks to you for showing the interest in what I do and to all the folks who patronize the shop or
fraternize on the net!