Clarence Morey, the founder of Morey’s Music Store, started his career in the music industry while running the music department for a local store in Chicago. In 1924 he came out to California to purchase a small business that was struggling. A $3,000 investment back then has now turned into a family-run business that has been around for almost 100 years.
Getting Through The Great Depression
“My grandfather was a very smart business guy. He always wrote in black, never in the red.” David, one of Clarence’s grandsons, told us. During the Great Depression Clarence came up with the idea to rent instruments for a small monthly fee instead of having customers buy an instrument they couldn’t afford. It was a great way to generate cash flow and it allowed for his business to survive those difficult times. Til this day customers at Morey’s are able to rent out an instrument before they decide to purchase it, which is great for students who may not know what instrument they will like best.
The Morey Kids
Clarence had five sons, two of which stayed in the family business throughout the years. David’s dad traveled to Germany early on in his career so he could create relationships with the sources they would need for their business, and not work with just the wholesalers. The next generation to join Morey’s Music Store were the grandkids, and most of them worked in the store through their teenage years. In fact, today seven fourth generation family members work at the store. David, himself, decided to work at Morey’s after having a stressful career in the pharmaceutical industry. He ultimately wanted to spend more time with his family, and Morey’s allowed him to do just that.
Supporting The Community
“It’s really important when the students come in they feel like they are being taken care of, supported, and have a really positive experience.” Morey’s is all about supporting the music programs in their community and in their local public schools. Whether its sales, rentals, or repairs, their goal is to provide for the music needs of their community. That’s why they have the option to rent instruments to students, so they get to try it out before they commit to it.
“We really strive to have a reputation that the instruments that we sell and rent have been properly set up by our technicians,” David said. Students won’t know whether or not an instrument has any issues, which is why Morey’s focuses so much on the quality of their instruments. Neighbors and teachers are always recommending Morey’s because they know Morey’s puts the customer first time after time. In fact, about 80% their customers are referrals, and that’s because they have been able to target who their core customer is, and think about what they need and what they can do to fill that need.
“Our goal is to continue for the next 100 years”
Music is a way to bring joy and brightness to the community. That’s one of the passions that fuels the Morey’s Team, knowing that they get to play a role in bringing happiness to their community. Even during the difficult times, their customers were there to support them, “We have had third generation customers who come in to support us. Our customers have asked us how we’re doing, it shows that they care, and it’s really rewarding to know we are valuable to the music community.”
Clarence was a very special person, he actually lived to be 100. David told us he even worked until his 98th year, opening mail and visiting with customers. “He really was the one who built and launched the ship. We’re the stewards of the ship, and are now sailing the ship.”
The “Morey’s Family” has been around for 100 years servicing the Lakewood, California area.
They are thankful for all of the business and support and look forward to serving you for years to come.
To find out how your business can benefit from FreshLime just like Morey’s Music Store has, set up a free 15-minute demo today!