Do you play guitar or another instrument? Are you always looking for the newest and the greatest music gear? Keep an eye on this team of young, talented, knowledgeable gentlemen, Jon-Paul Painton and John LeClair, who will be opening the doors to their new store: Tone Tailors. From high-end amplifiers to their chic, tailored uniforms, Tone Tailors is sure to be successful… but they need our help.
Fine Living Lancaster: Hello, Tone Tailors! Tell us about everyone on your team and their musical/technical backgrounds.
Tone Tailors: Tone Tailors is a dream that we, John LeClair and Jon-Paul Painton (JP), had about a year ago. We both have been very involved with local music, whether it was going to shows, helping record albums, giving music lessons or playing in bands. John is a gifted jam band guitarist, luthier (guitar builder), and gear enthusiast. JP is a recording engineer, amplifier company owner, and a guitarist as well.
FLL: Where did your passion for gear begin, and when did it peak/flourish?
TT: John has been playing music in bands for more than half of his life. He prides himself in knowing who plays what, what makes a guitar, amp, or pedal sound incredible and won’t stop until he finds the answer. He has been very involved in the jam band scene and is a devout Phish fan. JP is more involved in the “behind the scenes” aspect of music. He finds the answers for questions like: How did they play that? achieve that sound? mix the record? What gear was used? They both have chosen a life surrounded by music.
FLL: Tell us what you want to bring to Lancaster, gear-wise and otherwise.
TT: So what we felt was needed in this area was a quality and unique musical instrument store; one that takes care of the customer and listens to what they need. The musical instrument world has exploded with small companies that are producing incredible gear. These companies have pushed the boundaries of the gear that we all know and love. By doing this they have created a vast array of choices musicians can use to build their individual “sound.” We as Tailors of Tone want to provide these options to the local market. Everyone watches YouTube videos, hears news through the grapevine and sees new products in magazines, but nothing does a musician justice like playing an instrument first-hand.
FLL: Where are you located?
TT: We are located at 213 West King Street in Lancaster city. We chose this spot so that we could be part of the downtown scene. We also wanted to be part of revitalization area and help the growth of the city. There are many buildings around us just waiting to be filled with other great ideas. From a broader scope, we also chose downtown Lancaster so that we could be a destination spot for people outside of the county. With close proximity to York, Harrisburg, Allentown, Philly and Baltimore, we wanted to draw people out of those cities to visit Lancaster and experience what is happening here; there is so much grown in the local stores, markets and restaurants.
FLL: What are your short-term and long-term goals? What do you want to accomplish in the next year, and then in 5 years?
TT: Short-term, we want to open. We want to get the doors opened, get enough gear to supply the area and have fun doing it. Also we want to have a buzz generated about the block and growth on West King Street.
Long-term, we want to turn West King into “music row,” expand the business into more lines, and become the spot for musicians to shop in central PA. We will expand on “music row” a little. Lancaster could benefit from more venues to see a variety of shows from blues, jazz, funk, rock, etcetera. Also, we need teaching facilities. Music has been proven over and over to have a positive effect on child development and education. We can expand on music performance, both formal and pop. We want to create programs with recording studios and live sound companies that teach the behind the scenes of musical performance. It has been said that Lancaster could be the Austin of the East. We feel this could easily be done and should happen. So as you can see, we have a much bigger dream for music in the area than just selling some guitars. We need to do that first but ultimately we find ourselves adding to the wave that is coming. Exciting.
FLL: Will your store be “geared” towards more advanced musicians, or will a first-time guitar player be able to walk into your shop and find something as well?
TT: Our store will generally have higher-end gear but will still have options for all levels. It will also help to inspire newer players to reach for the next level of both playing and acquiring gear.
FLL: What made you choose RocketHub as your fund-raising website rather than KickStarter or GoFundMe?
TT: It was a recommendation from some friends. It is very easy to use and the way funding works is great. There are different aspects for these crowd-funding sites, some are geared towards charity and others for personal projects. Since this is for a business we felt RocketHub had a better template.
FLL: When does your campaign end, and what is your end goal?
TT: We will be running it through the end of March. This allows us to gain capitol for goods, get the doors open and start running the business.
We here at FLL are so excited for Tone Tailors to open their doors so we can pop in and explore all of their musical equipment! As they said, their campaign is running through March. Visit their campaign page and pledge so we can help these gentlemen have the store of their dreams!