At Wentworth Music, in the heart of British Columbia, Canada, Noel Wentworth is making musical dreams come true. That’s been his goal, and his job, since opening the Wentworth Music Education Centre with his wife, Lora, in 2004.
“We worked very hard—12 to 17 hours a day, seven days a week—playing the role of receptionists, administrators and teachers,” Wentworth recalled of those early days, when there were five studios and 88 students. “We grew it to 250-plus students by the end of the first year.”
Three years later, Wentworth got the offer to merge the education operation with Wentworth Music, a multi-location music store that offered sales, lessons, repairs and rentals. His grandparents, Walt and Vera Wentworth, had first opened it as a lighting store in 1966; that was before Wentworth’s father, Dale, an accountant and a musician, nudged it in the direction of musical instrument sales.
#106-1634 Harvey Ave.
Kelowna, British Columbia V1Y 6G2
Noel Wentworth, Vice President of Education/Media
“My father taught guitar lessons out of the back of the store, and he got a line in on some guitars he could place in the front window to sell,” Wentworth remarked. “Those sold a few times over. Then the idea came to start a music store.”
Wentworth admitted that it took a few years for the store to become profitable, and the decades that followed were not always smooth sailing.
“Wentworth Music has grown, downsized and then grown again and again through the years,” Wentworth said.
“Each time, we’ve learned from our past, finding opportunities for growth and preparing as best as we could for the future. We nearly lost everything as a family in the early ’80s in what I’d consider the perfect storm of demographics and the economy. So, I learned to put money away for a rainy day. You can fall on hard times at a moment’s notice.”
Despite all the hardships, what started as an 800-square-foot, three-man operation grew into four locations that ranged in size from 2,100 square feet to 15,000 square…