By Andrew Perez
Running a business can be hard, but if you are passionate enough about it it will find a home. That is the mantra Brian Nalls, owner of Walnut Street Music and Pawn, has founded his success on.
Before opening up his business on Walnut Street, Nalls was a guitar enthusiast looking for a start with his own store. He started with strictly with just selling musical items, but could not get enough people through the door. That is where the pawn shop came in to play and the combination has worked ever since.
Nalls and his workers get a unique experience in their business. It allows them to see what the trends are, musically, in a college town. As of right now ukuleles and acoustic guitars are all the rage.
“I cant keep ukuleles in the store right now,” Nalls said. ” [Ukuleles] and acoustic guitars, I just have to keep buying them.”
According to the National Association of Music Merchants, ukuleles have seen a huge spike in popularity since 2010 and can be associated with the college hipster archetype. Acoustic guitars are always a prevalent instrument and in a town like Morgantown new hobbies are always sought out.
While students and residents getting into playing music is a cool concept, there are those who are in it for the trend. People can be easily bored and will end up selling the instrument back sometimes. According to Nalls, that process is also a part of his business.
“I like to encourage people to keep the instruments, but we will buy it back if the numbers are correct,” Nalls said.
With all the experience that Nalls has in Morgantown he figured out two important lesson. Location and catering to college students are vital. The reason the pawn aspect came into fruition is because of Nalls previous business on Fayette Street. According to Nalls, it was desolate and he needed the pawn shop to get people in the door.
“WVU is the lifeblood of the city,” Nalls said. “If you’re not selling what the kids want, you’re not gonna make it.