We started LightSpeed Music four years ago with a little more than a dozen guitars and modest expectations. In that short time, our business has grown exponentially and we feel blessed to be doing something we love.
When we first started going to the NAMM shows, major manufacturers were courteous to us, but universally against working with a dealer that did not have a "Brick & Mortar" presence. Online businesses were considered interlopers with little legitimacy. The manufacturers patiently explained how they couldn't afford to see their product lines "devalued" through such "non-traditional" channels.
This summer's NAMM show brought a remarkable 180 degree shift in attitudes. Every company that we visited was willing and eager to work with us. Some went as far as to let us know how they were actively looking for established e-tailers to better represent their lines to an increasingly demanding and well-informed public. With our scant 4 years of online success, we've suddenly started looking like "old pros".
When we asked if they were open to our carrying their lines, one company (name withheld to protect the innocent), stated it very succinctly. Their response was, "We'd love to work with you. We're proud say we've moved into the 1990s".
We couldn't have said it better...