By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal
The Saxophone Place
Rita Holloway came up with the idea of starting a musical instrument repair shop about 20 years ago.
“I was a nurse and I was trying to think of something I could do besides nursing because my health was so bad,” she said. “I bought (my husband) three little tools and that’s how we got started.”
Music wasn’t new to Joe Holloway, who has been playing the saxophone for 49 years.
The business started in their home and kept growing, until The Saxophone Place moved about eight years ago to its current location on West Jackson Street.
Perry Barker, an experienced piano tuner, also joined the company.
The business name confuses some customers, the owners said, because the shop works on all types of horns and school instruments, including flutes, clarinets, trombones, French horns and oboes.
The shop has customers from all over north Mississippi. The owners pride themselves on their ability to fix the instruments in house and get them back to the students quickly.
“A lot of times we can fix it while they wait,” Barker said.
The shop even has rebuilt horns that have been run over by cars.
“We’ll tackle anything,” said Joe Holloway. “I love a challenge.”
In addition, the shop buys, rents and sells instruments.
“I could be making a bunch more money out tuning pianos,” Barker said. “I’m trying to give back to the music community that meant so much to me as a kid.”
• Owners: Joe Holloway and Perry Barker
• Location: 1229 W. Jackson St., Tupelo
• Hours: Christmas to mid-summer – Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; remainder of year – Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; by appointment
• In business since: 1991
• Employees: 2
• Primary business: Sales, rentals and repairs of school band instruments and accessories.
• Contact: (662) 844-0897
• Website: TheSaxophonePlace.com
– Carlie Kollath