Belfield Music is not just a Music store, but a destination music shop that provides an adventure, a journey and for many customers, a chance to have a dream fulfilled. We chat with Elias Moujaber about the store’s philosophy, future plans, gear and more.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in the Music Retail Industry?
9 years ago, my business partner Robert and I were two keen 22-year-olds, fresh out of studying IT, and looking to find an industry still finding it’s feet in the online community, where we could flex some of our online skills and sales experience. At the time, I was helping out at my family cafe as a barista, while running a few small business ventures on the side. We both were searching for our big break. Staring at me every day from across my coffee station was a popular music shop, and one day it hit me; ‘We could do that’ – we could take that premise, and put it online.
After some late night research, I noticed that there were very few online-focused music stores, and when stores did have an online presence, they didn’t yet make it a priority, listing catalogues or showing clearance stock.
As to be expected, our actions created waves in the industry and we cheekily titled ourselves the Online-Sales Kings. This has, of course, meant we haven’t always seen eye-to-eye with all of our competitors and suppliers, but we think our forward-thinking approach to the online sales sector will speak for itself.
What is your role at Belfield Music?
I am the Managing Director, and am constantly building our store, both figuratively and literally, planning ahead and making sure we are always active and evolving as a unit. Bringing in fresh product and ideas at every chance.
When I’m not racing in and out of meetings, you will find me refurbishing, re-fitting, remodelling, and renovating the shop’s interior, and I enjoy using a hammer or screwdriver just as much as the laptop I practically live at. I also have grown to become the budding director and producer of our video content, and am working on expanding our social media platform at all times.
Can you tells us a little about the business philosophy?
Our goal is to make purchases as easy as possible, whether you are a novice or expert, and regardless of your geographical location. We want our distant customers to feel as close as our physical neighbours. The business firmly believes in building an experience for the end-user, and understands that buying an instrument, or visiting a music shop should be an adventure, a journey, and for many customers, is a chance to have a wish or dream fulfilled. To this end, we keep prices at a bare minimum, try to stock a wide variety of desirable objects, and treat each customer like the wide-eyed hopeful dreamer that we all still are inside.
What does the store specialise in?
The store has a wide range of electric and acoustic guitars at the forefront of the shop, and our range of hi-tech DJ and production equipment at the back are some of the bigger focuses of the store. We also stock digital pianos, electronic drums, PA equipment, and a wide range of everything in between. We have been Alesis Drums’ number 1 dealer for as far back as they go, and have also won two ESP LTD Dealer of the Year Awards and are hoping to add a third to that collection this year.
What brands does Belfield carry?
We have headline brands like KORG, Fender, ESP, Roland, Marshall, Blackstar, JBL, Pioneer and more. By count we currently have just under 200 brands we carry and we are always growing, and looking to add to our family. We want to be confident that whenever you walk through our door, or dial our number, or click through to our site, we already have everything ready and available that you might be looking for.
What are some of the other services do you provide?
We have a range of PA equipment available for hire, we have guitar set-up, repair, and restring services, and a range of tuition on guitar, bass, piano, theory, and more. We’re looking at expanding to recording and rehearsal facilities in the near future.
What are you most proud of about your store?
Our favourite compliment to hear from our customers is “Belfield Music, I like those guys” or “the Belfield Music guys are great”. We aim to be as easy to deal with and as likeable as possible and there is nothing more rewarding than a customer validating that.
What are the future plans for Belfield Music?
We will keep working away to build something very special; a place where you can visit and have a jam or record the next big thing anytime of the day, and soon, any time of the night.
An interactive website which will guide you smoothly through each step of your shopping experience with expert advice along the way. We want to grow the industry, expand our music school, create more web-content based video lessons and product demos/reviews.
Do you any have any special events coming up in the store?
We just co-hosted a concert with a local music school which was a huge success – we’re always thrilled by the talents and enthusiasm of the up-and-coming generation!
On the 14th/15th July: We have a stall at Sydney’s Man Cave Expo at Homebush, we are taking a range of products which will be readily available for a quick jam or hours of extended soloing for any of the 50,000 expected attendees.
Who are some of the key personnel in the store and what are their roles?
Robert Bana is a Business Director, and spends his time elbow deep in the software side of the business, keeping our website looking as great as it does, updating advertisements and listings, managing and monitoring our online inventory, and being better friends with his computer than most of us
Joseph Simon is our Operations Manager, and runs our warehouse, our shipping and receiving and inventory management and stock monitoring, and staff management and a list that could run for pages and pages – if there’s a thing that needs doing, odds are good Joe got up extra early and is already doing it.
Daniel Rosewell teaches guitar, teaches piano, repairs instruments, fields questions on all products, topics, and ideas – he reviews new items, contributes to our blog, stars in our video content, solves the trickier customer conundrums, and is known to help out in the shop, as well
Damien Johns runs our rapidly growing Music School and also doubles up as the head of our Hi-Tech Department. That includes big name brands like Ableton, Native Instruments, Universal Audio, Korg, and much more. If you are looking to start up a studio or need advice on your existing setup, he is your guy.
Heath Curtis is the head warranty manager and salesperson; when you need to crunch some numbers and work out a deal, he will get it over the line for you. And in his spare time he handles troubleshooting and warranty/service claims for our 1000s of monthly customers. He also considers himself a decent singer, and gigs regularly with his band.
Raymond Moujaber the packing king, he dispatches outgoing orders, accepts incoming deliveries, operates the forklift and making sure everything is where it needs to be. Along with that he restocks and frontfills our display room and makes sure everything is tidy at all times.
Ryan Lieker is Rays helping hand and extra muscle- one man alone can’t handle the 500 weekly orders and numerous in-bound deliveries. Step in Ryan to complete the dynamic duo and ensure we are always on track.
Angela Talevski is not only single-handedly running our Admin department, controlling and directing customers to the appropriate teams, but she also maintains our accounting software, processing all inbound invoices and keep track of daily sales.