NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- It's all about that brass.
J. Landress Brass, a niche musical instrument store on W. 32nd Street in Midtown Manhattan, now has customers all around the world.
"We have instruments that people are sending us to restore from California, from Iowa, from Indiana, all over the United States," said owner Josh Landress. "Just this week, we've shipped out instruments to Germany, to France, to Korea, and that's all generated through our online presence."
On the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by Dime Community Bank, Landress told Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso that he focused on growing the company's Facebook and Instagram accounts during the COVID-19 shutdown in March 2020. They posted videos showing their craftsmanship repairing brass instrument valves and fixing dents as well as showcasing individual performances.
"People have discovered our abilities outside of us helping New York and they really are coming to us for our skills - as far as our craft - and for our products that we're selling, we're having a very curated high-end business of retail," he said.
Landress told WCBS 880 the company's revenue increased 60 percent since making digital sales and marketing a focul point.
"For many years, my business was kind of derived with local New York business kind of supporting the New York community,” he explained. "I really had to find a new direction for my business in order to keep my employees employed and the doors open and with that was really generating more online traffic so the use with Instagram and Facebook."
While J. Landress Brass expanded globally, its hometown customers in New York demonstrated why they are the heart and soul of the business.
Several customers created a montage video while the store was shuttered, performing Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" on their instruments at home. When J. Landress Brass reopened, they were greeted with scores of new customers.
"We were still doing what we do once we reopened after being closed for 115 days and people in the community came here just to say hello, and be around instruments, and see other people just to feel normal again," said Landress. "It was really an honor to be a part of that."
See this heartwarming story of how the local music community rallied around J. Landress Brass and how the company has amassed a global audience on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight video above.