At Original Fuzz, we believe that it's not just what you do, but how you do it; the process is what creates the art. We want to celebrate all processes and their outcomes, including the art of running a business, no matter the size. To show our thanks for supporting the work that we do, we’re teaming up with our wholesale partners around the world to bring you a monthly Dealer Spotlight on individuals and their businesses in our community.
This month’s Dealer Spotlight takes us down south to Sims Music in Columbia, SC. Sims, located on St. Andrews Rd., is a family run business and has been supporting local artists since 1979. We talk with Justin Sims, a percussion specialist who has grown up around Sims Music his entire life, about his family’s business, what they offer, the local scene, and more. Be sure to follow Sims on on Instagram @simsmusic, on Facebook @simsmusic, and on their website simsmusic.com.
What’s your name and what do you do?
Sims Music, Music Instrument Retailer. We’re in partnership with Freeway Music, music lessons.
What do you sell the most?
Our top departments are acoustic guitars, drums & percussion, and electric guitars. We stock over 700 guitars, 50 drumsets, 300 cymbals, huge PAs, lighting, DJ, and keyboard departments.
How do you fit into your local music scene? Do you do lessons? In-stores?
We are very close to our local music scene. We partnered with Freeway Music and are home to one of their five locations; all of our teachers perform in the local scene. If you see any live music in Columbia, most likely someone in the band is one of our teachers.
What's the most expensive instrument you've ever sold?
We are very proud to stock high-end Gibson, Martin, and Taylor guitars. We do our best to stock their top of the line products.
Any up-and-coming builders or pedal makers that we should know about?
We are proud to sell Caroline Guitar Pedals, based here in Columbia, SC! They are an incredible company with global recognition!
What's your store's speciality? What are you most proud of?
We are most proud of our staff; most of our employees have been here over 20 years. We don't just try and sell product, we try and create relationships and friendships with fellow musicians who come into the store. We may sell them gear over the years, but the friendships that we have created are way more important than any sale.
Where should people eat after visiting your store?
After visiting Sims, or waiting for a guitar setup, we tell all of our customers they HAVE to go to Steve's Classic Burgers across the street. It’s a new, local burger joint that happens to have the BEST burgers in town. Every customer that goes, comes back happy! Super cool to see another great biz in our area.
How long have you been in business?
November 5th was the 37th anniversary of Sims Music! Started by Jerry and Debbie Sims; Jerry still teaches 25 students, works every day of the week, and I, his son, manages the store.
Any local bands we should check out?
Prettier Than Matt, Paisley Suttlemyre, Whiskey Mikes, and Bellavida.
What's been your favorite memory of running your store?
My favorite memory has been hosting an Aaron Spears (Usher) drum clinic. Along with several other clinics including Jeff Hamilton (Diana Krall), Mark Schulman (Pink), and Keith Carlock (John Mayer/Steely Dan). I love planning these crazy events and to see what it does for the quality of life for all the local musicians is just amazing. It reminds me every time that my job is the greatest job in the world.
All photos by Ian Wallace.
If you find yourself in Columbia, check out Sims music and their impressive selection of gear for all your musical needs, and be sure to say, “Hello,” to Justin!
Thanks to Justin and the rest of the gang at Sims Music for supporting Original Fuzz. We’re proud to have your business represent ours.