A Storefront for Strings

Lane & Edwards. Photo by Erin Coffee.

Lane & Edwards. Photo by Erin Coffee.

Matt Lane might be new to business ownership, but he is no stranger to luthier work. Within the past few months, he has given a storefront to Lane & Edwards Violins, a company with more than 40 years of experience in the restoration and repair of string instruments.

Lane himself has recently finished an 11-year apprenticeship under Mark Edwards, the founder and owner of the original company, Mark Edwards Violins. Edwards first started the business out of his home in the Fern Creek area, and it has since expanded and gained interest in the community. Within the last two months, Edwards has decided to retire and hand ownership over to his former apprentice.

Before having ownership of the company passed on to him, Lane was raised in a musical household and began playing the violin through the Suzuki method at the age of 4. He studied anthropology and violin music performance at Centre College, played in a professional string quartet, taught at the Chance School and has been a part of the Youth Performing Arts School’s chamber ensemble. Needless to say, he has the level of experience necessary to provide quality care and service to his loyal customers.

The space Lane has created presents a cozy, comfortable feeling that welcomes whomever steps through its doors. Antiques, intricate rugs and a vast array of polished violins, violas and string basses decorate the area, along with an old-fashioned chess set at the front of the store. Lane says he grew up in the St. Matthews area and had always admired this building for its post-war construction design.

“It’s my baby,” he says with a laugh. “It’s got a lot of charm.”

When asked what it was about the violin that initially drew him, he says, “People have music in their souls and they like to express that. The violin is perfect for that. It’s evocative.”

He finds it rewarding to pair people with the right instrument and wants it to be known that it is never too late to discover your true passion in life: “My greatest violin student is a 75-year-old bird colonel!”

Lane puts a lot of thought and enthusiasm into his work. All of the store’s instruments are handpicked, and the variety includes many professional and rare options. Lane says that he only chooses instruments that he feels are up to a high standard. His and Edwards’s workstation in the back is open so that customers can see the intricate care that goes into the process of repairing and restoring the instruments.

At Lane & Edwards Violins, trade-ins are offered at 100 percent to their valued customers. Customers can also earn credit through their purchases. Lane says that music teachers rely on their business for their students, and the new location is centralized to make this process easier for several schools in the Louisville area, including Collegiate, Sacred Heart and the Chance School.

“We cater to customers in the same high-quality way we always have. We help student learners buy with confidence,” says Lane. The new storefront has made his business more accessible. Walk-ins are now an added factor, whereas the store used to thrive solely off word-of-mouth.

Through this new space, Lane hopes to form more personalized relationships with his customers. He wants to be able to easily reach out to students, teachers, string orchestras and anyone else who may be in need of his assistance. The creation of their first website will also make the process much easier for customers hoping to learn more about the business, rent instruments and contact them for further information. VT

Lane & Edwards Violins is located at 315 Wallace Ave. For more information, visit violinsoflouisville.com or call 502.690.5908.

STORY BY ERIN COFFEE.