I recently read an article about a Knoxville couple who quit their jobs to start growing and selling organic produce. I have often had many dreams of being my own boss; some of which included: my own shoe store, coffee shop (although I couldn't tell you the difference between frappuccino and cappuccino), flower shop, graphic design company, practically anything to relieve me of an office environment. I am so thoroughly inspired by people who take the plunge and do what feels right to them. One of these people who took this said "plunge" is Josh Sidman, the owner of a new kind of business called The Parlor.
First of all, Meet Josh:
Josh has a resume that you couldn't make up if you tried. A few highlights in his career include: working on Wallstreet for the successful global investment banking and securities firm, Goldman Sachs; where he traveled from New York to London to Tokyo to you-name-it. Also add to that list: Actor/bartender in New York, trying his hand at TV and film production in L.A, and musician. Josh is an incredibly talented mandolin player; which I might add that he had never even picked up until he was 27 years old. He started taking himself seriously as a musician and spent 7 years touring in various bands from New York to San Fransisco. One of those bands, The Earl Brothers, eventually led him to Knoxville, TN; a placed where Josh admits that the music scene is something really spectacular. He even surprised me a little when he compared Knoxville to other well-known artistic communities like Asheville and Portland.
Most recently, Josh began his most ambitious project yet, The Parlor. The Parlor is what he likes to call, "a different kind of music shop", and it truly is. Not only do they not sell one single brand-new instrument (they specialize in high-quality vintage instruments), they also offer a unique style of teaching music lessons (more of a mentorship), an instrument repair shop, and even catering services provided by Josh's business partner, Rita Cochran. Many of their recipes call for fresh produce grown from their very own back yard. Josh is also finishing up renovations to the downstairs of the 100 year old building located in North Knoxville, and he expects to be finished sometime around December 2010. He plans to transform it into a deli/coffee shop and most importantly a listening room that will house performances and provide a comfortable space for people to eat and hangout. Josh says that his inspiration for The Parlor was watching the environments that his musician friends were teaching lessons in. A majority of the time the parents would stay and wait for their kids to finish their lessons, and really had no place to go during that hour or so. The Parlor will hopefully provide a great environment for those parents to relax, and the students to learn. While the downstairs is currently under construction, I highly recommend giving Josh a call to peek at his amazing collection of vintage stringed instruments upstairs, some of which are over 80 years old. You can check out his website and support this innovative business by visiting: http://www.theparlorknoxville.com/
Just a few of the many vintage instruments from The Parlor:
The view from the upstairs of The Parlor:
(part of the vegetable garden)