By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Ampy Shanty, 527 E. Main St., will hosts its grand opening party 7 p.m. Friday. Just a year and a half ago, Corey and Julia Gingerich left Los Angeles and landed in Norman, where they opened a boutique vintage clothing store.
Attracted by the student population of “fashion-forward potential clients,” the couple said Norman’s historic downtown was the perfect venue.
That business relationship was to become a love story between the Gingeriches and Norman, so much so that the couple decided to launch a new venture, Ampy Shanty. The music store seemed like a natural progression.
“I run a record label, so I’ve been involved with music for a long time,” Corey Gingerich said. “I like musicians. I have a kinship with them.”
Ampy Shanty will buy, sell and trade gently used musical equipment. From guitars, to drums to pianos, the store will feature items for just about any playing level and budget.
“When I was researching this shop, I went to almost every pawn shop in Oklahoma City and Norman. We have better-quality equipment for better prices,” Corey Gingerich said. “When you focus on one thing specifically, you can do it more economically.”
In addition to used wares, Ampy Shanty will feature musical accessories like picks, strings and straps, all made by American companies like LA’s Couch Guitar Straps, featuring handmade guitar straps from responsible materials and Oklahoma’s own Lava Cables, a favorite of professional musicians around the world.
Corey Gingerich said Downtown Norman was the perfect fit for the small, locally owned business.
“I’m an MBA student at OU, and it’s kind of a political statement,” Corey Gingerich said of the decision to locate downtown. “The soul of America is on Main Street. I wanted to be away from chains and corporate America, and I believe you should practice what you preach. So, that’s what I did.”
Ampy Shanty’s grand opening celebration will feature free refreshments and music from local artists Penny Hill and Magnificent Bird. While the store will first open its doors at noon, the party will commence that evening as a part of Norman’s Second Friday Art Walk.
In the Gingeriches’ other store, Anty Shanty, the rule of 80 percent local support has played out. The announcement of Ampy Shanty on Facebook got an amazing number of hits, he said.
“There’s a need for this, and I really believe it’s because of our involvement in the community that we’re able to see such a warm reception before we even open our doors,” he said.
Gingerich said he is not daunted by the idea of competing with large chain stores.
“I feel like, really for one, it’s not directly competing because there’s always going to be a lead for locally owned,” Corey Gingerich said. “There’s not a model to serve locally source items to a local community on a national scale.”
The resale shop also will purchase quality products.
“We’ll be buying, also. We buy everything outright,” he said. “The big caveat on that is we are really sticklers for quality.”
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