Father-Son Team Open Lowe Vintage

  After more than a decade of road tripping and selling their vintage finds online, father-and-son team Ed and Will Lowe have opened Lowe Vintage Instrument Company, a brick-and-mortar store in Burlington, North Carolina.

"That was the best week of my year when I was a kid, going out on this road trip," Will said, adding sometimes the pawn shops and guitar stores he and his dad would end up in would be a disappointment, other times they'd be filled with hidden gems. "It was kind of just the thrill of the hunt for us."

When Ed and Will were both at crossroads in their careers earlier this year, they crunched the numbers and decided  to take the Web business a step further with a brick-and-mortar storefront. Specifically, Ed specializes in Gibson flathead banjos but the store carries a wide mix of vintage guitars, banjos, mandolins, accessories and pedals.

They still expect to do the bulk of their high-end instrument business online, though, putting a heavy emphasis on social media and high-quality photography. Will has been building the company's social media presence for about a year before the store opened, garnering about 7,000 Facebook fans.


  "We took the plunge so we're learning as we go, but we're doing even better than we expected," Will said. "But hopefully one day this will be on the map with the Gruhn Guitars and Carter Vintage Guitars of the world."