Faces of Fairfax City: Fairfax Fine Violins
The modern, four-string violin was invented in 16th century Italy by Andrea Amati to imitate the acoustic sounds of the human voice. While little has changed in terms of the violin’s design, it’s shown to provide health benefits for players of all ages. It boosts the brain’s capacity for memory and attention span. Get your little ones, or yourself, started on a beautiful violin, cello, or viola at Fairfax Fine Violins and boost that brain power! You can purchase or a rent an instrument, and sign up for lessons if needed. Your love of music may just start here!
Tell us a little about Fairfax Fine Violins.
Fairfax Fine Violins is a string instrument sales and repair shop. We have violins, violas, cellos, and bows of all levels available for sale and also offer rental instruments through our rental program. Our in-house luthiers complete all repairs on instruments and bows.
What makes Fairfax Fine Violins unique to Fairfax City?
Our services support the musical community in and around Fairfax City, from beginning instrumentalists to professional performers. We also support youth programs in the area and have ties to George Mason instrumental programs.
What encouraged you to take the leap to get started?
Fairfax Fine Violins has been in Fairfax City for three years. After I (Joseph Yoo, Owner) graduated from the Chicago School of Violin Making, I worked in several different violin shops in different states for over ten years. I’d always wanted to have my own shop at some point. Three years ago, I felt that everything was encouraging me to start.
What inspired you to open an business in Fairfax City?
I (Joseph Yoo, Owner) picked Fairfax City for my business because it is in a very central location of the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area. I think that because it is in the heart of Northern Virginia, and accessible from DC and Maryland, the location is convenient to reach many customers. Also, Fairfax County Public Schools supports great school music programs with many young students playing musical instruments. This is a great environment for music stores to serve a broad community.
What do you enjoy most about having a business in Fairfax City?
As someone who owns a music store, I am glad that Fairfax City strongly supports its arts programs. From GMU-sponsored events to local youth orchestras to professional orchestras and music groups, I have always felt that the City values musicians and their contribution to the community.
How has Fairfax Fine Violins changed since its opening?
Fairfax Fine Violins has grown in the three years since its opening. The front room of the business, with a K. Kawai piano and large picture windows, is a perfect space for music performances and recitals – so Fairfax Fine Violins has made the space available to rent for events. In addition, Fairfax Fine Violins has built relationships with area music instructors, schools, and groups by offering contact information and recommendations to beginning players as well as helping financially to support music groups in the community.
What do customers say they love about Fairfax Fine Violins?
Fairfax Fine Violins conducts business in two languages, English and Korean, which makes our services more accessible to more community members. Our renters and their music instructors love the sturdy quality and good sound of our rental instruments. Our customers appreciate the free services we offer such as tuning, and also comment on our care in helping them find the best deals and highest-quality instruments. They appreciate the effort we put into building relationships with them over the years.
What are some of your fondest memories or biggest successes since Fairfax Fine Violins has been open?
At Fairfax Fine Violins, I particularly enjoy seeing customers come back again and again. I enjoy the opportunity to get to know them. I particularly like seeing the impressive musical growth of players at recitals hosted in our front room, or players who I have heard over many years. Many young players also share with me their results for auditions, competitions, and applications to college. I love hearing about their successes playing on instruments they picked out here. In addition, Fairfax Fine Violins was a grateful recipient of the Fairfax City ReConnected $10,000 aid grant which the city provided due to COVID-19; I was glad to be able to continue business despite economic hardship.
What’s next for Fairfax Fine Violins?
Although Fairfax Fine Violins has mostly been focused on getting through the COVID-19 pandemic, in the future we hope to provide our customers more inventory and a greater variety of inventory as we grow. We also want to build a larger relationship with schools in the area to provide more services. To encourage this business growth, we are expecting to advertise more to expand our customer base.
Are there any fun facts you would like residents and visitors to know about Fairfax Fine Violins?
At Fairfax Fine Violins, we do all our repairs in-house. Customers can even watch the process as our luthiers work. Our luthiers can approximate the origins of instruments and bows based off of a quick examination. Customers may be surprised to know that it takes about one month for a luthier to make a violin by hand, and two months to make a cello!
When you’re not working, where in Fairfax City do you like to spend your time?
Fairfax City has some really nice city parks and playgrounds. When I’m not working, I like to spend time there with my family.
How can people follow you on social?
@ffviolins on Instagram
@fairfaxviolins on Facebook