ALPHARETTA, Ga. — A former educator has continued her passion for music with her very own shop in historic Alpharetta — Beau Vinci Violins.
Despite no longer being a teacher, Emily Cotney Dixon will forever be an educator at heart.
After the Fulton County Board of Education cut the elementary orchestra program in 2009, the former teacher found a different way to embrace others with her keen knowledge outside the classroom in a more personal environment.
Six months ago, Dixon opened her own full-service violin shop located 116 North Main Street in Alpharetta.
Avoiding cliché shop names, Dixon decided to name her store after of her 2-year-old son, Beau Vinci. Beau Vinci Violins is stocked with an extensive selection of over 100 violins, violas, cellos and bows.
Dixon credits the shop’s 10-point setup process, which takes usually two days to complete, as one of the things that separates her business from competitors.
“That’s the biggest thing that makes us different,” Dixon said. “I don’t know of any other shop that uses that particular setup or even comes close to it.”
This step-by-step procedure is perfected at the hands of master luthier Cameron Robertson.
A luthier is someone who makes or repairs lutes and other string instruments.
Dixon considers Robertson, “the best luthier in the Southeast” and another vital ingredient that makes her shop’s merchandise unique.
Robertson’s craft and work is displayed all over the shop. The Violin Making School of America graduate previously worked for five years under the tutelage of the shop’s advisor Reginald Williams.
Beau Vinci Violins also repairs, sets up and restores instruments.
This past summer, Williams, a rare instrument collector, closed Williams Gengakki Violins shop after 24 years.
Since last spring, when Dixon first met the nationally acclaimed appraiser, Williams has been in charge of Beau Vinci Violin’s appraisals and instrument selection.
The shop majorly benefits from having someone with his uncanny eye; an eye that’s only acquired after handling and examining thousands of instruments, said Mike Dixon, Emily’s husband and co-owner of the shop.
“When he looks at something, he sees things that most people don’t see,” Mike Dixon said. “He’s like the oracle.”
Mike said his wife’s diligent consultation with each customer raises the bar in the world of violin shops.
“Emily will take a lot of time to educate parents and give them the vocabulary and the tools to evaluate the instruments and make an informed decision,” he said.
Emily said her main objective is to create the perfect match between player and instrument.
The criteria to finding the right instrument for a client ties directly to matching up with their touch, feel, musicality and personality, she said.
“We empower the clients to make an informed decision,” she said. “We give them the tools they need to make sure they’re getting a quality product.”
Visit beauvinciviolins.com for more information, or call 678-691-2394.