A sound business

The House of Music on Colville’s Main Street has survived and thrived for over 30 years, and that’s no small feat for any small town business in this day and age. “Our strength has always been in quality and customer service,” says owner Ryke Dahlen, who bought the business from Gene and Margaret Graham with his father, Ivar Dahlen, in 1978. The House of Music currently consists of three main departments, including a full-line music store featuring acoustic and electric instruments from Yamaha, Fender and Ibanez (to name a few). The business also supplies area school band programs with instrument rentals, including the rent-to-own option that is available for all customers looking to try out a new musical instrument with an eye to purchase. “It makes it easy for parents to get their student into the instrument of their choice affordably,” says Dahlen. Car and stereo and satellite systems and installation are among the popular services at House of Music, with brands like Kenwood, Pioneer, JVC, etc. Home stereo and theater systems, along with amplifiers, speakers, Wild Blue and Hughes Internet and Direct TV round out a slew of offerings. And yes, those do come with delivery, set-up and installation. It’s safe to say that House of Music goes beyond its moniker. It has managed to keep up with and exceed consumer demands for new technology when it comes to home entertainment and playing tunes.‘People trust their local retailers…’ “Part of the fun is the constant change,” says Dahlen, smiling. “I would get bored real quick selling nuts and bolts all the time.” Stagnation has never plagued the Dahlen ventures, it would seem. Dahlen’s family has had a presence on Colville’s Main Street since 1958. Ivar Dahlen was General Manager of Barman’s Department Store before purchasing Ivar’s Clothing, the only high-fashion men’s clothing store in Colville, then buying Happy’s Hallmark, followed by The House of Music. The senior Dahlen passed his savvy and business sense to his son, who graduated from Eastern Washington University with a degree in Small Business Management. “People trust their local retailers to take care of them after the sale as well as during it,” says Dahlen. “There has to be a willingness to stand behind the products you sell and the services you offer.” That mantra has led to The House of Music not only serving the Stevens County area, but also becoming one of the largest music and stereo retailers in Northeast Washington, with sub-agents in Omak, Sandpoint and Priest River. Dahlen credits his knowledgeable staff with keeping the business’s myriad offerings running smoothly, whether it’s tuning an instrument or installing a car stereo. As for the future, Dahlen, a member of the City of Colville Parking Commission, supports the return of diagonal parking downtown, as well as assisting the Colville Chamber of Commerce to revitalize the downtown area to bring in more shoppers. “We have a lot of quality stores and businesses here with owners and staff that are very knowledgeable in their respective areas,” says Dahlen. “We have a unique community here, and I enjoy being a part of it.” For more information about The House of Music, call 684-2270.