A new downtown guitar shop plans to donate a portion of its revenue to Lawrence-based charities and community programs.
Guitarma — a combination of “guitar” and “karma” — will have its grand opening Friday, Aug. 30, at 5 p.m. at 726 Massachusetts St.
“I know for so many community charities, a little bit can go a long way,” said Casey Green, the owner of Guitarma who also graduated from the University of Kansas in 2006.
Although the exact percentage of revenue that will be donated to local charities hasn’t been determined yet, Green said he plans to donate to local programs like Just Food, the Willow Domestic Violence Center and early childhood programs.
Green said he plans to encourage community engagement by holding a vote to help decide which organization will receive the proceeds.
Green has played the guitar since he was in the third grade. He also played in local Lawrence bands during high school and college.
After graduating from the University, Green worked in the advertising and marketing industry for years. He said it has given him foundational knowledge of how to run a business.
“I’ve always had delusions of rock star grandeur,” Green said. “I think as soon as I figured out that that was probably not as likely to happen as I had hoped, this was always kind of my fallback.”
Guitarma will sell guitars, guitar accessories, vinyl records and other music memorabilia. In the future, Green said he also plans to offer lessons and repair services.
“One thing that I want to do to make it a little bit different from some of the other shops is have it be a little bit of a music lover’s paradise,” Green said.
Green collects some music memorabilia that he plans to sell at Guitarma — and it’s something that other music stores in Lawrence don’t sell, Green said.
“I want to have a couple of old '50s and '60s jukeboxes in here for sale, but mostly just for catching people’s attention as they walk by and see something that they haven’t seen since a Pizza Hut in the '80s,” Green said.
Danny Corwin, owner of Corwin Guitar Co. in Topeka, will assist Guitarma with repairs that might be beyond the scope of the store. Green has been a customer of Corwin’s for years, and the two have become friends.
Corwin said Green “means really well and treats people well” and that he’s knowledgeable about the guitar industry, which will help his store do well.
“I think that those personality character traits will really be useful and really benefit Guitarma because he’s just a delightful guy,” Corwin said.
Having grown up in Lawrence, Green knows the other music shops in town well. He said he hopes to co-exist with the other music stores for as long as he can.
“When it comes to music, you can never really have too much of a good thing,” Green said.