The Story of Sunday Guitars: Part One

Things were looking very bleak in Bend, Oregon and for much of America back in 2010.

The Great Recession was in full swing, and many people were struggling from the recent economic fallout. It hit the construction industry hard, laying off thousands of workers. Ted Engstrom, a husband and father of two, was one of them. 

Losing his six-figure a year job at a local construction company, things went from bad to worse. The Engstrom family eventually lost their home in Redmond.

To make ends meet, they sold off most of their belongings while Ted looked for new work. 

After a year and a half of odd jobs and part-time work, Ted felt like he had run out of options. 

One afternoon, while on the job hunt, he stopped in at Moore Music on 3rd St.

Coming in to just browse the instruments, what happened next was an opportunity he knew he could not pass down.

“I walked into the guitar store one day and the owner asked me if I’d like to take over his business.” Ted says.

Having been playing the guitar since he was a kid, the thought of owning a music store was always a lifelong dream.

“As soon I knew that’s what I wanted to do!” 

Growing up in rural Montana, Ted was a natural salesman from the beginning. 

“When I was six years old, my two older brothers sold newspapers around the neighborhood.” Ted says. “I used to take the extras and resell them for $.25 cents!”

Ted’s first entrepreneurial exploits ended quickly when his brothers found out.

“They were not happy, I’ll tell you that!” he says with a laugh.

Stocking the new store with his own personal collection, Ted went about setting up shop in the old Moore Music building.

Excited by the new opportunity, he did what every new business owner does: everything.

From answering the phone to selling  and even teaching guitar, Ted’s newly christened venture, Sunday Guitars, was quickly becoming a one man show. 

After several months, burnout was quickly setting in and Ted realized he needed help.

While finishing up the last coats of paint, a local guitarist by the name of Andrew Cooper walked in asking if he needed a guitar teacher. It was the beginning of a long and successful partnership.

Next Week: The Story of Sunday Guitars: Part One

Sources Bend Bulletin article by  Ed Merriam 2017
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