5th March 2021

As part of our #IOU Campaign it’s time to get to know the people behind our fabulous City Centre businesses! This week we bring you Tamara Jackson, Director of Matchetts Music located on Wellington Place.

Check out their website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Q & A with Matchetts Music

Tell us about your business?

Matchetts Music was established in 1936 and has been in Wellington Place ever since. It is a family business run by myself and my brother Neil, though our parents Derek and Ann (who ran the business for over 40 years) still pop in to keep us on our toes!! We have nine full time members of staff in our two stores both of which are in Wellington Place.

What is your business most known for?

We are best known for selling musical instruments. Often when I meet people for the first time and mention Matchetts, they recount how they bought their first guitar/instrument there and it's always lovely to hear these stories.

3 main attributes you need for the job:

The three attributes you would need for my job are:
- A passion for what you do
- The ability to make decisions under pressure and
- Most importantly the courage to stay positive and keep going when things get tough (e.g this year).

Path to this position?

I have worked in many different areas of the family business through the years, from working part time as a schoolgirl at the till, to specialising in sheet music buying. From there I became involved in the marketing and personnel areas and have more recently progressed to the accounting side of the business.

Workwise, what are you most proud of?

I think my proudest moment so far has been that I've had the strength and ability to help guide the business through the last year. Even in the worst days in Northern Ireland's history, Matchetts remained open so it has been very hard for us to stay closed during the current pandemic. However, this has forced us to really look at how retail is changing, and we have all been working hard at adapting the business so when we can open again, we should be in a stronger position and more relevant to current retail trends and hopefully stay in Wellington Place for another 85 years!

What are you most proud of in your life?

My family/children, they are all amazing! (I have to say that right!!)

How have you innovated over lockdown?

We have been doing lots of innovating during lockdown and Neil and I are really proud of how our team have adapted. Our major achievement has been linking our stock to our website and introducing a new Point of Sale system which combines in store sales with our website. We have also been hosting a lot of virtual events such as guitar and ukulele challenges and 'How to' sessions by zoom.

What are looking forward to the most after lockdown?

I am looking forward to seeing customers back in store, playing the instruments and interacting with the team. I really miss the buzz of both stores being open.

How can customers support you right now?

We have been trying to support our customers through lockdown with help to maintain their instruments through our 'How to' sessions and videos, with musical challenges and events to help keep them engaged. Hopefully, they will help us in return by thinking of us when they need musical supplies.

What do you most love about the Belfast City Centre?

I love the fact that Belfast City Centre is so compact, no matter where you need to go you can walk in a short time, which is very handy when you need to get something at lunchtime!