It’s the fabulous fall season and school is in full swing. In autumn, I think of pumpkins and falling leaves and then of football games and marching bands. For our Member of the Month this October, I thought NFIB member Robert Strait, owner and president of Strait Music Company
in Austin, is appropriate.
Robert’s Dad, Dan Strait, started Strait Music in 1963. He was selling Baldwin pianos in Houston for a different dealer when a franchise opportunity opened up in Austin. Over the following years, Strait Music slowly became a full-line store servicing customers and school districts all over Austin. Robert said his dad always wanted to be his own boss. He enjoyed being a salesperson, but owning his own franchise gave him the opportunity to sell and make decisions on behalf of the business as a whole.
In 1982, Dan retired from the business and Robert took over the reins, also enjoying the role of small business owner. One thing he loves about running his business is the daily challenges. He deals with the up and downs and finds joy in the subsequent act of finding solutions to help his business to remain successful. In 2006, Robert’s son Clint joined the business as vice president. Together Robert and Clint manage 48 employees and have two business locations.
Strait Music is a 44-year-NFIB-member. Dan Strait joined NFIB in 1972 and Robert still values their membership today because NFIB keeps him informed on issues that will affect their business and NFIB is his small business voice in DC trying to help and protect his interests. Robert said the biggest obstacle for his business has been Obamacare and the recent onslaught of more government regulations. If Robert could tell the Texas Legislature one thing that would help his businesses it would be to STOP over-legislating and get out of our way. He also wants the state to start collecting sales tax on internet sales.
Strait Music is very proud to be a 3rd generation business and they hope to make it a 4th generation business one day. Dan Strait is now 90 years old and plays golf multiple times a week. Robert’s son Clint is his right hand man and is running the business with him and hopefully someday his grandson, Leo can do the same, becoming a 4th generation owner. Robert and Clint are not the only parent/child combos within the company and many of their employees have been there for decades. Robert’s son has known many of the employees his entire life. Robert said they call it the Strait Music family and it’s for good reason.
Strait Music Company is a family owned business that is still going strong over 50 years later. They still operate on the same principles set forth by Dan Strait all those years ago. They still pride themselves as a place “where customers become friends.”
Thank you Strait Music Company for your 44 years of support and loyalty to NFIB. Thank you Robert and Clint for your involvement and always being there when we need to hear from our small business owners fighting daily to run their business. We know we can always count on you!