Born from a genuine love and in-depth knowledge of music, Woodstock Chimes is the brainchild of Garry Kvistad, a professional musician, instrument builder, and member of the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame, alongside Ringo Star, Mickey Hart, Buddy Rich, and many more.
In its catalogue, Woodstock Chimes boasts page after page of high-quality chimes, replicating sounds and music from around the world and across time – from African-inspired bamboo chimes to those tuned to the ancient Greek pentatonic scale, devised by the Greek composer Olympos in the 7th century BC.
It was while teaching at a university in northern Illinois that Garry’s business journey began. After developing a passion for the ancient scales of classical musicians, he found himself increasingly inspired by the haunting yet soothing scales used by these classical composers. So much that he decided to build his own instruments to replicate those sounds. While Garry initially struggled to find funding for his endeavours, he soon struck upon a goldmine in the unlikeliest of places.
In a local junkyard, Garry found a treasure trove of discarded aluminium lawn chairs, which when cut up, would make perfect xylophones, carefully tuned to recreate the scales used by Olympos and other ancient composers. Thus, Garry created his first prototype, which he dubbed “the adapted lawn chair.”
While refining his prototype, Garry began to ponder how he could bring these incredible sounds to people across the world without them having to build or learn to play a xylophone first. The answer, and the materials to build it, were right in front of him. Soon after, he founded Woodstock Chimes, a business based in the healing, soothing, and energising properties of music.
Starting out small, Woodstock Chimes initially sold their wares at local farmers markets, made from the same reclaimed aluminium lawn chairs as Garry’s original prototypes. But the business began to expand and started online via Amazon in 2003.
Garry explains, “We saw online sales as an opportunity to share our products with the wider world. At the time, many wind chimes available over the internet were lower in quality or not backed up by a recognised business. Our chimes have a lifetime guarantee for their tone. You can send them back to us at any time and we will re-tune to the specific note they were designed to play.”
This strong commitment to quality made it all the more jarring when counterfeits began to appear on the Amazon store. Not only were these inferior products causing Woodstock Chimes to lose out on sales, they were also undoing the business’s hard work in building a well-respected reputation.
“Unfortunately for most customers, it never even crosses their mind that they might have received a counterfeit product instead of the genuine article. Instead, they think we have changed the product to save a buck, which could not be further from the truth.”
After their top-selling item was targeted by a bad actor, they knew they needed to do something to better protect their brand. Fortunately, Woodstock Chimes had a range of tools available to them to help them protect their intellectual property, brand, and customers. They began with enroling their brand in Amazon Brand Registry and used the Report a Violation tool to find and report potential counterfeit products. Once found, Amazon investigated the infringing products and then swiftly removed them from Amazon’s stores.
While attending the Amazon Summit in Seattle, they heard about Transparency and immediately saw the value in the proactive protection that the service offered. Transparency would prevent them from being targeted by future counterfeiters by requiring sellers and resellers to provide a unique and accurate Transparency code before the product was listed or shipped. Customers could now scan Transparency codes to verify product authenticity, no matter where they bought the products. Transparency also allowed them to better connect with their customers by displaying videos, images, and other content sharable by social media when they scanned the codes with the Transparency or Amazon shopping app.