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11 Dec

Drumming Up Inspiration With C.O. Bigelow’s Ian Ginsberg –

For Ian Ginsberg, family is all the things — whether each business or pleasure.

The third generation owner and president of C.O. Bigelow Apothecary, whose son Alec is the corporate’s chief operating officer, Ginsberg also inherited a passion for music that he has passed on.

“I come from a musical family,” said Ginsberg, himself an avid drummer who also dabbles in guitar and vocals. “My mom was a concert pianist, my father was a bandleader. So, I used to be at all times in a musical household.”

The daddy of three has passed along his love. Alec Ginsberg plays guitar and sings within the family’s band, while his daughter, Wendy, plays guitar and ukelele and his other son, Reed, is a drummer. “They were all in bands in college, so we’ve got a family band,” said Ginsberg, “but my wife doesn’t play anything. Our family group chat is called ‘The Band and Mom.’”

His family life — and residential — literally reflect the family’s musicality. Ginsberg keeps guitars in almost every room, along with a dedicated room for the family band to practice and play in. “I actually have an entire studio arrange at my house,” he said. “This manner, it’s easy for us to only exit and play. At family gatherings, all of us run downstairs and pick up our instruments.”

The Brecker Brothers and Steely Dan — the Aja album specifically — influenced Ginsberg probably the most during his upbringing, they usually still feature heavily in his rotation today. On a more contemporary note, he’s a fan of John Mayer and Maggie Rogers.

“I take heed to loads of ’70s rock, from the Grateful Dead to Jefferson Airplane, and stuff I grew up on, just like the Rolling Stones,” he said.

“I love musical talent. People like John Mayer didn’t get up someday and say, ‘I would like to be a rock star and make a number of money,’” he continued. “It’s about taking a creative a part of them and expressing themselves, and in the event that they made a living out of it, that may be great.”

Ginsberg himself toyed with the thought of playing drums professionally, having played weddings and quite a lot of gigs at events and clubs during his time in pharmacy school at Long Island University. “My father said to me, ‘Why don’t you go to pharmacy school, you’ll still get a pharmacy license and you may play whilst you’re at school. While you’re ravenous afterward, you may just change into a pharmacist.’”

The 2 profession paths aren’t dissimilar, he said. “After I got out of college in 1985, there wasn’t a job for me at Bigelow’s and I desired to play. I desired to be a musician, and I needed to work out a solution to make this place work for me. That was the tipping point — how can I entertain people in a retail environment? How can I make it a spot where people wish to go? Coming in must be a want, not a necessity.”

Over time, he’s been in a position to translate that ethos to the business. “I take the identical approach with Bigelow — I actually have an audience, I would like to inform stories and it’s just a distinct way of entertaining people,” Ginsberg said. “Early on, and still today, Bigelow is a stage where I can tell stories through products, create things that I like, and we are saying that Bigelow is a group of our favourite things.”

He credits that blend for the retailer’s success, whose clientele range from Eleanor Roosevelt nearly a century ago to today’s industry icons. “We maintain a who’s who. What excites me is seeing people likes Gilles Bensimon, Calvin Klein or Marc Jacobs — an hour ago, we had Kate Moss. It’s generally individuals who don’t run their very own errands,” he said. “However the one errand they do run, they arrive to Bigelow’s.”

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