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Meet Anthony “Ike” Iacovangelo of Flipside Music in Denver Metro

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anthony “Ike” Iacovangelo.

Thanks for sharing your story with us.  So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Flipside Music was born by a love of music, guitars and the gear that goes along with it, like effects pedals and amplifiers. I used to buy guitars and fix them up and resell them for a little extra cash, and also to keep and play. I have always been a garage sale thrift store shopper, as it’s fun to find treasure. I would then sell them on sites like eBay. My past career was as a restaurant and bar manager and one day, I broke my ankle, which had me laid up at home for a few months. Doing my best to fight being bored, I had a friend bring me to go get a dba and Flipside Music was born. I started making phone calls seeing if anyone would sell me music related items, I was just selling online at the time. I took a $750 investment and found a couple of companies that would let me sell their products. Slowly items sold and this micro biz started to grow, next thing I knew I had a small warehouse, and decided to venture out on my own, as the corporate restaurant world was no longer a fulfilling career. I figured if I was gonna put all this time into something, I should do it for myself and be in an industry that was more aligned with my passion, guitars and music!

We outgrew the warehouse and just online sale to open a small retail location, where we reside currently. Along the way, I met Dylan Washburn, who started as a part-time guy, helping out around the store. He has proven to be a most valuable addition to the company and its growth. He is my right-hand man, friend and part of the family.

I decided that we also wanted to put some of our effects towards doing great things for other people. That’s when I met John Catt, he was the founder of Blue Star Connection, a charity that works with music therapist, and children in cancer centers. We hit it off and soon Flipside Music was storing, repairing and shipping musical equipment to kids in cancer centers all over the country. Sadly we lost John a couple of years ago to cancer, but since then I have become a committee member of the charity, and we are the official Denver drop off center for gear donations and we still store, repair, sell and ship donated instruments to children and music therapist, and well really anyone who is in need. We have helped donate to other local charities as well, like Girls Rock Denver, Mile High Scensters, and Youth on Record, just to name a few.

The bottom line is, we want everyone to feel welcome at our shop. No matter if they are just starting out or are a seasoned musician, our staff is here to provide knowledge and help guiding folks to their musical goals. Whether thats through music lessons, guitar and amp repair or finding that perfect piece of gear that will get them that gig at Red Rocks, we want to share that journey with our customers. I feel that attitude is why we are growing, authentic, genuine customer service goes a long way.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The musical Instrument industry has been a bit tough. The competition with online companies can be staggering.

We live in a world of instant gratification and clicking on a button has become a habit to some. We sell things that make sounds, it’s hard to really understand how something sounds, or feels unless you try it. So, online will get the folks that don’t want a personal experience, we will welcome everyone else.

It takes time to prove to a music community that you are worthy. I feel we are proving to be.

Please tell us more about Flipside Music. What else should we know?
Our biggest draw is that we have the largest guitar effects pedal selection in the state, possibly the region. That is our big thing, but we also carry guitar and amplifier brands that the big box store don’t. That makes our small shop an interesting stop for any guitarist. We do carry large brands like Fender, which we are the only independent dealer in the Denver metro area.

I feel the thing that sets us apart from other companies is that we truly care about what our customers are playing, the music they are creating, and the musical path they are on. That translates into an authentic experience. We are not a corporation, it’s not all about just numbers, it’s about people. We are not a high-pressure sales store, and we work deals with people and work with folks budget. It’s just straight up a cool hang.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I grew up in NY in a large Italian family, one of my best memories was when we had a family reunion in Niagara Falls. We had family from Italy, Canada, and the states all there. It was the best feast I’ve ever seen. Wine, song, food and family, it was a heck of a party.

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Image Credit:
Ike

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