Westminster violin maker struggling to stay open during pandemic, pledging to help musicians

Coronavirus

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (KDVR) — A local violin maker struggling to keep his doors open during the pandemic is making a commitment to share the community support shown to him.

On Black Friday, one of the most important shopping days of the year, Mi Vida Strings is closed for business. Owner Erick Trujillo is unable to open shop as he fights COVID-19 at home.

“My symptoms are a little more mild than serious, so I’m grateful for that,” Trujillo said. 

Trujillo is a first-generation luthier, a violin maker and restorer. His clients were some of the first impacted when pandemic business shut-downs first started in Colorado. Months later, they continue to battle empty theaters and restricted capacity in venues.

“All of our clients — from our students and school music programs all the way to the Colorado Symphony — professional musicians and teachers, the performing arts have basically been shut down and it’s had a huge impact on our repair business, our sales,” Trujillo said, adding, “When they are not working, we’re not working. So we’re trying to find a way to make lemonade out of lemons.”

Trujillo created a GoFundMe campaign, hoping to help cover his mortgage and costs of staying open during a holiday season when big instrument purchase are not possible for many.

“I think anybody that’s worked as hard as we have as a family to keep a small business like ours alive for 10 years, we all want to survive, we want the performing arts community and the businesses supporting it to survive.”

Trujillo plans to use portions of donations given to his business to give back to others struggling in the local music community. 

“We decided to make a commitment that some of the proceeds from the donations would go towards building some instruments that we can give back to some needy students in the community or musicians struggling,” Trujillo said. “We are all struggling together.”

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