Vern Schafer joined the family business of moving pianos as a teenager, but had the dream of running his own piano store. While still running the Schafer Piano Movers Company, Vern set out to learn all he could about the ins and outs of the piano retail business. Soon after opening Colton Pianos, in the southern California town of Colton, Vern was able to expand, opening other locations. In the process, Vern wanted to train his employees to be able to run and manage the stores so that he could continue to run the moving company as well as other ideas he had. As a result Vern became a mentor to many successful piano retailers who went on to own and operate their own stores including Dennis James of the Piano Warehouse in San Diego and Bill Shaw of Desert Pianos in Palm Springs.
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