Steve Harkey and his father, Don, formed Accent Music in Wilmington, Delaware in 1988. He was joined in the store by his wife, Joyce, after she raised their five children. The couple met in college, where Joyce studied music therapy and Steve focused on music merchandising. He later worked for Art’s Music in Alabama for about a year and decided this was the industry for him. He and his father researched areas in and around his hometown of Wilmington to open the store. They started with band instrument rentals and as they grew they offered other services such as church installations to support the needs of their customers and music community.