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Biz X Award Recipient Bell & Brace BIG Winners Again!

Bell & Brace

Bell & Brace Hits the Right Notes

The 2014 Biz X Award recipient for “Outstanding New Business,” Bell & Brace is once again a big winner!

Double congratulations are in store for #SquareTheLove contest winner Nicole Bezaire from Windsor Ontario’s Bell & Brace musical instrument repair shop. Nicole managed to scoop up our $1,000 grand prize and marry fellow technician Gavin Hoenmans all in the same week. “Gavin and I are so surprised and excited about winning #SquareTheLove!” says Nicole. “We had a blast making the photo — it’s not every day that we bend instruments into geometric shapes — and winning is the cherry on top.”

After receiving an email announcing the social media contest and asking our sellers to tell us why they love Square, Nicole enlisted the help of her soon-to-be husband to help her come up with the prize-winning photo. “I called Gavin and … the first thing he said was, ‘Do you have any scrap flutes?’ We wondered if we could bend one into the shape of a square — it was his idea — and then we worked out what we had in the shop to do it.”

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Nicole Bezaire and Gavin Hoenmans of Bell & Brace.

Nicole and Gavin took the photo in the retail area of their workshop space. “It didn’t take too long to make, but we had to experiment a few times before we realized that it wasn’t going to bend without splitting,” remembers Nicole. “It looks like it was cut but it was just because as it started to bend the metal was tearing. It didn’t take too long with two of us working on it … although it’s a little bit dangerous now with lots of sharp edges!”

Nicole and Gavin met at Keyano College’s Band Instrument Repair Program in Fort McMurray, Alberta, one of the country’s only technical instrument repair programs. Nicole moved to Langley near Vancouver after graduating to learn more skills on the job. She then relocated to the Windsor area and opened Bell & Brace in May 2014 after sensing a need for a technical repair shop in the area. Gavin helps out with repairs when needed.

Nicole discovered Square while researching payment options online. “There are a lot of repairs that are more than $250, and I didn’t want people to feel uncomfortable carrying that kind of money. I found Square and liked everything they offered, plus they had really good reviews. I haven’t switched since. People recognize the little Square, especially other business owners.”

Nicole, a saxophonist herself, enjoys being on the technical support side of the music world and loves encouraging kids to play. “We work with a lot of elementary and high schools, plus the university has intermediate and pro players, and the city has a few marching bands and concert bands,” she says, smiling. “There are players who come in here ranging from beginners to musicians who have been playing for 50 years.”

Hearing that she’d won the contest was music to Nicole’s ears, and the prize money will start her married life off on the right note. “The $1,000 will go towards a couple of new tools for the shop, but we’ll definitely set some aside to celebrate with a camping honeymoon!” she says.

Nicole is thankful to Square for the opportunity. “It’s always fun to participate in something that shows off your business and lets you get creative in the process,” she adds.

Photos courtesy Bell & Brace