Floyd's grandmother Joyce Cochran was the Houston-area district manager for the San Francisco–based piano retailer Sherman Clay & Co. in the early '80s when Floyd's mother, Deborah, decided to start a business selling Yamaha pianos.
The business thrived in Houston and was able to add a restoration shop. By the late '90s, the company opened a retail space in Stafford. Eventually Floyd's family launched a successful music school—the Fort Bend Music Center—that offers private instruction for a range of instruments to music students in the Southwest Houston area.
As a teenager Floyd said he found his niche in the restoration side of the business. At first he only took on small jobs, but in time, he learned to rebuild a full range of piano brands—from Steinway to Baldwin to Yamaha.
"Basically, I've been working on pianos since my mom decided not to pay for a babysitter," Floyd said.
Two years ago, Floyd and his wife, Lori, moved to Austin. Floyd worked for Strait Music Co. and Steinway Piano Gallery, but in October he decided to launch his own restoration and sales business. Floyd said he chose Leander for its friendly small business climate and proximity to potential clients who live throughout Williamson County.
"I'm service-based—I wanted a nice, large shop with all the fixin's to where we can do any kind of a job," Floyd said. "I really like to get my hands dirty and really like to get into [the] work."
Floyd has been working on clients' instruments in his shop since last fall, but his inventory of Baldwin grand and Vertical pianos arrived in June.
"I chose Baldwin and Hallet Davis because they're complementary lines but they're not very expensive. Hallet Davis is a line that we're pretty proud to have, but Baldwin is our flagship line," Floyd said.
For Floyd, the most important aspect of a purchase is service after the sale. Floyd and his carpenter, Kyle Bass, are committed to perfection, Floyd said.
"When we unbox a piano, we fully prep it," Floyd said. "We go through and we make sure all the keys work properly. There's about 23 moving parts per each key on a piano, times 88 [keys]. So you've got to make sure all those moving parts work in concert with each other. That's what turns our pianos into instruments."
Bass said although he has only worked with Floyd for a few months, he is impressed by Floyd's attention to detail.
"We don't send anything back [to the customer] without it being perfect," Bass said. "I've never worked for anyone like that—that no matter what it is, it's gotta be right. It's gotta go out the door perfect."
Floyd Piano Company offers a range of services to help keep pianos at their peak performance level, including piano tuning and voicing as well as restoration projects on pianos in need of rebuilding or repair.
Floyd said the combination of quality inventory and personal service sets his business apart from the competition.
"There are some really good piano shops in Austin, but they don't have a floor for sales. There are some really good sales departments here in Austin but they don't have a shop," Floyd said. "We offer both."
Installing player systems
Floyd Piano Company specializes in servicing and installing player systems such as Piano Disc, QRS and Disklavier. Player systems have come a long way since the days of player pianos in the late 19th century, owner David Floyd said. Modern systems can be remotely operated via iPad, are capable of a range of expression and can be installed on almost any piano.
Keys for Kids
Floyd said he is working on creating a piano donation program for promising young musicians who can't afford to pay for a new piano. Floyd said the program will accept and tune donated pianos to deliver to students who are selected by area instructors. Piano teachers who are interested in participating in Keys for Kids can call Floyd for additional details.
Grand opening sale
Floyd Piano Company plans to have a grand opening sale during store hours Aug. 29 and 30. Floyd said all showroom pianos will be on sale with some as much as 45 percent off the retail price, and the store will also offer discounts on services through coupons.
Floyd Piano Company, 1309 Leander Drive, Ste. 401, Leander, 281-636-5285, www.floydpianocompany.com, Hours: Tue.–Sat. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sun. 1 p.m.–6 p.m.