"I never thought my severe neck injury would lead to a new invention that would help other people."
In 1979 Co-founder Kim Terpening began suffering from chronic neck pain. The pain was a result of playing 5-string banjo in a bluegrass band. The average 5-string banjo weighs about 13 pounds. Kim's banjo was a top tension banjo which added 2 lbs to the total weight. Standing 4 hours a day with a banjo strapped over Kim's shoulder pulled her neck, back muscles, and tendons. This imbalance over the years manifested itself into a debilitating condition called, a reverse curve of the neck. The condition became so bad Kim walked into the Doctor's office holding her head up only with the support of her hands. The Doctor's diagnoses was simple, "You need to play banjo sitting down or play a different type of instrument." Kim's love of Bluegrass music which had by now become her livelihood meant that was not an option. Therefore, Kim began work on the No-Strap©. After years of research and development there is now a strap designed to relieve tired shoulders and place instrument weight on the hips. The No-Strap© for the banjo is Fifth Child Music Inc.'s first product and launched a new type of music supply company.
Naming the Company
Bill Monroe, father of American Bluegrass Music designed the first bluegrass band. After various combinations of instrumentation, he decided that the fifth and final addition to his invention would be the 5-string banjo. He later commented that the banjo was the fifth child of bluegrass music. Since the 5-string banjo instigated Kim's injury, and then inspired the first product developed for a new kind of music supply company; it seemed we had no choice but to call this company Fifth Child Music Inc.©
A NEW kind of Music Supply Company
As a company founded by musicians, we have two goals at Fifth Child Music Inc. First and foremost, is to offer musicians high quality products that solve unique problems they face and/or offer a handmade aesthetic that is hard to find in today's marketplace. The second goal is to build a strong entrepreneurial community of craftspeople and musicians.
ALL of our products are made right here in America by small businesses. So when you buy a product from Fifth Child Music Inc., you are helping more than one American small business thrive! If you have an idea but you don’t know how to get it developed and to the marketplace, let us help! We're always looking for new ideas and are more than willing to license products or create joint ventures to help like-minded entrepreneurs! If you are a working band and want to help us get the word out ask us about our affiliate marketing program.
A Few Words About the Co-Founders
Chad Beauchaine and Kim Koskela-Terpening are both musicians. Kim is a bluegrass picker and Chad plays traditional Irish music. They met in the Chicago airport flying back to Knoxville, TN. After becoming fast friends through their mutual love of eclectic and folk music, a business venture was started when Chad saw Kim's invention for the banjo and realized her ability to solve problems. Likewise, Kim recognized Chad's business acumen and his entrepreneurial spirit so it only made sense to start a company with a shared vision: Original Supplies for Original musicians.