20 under 40: Gregory Riley
Published: November 30, 2012
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Gregory Riley has always had a competitive drive and a need to keep busy. He has found that being a small business owner fulfills those needs, even more than he sometimes wants.
As owner of Wee Ideas LLC, he oversees two divisions — entertainment and rental representation and musical equipment sales and rentals via The Instrument Closet.
Attending college as a music education major, he began the entertainment division by representing his own band. As the band grew and changed members and other groups emerged, he began booking entertainment at different events, such as weddings and clubs. He then invested in photo booths, thus establishing Pa. Photo Booths, which now handles events year round and employs six part-time technicians.
Instrument Closet came into existence from the need he saw as students were looking for affordable, quality instrument rental. “I always felt music helped me through some tough times in my life. I saw students who wanted to be involved in music programs and were denied the opportunity for reasons out of their control,” Riley explained. He began refurbishing used instruments to sell at a reduced rate so students could experience the power of music. After a year in business, the entrepreneur had the opportunity to start a rental division, which offered a four-month trial of a new instrument for only $19.95. “The program has been extremely successful in the four school districts we have been able to work with,” he says.
He spends a good amount of time being observant of his surroundings. “I am constantly learning and trying to better myself not only as a business owner but as a person,” he says.
He is very grateful to his family, especially his wife, Shea, and their two beautiful children, Lia and Cadden.