‘The only music store in the world that has cloth diapers’

Creekside Music and Naturals in Grafton is an eclectic shop that reflects the interests of its owners — a holistic nurse and musician

AN ECLECTIC INVENTORY can be found at Creekside Music and Naturals in Grafton, owned by Kat Chronis and her husband Aaron Rossmiller. Chronis, a nurse, stood in front of some of the natural products that reflect her interests (left photo), while her husband, whose passion is music, worked on the neck of a guitar (above photo). Photos by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press staff

It wouldn’t be an understatement to say Creekside Music and Naturals in Grafton is an eclectic shop.

“That’s the No. 1 thing we hear, that we’re eclectic,” Kat Chronis said, laughing. “I bet we’re the only music store in the world that has cloth diapers.”

The store, owned by Chronis and her husband Aaron Rossmiller, rents and sells a variety of new and used musical instruments and accessories such as reeds, strings, drumsticks, as well as products such as essential oils, organic body care products, amber teething necklaces, hula hoops, incense, baby clothes and toys.

“They’re mostly things we tested first as a family,” Chronis said as their almost-3-year-old son Rayn played nearby.

The front of the shop holds their retail offerings, while a large room behind it is used for classes — Chronis offers childbirth classes using the birth boot camp curriculum, and they also offer children’s music classes and music together classes for youngsters and their caregivers — and meetings, such as the local Holistic Moms Network.

Smaller rooms at the back of the space are used for music lessons — currently they offer guitar, ukulele, bass and banjo classes. 

“We’re kind of a destination store,” Chronis said. “What makes us different is we have such a wide variety of products.”

The store at 1310 12th Ave. is a melding of the interests Chronis and her husband have.

Chronis, a holistic nurse and birth instructor, is the natural side of the store while her husband handles the music  part.

The two sides are complementary, Chronis said.

“If you have a husband and wife who come in, we have something that appeals to them both,” she said.

“There are days it’s all moms and kids in here,” Rossmiller said. “Other days, it’s all guys and guitars. It just depends on the day.”

The store has been a fixture in the area for some time. The couple initially rented space on the second floor of the Cedarburg Mill in 2015, but quickly outgrew the space. They then moved to a storefront on Highway 60 in Grafton.

Last June, they moved to their current location on Paramount Plaza.

“What better location for a music store than Paramount Plaza?” Rossmiller asked. “It’s pretty neat we ended up here.”

The shop is their second — Rossmiller started Monument Music in Sheboygan in 2006 and continues to operate the business.

“I grew up in Sheboygan and was a musician there for a long time,” he said.

Before opening his Sheboygan store, Rossmiller said, he held a number of other jobs.

“I’ve done all kinds of stuff, but music’s always been there,” he said.

He was about to buy an insurance agency when, at the last minute, the deal fell through.

“I told him, ‘I don’t envision you as an insurance agent. Music is in your soul,’” Chronis said. “I said, ‘Let’s combine our interests and open a store.’

“This is a labor of love between us.”

At the time, she said, she was working as a home hospice nurse. Since then, she’s become a birth educator and is working to become an integrated family nurse practitioner.

In today’s retail market, when brick-and-mortar stores are in direct competition with Internet businesses, Creekside sets itself apart with its service, the couple said.

They have a rent-to-own program that’s different than the typical setup, they said. Band and orchestra instruments, as well as guitars, can be rented on a month-to-month basis, with the individual buying the instrument after 24 months. 

“If a kid bails after three months, you’re not out too much,” Rossmiller said.

And unlike many companies, the instrument you rent is the one you buy, he said.

The shop has both new and used instruments for purchase or trade, and Rossmiller also does appraisals.

“Sometimes I get to see some cool vintage gear,” he said.

He also repairs and refurbishes instruments, Rossmiller said.

“That’s one of my favorite things, taking something that’s in rough shape and bringing it to a new life,” he said. “The new stuff’s cool and I enjoy that, but if something’s got life left and I can bring it out, to me that’s awesome.”

He can repair most instruments, particularly stringed instruments, and amplifiers, Rossmiller said, adding he works with technicians who can handle repairs he can’t.

He’s also planning to start manufacturing guitars under the name NorthPoint Guitars, although that may be limited to his Sheboygan shop.

“We’ve done some custom builds out of that shop,” Rossmiller said, creating instruments with original shapes.

For now, the couple is concentrating on adding more instruments to their lineup and increasing their visibility.

This summer, they said, they may begin a concert series on the plaza. After all, they said, it only makes sense to play music on Paramount Plaza.



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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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