We're thrilled to announce that Samantha and Estefan Cortez, former staff members of The Long Island Violin Shop, are opening their own violin shop on July 1st in San Antonio, Texas.
Many of you remember Samantha and Estefan who met and fell in love while working together at the LIVS. Samantha had worked under the guidance of Charles Rufino and Endre Fischer in the LIVS workshop since she was fifteen years old and Estefan had joined the LIVS in 2013 as the Education Coordinator making a name for himself as a teacher and instrument dealer.
The couple dated in secret for a while to keep their relationship separate from their workplace until 2016 when Samantha was accepted to attend The Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City. They decided to move to Utah together and it was at that point that they made their love for each other and their plans to move west public. In March of 2017 Charles Rufino and the staff of the LIVS bid their farewells to Samantha and Estefan and wished them well on their new life together out west.
Once in Utah, Samantha studied violin making and also gave workshops on bow maintenance and repair at The Violin making School of America. Estefan became the head of the biggest professional strings program in Utah at Summerhays Music, the oldest family music store in the state. Samantha also worked at Summerhays Music as a luthier and bow specialist.
In November of 2017 Samantha and Estefan got engaged at Zion National Park, Utah and in October of 2019 they eloped to O'ahu, Hawaii. It has always been the couple's dream to open their own violin shop. After several years in Utah honing her skills as a maker and his skills as an instrument dealer and music teacher it seemed like the logical next step. The marriage of not only their hearts but also their individual talents make them the perfect couple to open a violin shop.
When asked why they chose to open their business in San Antonio, they said that it's a strong community where people support local businesses and a lot of money is put into school music programs. The message that they received when talking with music teachers in San Antonio was "We need people like you."
Samantha and Estefan both miss the family vibe at the LIVS and speak about their mentor Charles Rufino with great admiration and affection. "He was the best boss I ever had," said Estefan. "I was really inspired by Charles and his shop," said Samantha. They both described how Mr. Rufino not only taught them about the business but about life in general. "Before we left he kept urging me to get life insurance," says Estefan with a smile as he described how Mr. Rufino cared about them not just as his employees but as family members. Samantha explained how they want to have the same kind of family vibe in their own business and they hope that someday they can give their employees the same kind of advice and support that Mr. Rufino gave to them.
Be sure to read more about Samantha and Estefan and The Texas Violin Shop at www.texasviolinshop.com. You can also follow them on Instagram and Facebook.