R&R Hero of The Week - Ryan Lawley

by Nathan Garcia on Apr 14, 2010 at 9:49 AM
R&R Engage (17)


I have a special place in my heart for small businesses that do what they
do because they love doing it.  I met Ryan Lawley when he and I both lived
in Tulsa, OK.  He was working for one of the big boy music stores, and after
talking a while we found we had some things in common as far as music, faith
and business. We have both since moved back to Texas, and after wondering
what had become of Ryan, I received a Facebook friend request from my old
buddy from the big box accessory counter. He had relocated to Canton, Tx and
opened RNA Music. A small music store offering popular lines, lessons, and
something you might not get from the big guys: friendly, personal attention.
I asked Ryan about this and here is what he had to say:

NG: You opened a music store in the face of a recession and some hard times
for brick and mortar music stores, are you crazy? What drove you to do this?

RL: Passion for music. Everyone has a dream, but few people have the courage
to chase it down and make it happen. My dream is to make a living somehow
with the things I am passionate about. Guitars, drums, music, and teaching.
I have worked for Big corporate companies in sales and I wanted to be the
MAN instead of working for him! You come to a point in your life when you
have to quit wondering what you are going to do/be when you grow up because
before you know it, youe ARE grown up and real life is staring you in the
face. There's never a better time than right now to start chasing your

NG: What do you think sets you apart from other music store, big box, or

RL: I have worked for a Big Box guitar store......you can guess which one,
and other big companies. What makes me different is relationship. People are
relational beings. Everyone wants someone to treat them with respect and
treat them well. We've all been in the store where the guy behind the
counter either doesn't know what he's talking about, OR is trying to sell
you the item with the most profit margin, not the item you actually want. My
business philosophey is simple. Treat other people the way I want to be
treated. Part of my business is also a lesson studio, and unlike most of the
teachers in my area, I actually have a Bachelor of Music degree. I like to
teach people what they want to know while learning what they need to know to
be an educated musician, so while learning Guns 'n Roses songs they learn
why G C em D work so well together. Fun and knowledge CAN go hand in hand.
Keep rockin' and keep chasing the life YOU want!

My hero.


Contact Ryan at
or add RNA Music on Facebook
RNA Music
201 Short Street,
Canton, TX 75103

(903) 567-2233

17 R&R Engage comments to “R&R Hero of The Week - Ryan Lawley”

  1. Eric McKenna Says:
    Congrats Ryan! Keep doin' what you do and you will be a huge success!
  2. TBarnes Says:
    GREAT ARTICLE... wish more people were like Ryan Lawley.
  3. angela Says:
    It is a breath of fresh air to see people opening a buisness with quality and excellence! I know for a fact that Ryan has a big heart toward his students and teaching them something they love and how to be disciplined. I am proud to know him. Everyone should come and check out his shop, there everyone is family! Thanks for giving him the notice that he deserves!
  4. Brainbanana Says:
    I have done business with Ryan, and he is definitely a very good person to work with. His communication is great, and character is strong. My best goes out to his Music store, and I hope it does well for him. Long live David in the shadow of Goliath!
  5. Jasie Says:
    So proud of you Ryan!!! Thanks for being real and caring about people while you chase your dreams. You're one in a million:). Good luck!!! We will be supporting you in every way we possibly can!!
  6. Brad Says:
    Ryan, you are awesome, man. The guitar I picked up from you is awesome. I need to get in there and take some lessons!
  7. Marissa Says:
    Congratulations on this recogniton. You deserve it. There are few business owners like you left and I will keep praying for you every step of the way.
  8. andrea Says:
    We're so happy you guys are doing what you love! Ryan has a teacher's heart. Get ready for Gabe. He's gonna be a heavy metal drummer and he insists on turning it up to 11.
  9. Amanda Says:
    Gosh, I knew Ryan was headed for great things! I can't put into words how proud I am!... but I'll sure try! Ryan is such an extraordinary person! So very talented as well! He deserves so much more than even this! Not that it's not an honor to be mentioned by this but knowing Ryan he deserves to be put on the front of every cool magazine there is! Anyway... it's cool to know that I'm not the only one that sees greatness in him. Keep on doing what your doing Ryan! You rock!
  10. Steven J Says:
    I've known Ryan since high school and college and one thing I can definately say about him as he has integrity. Anymore that is a hard thing to find especially when it comes to business. Congrats man on becoming R&R Hero of the week!! Despite the hard times in the economy, I know what you are doing will be blessed. And you deserve it Bro!

    SJ - Tyler,TX
  11. Steven J Says:
    I've known Ryan since high school and college, and if theres anything I can say about him its that he is a man of integrity. Through adversity he has always "kept the faith" and I know he will be blessed in his business. Congrats Ryan on this honor of being hero of the week. Can't wait to come down and see the shop and pick out my next axe!! You rock dude!!

    SJ - Tyler, TX
  12. Mike Hastings Says:
    Congratulations Ryan! I wish you much success. When we love what we do and do what we love, it is truly no longer work and so rewarding. Having worked with you I know your passion for music and helping others. I also know that you have your priorities straight and as long as you maintain the 5 p's - People, Passion, Performance, Pride, and Perseverence along with a daily dose of faith, you will go to new heights.
    Isaiah 40:31(KJV)
    31But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
  13. Amy B Says:
    Ive known Ryan since childhood n he has always been a great person w a big heart. He continues 2 show these qualities in his business. I wish all the best 2 him
  14. Paul D Says:
    It's about time someone "STUCK IT TO THE MAN!!!" And I couldn't think of any other person to do it!!! You have a man with passion and drive for music, and there is no stopping him!!! Ryan is that guy!!! A Hard core local rocker who is spreading the knowledge of rocking to young minds all over East Texas and beyond!!! From one old punk to a Rocker, I'm proud of you man!!! (weep)

    Disclaimer - The weep remark was for comical purposes only. By no means do old punk men cry because their friends are following their dreams!
  15. Marylyn Wright Says:
    Ryan will always contribute to music, because he IS a MUSICIAN. He is a wonderful person with much potential. This music store venue may be a good thing for everyone because he will treat you right and he knows his "stuff." I should know because I taught him in his formative years of college. The best to you and RNA Music, Ryan.
  16. Ryan Says:
    WOW. Thank you everyone. The response and comments are beyond amazing. Thank you all for the kind words and support. I have so many great people who influence and inspire me and many of them just left their thoughts here.
    YOU all keep on rockin' in the free world!!!!!!!
  17. Josh Engebretson Says:
    Ryan is the man...The thing I have observed about Ryan is his humility. You never hear him wearing his past successes on his sleeve and when other people are playing and is distasteful (many times me) or playing the wrong chords- He simply keeps his mouth shut and does his thing. His talent and his philosophy of music eventually rubs off on you without saying a word. I pray that this dream is fulfilled much deeper than you ever dreamed :)...

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