Jason Rose

Jason Rose

By Matt Bauer

 Jason Rose’s entryway into the audio-visual world started at the age of 12, when his cousin, a lead tech, brought the future owner of AV Shop to a fashion show. “It was just for fun,” explains Rose to Professional Sound.  “I was a kid. I was thinking ‘This is amazing.’ And he had me do a couple of small tasks for him. And he's like, ‘You actually did that really [well].’ The next event he had he brought me out as a paid staff member. I loved it. From that time I was getting myself involved in any tech possible. I was fortunate enough to have an amazing theatre support staff at our high school taught me a lot of what I know moving past  pulling cables and pushing cases. They taught me a lot of theory, a lot about the theatrical side of the business rather than just the live event side. I had no idea at what point I was going to turn it into a career but I’ve been doing it literally since I was a kid.”

Following his graduation from the Systems Engineering Program at Conestoga College in 2007, Rose says that his initial goal was to start a production company. “For our final year project, we built a touchscreen multi touch wall. We needed some short throw projectors to make it work and I took them out on a couple of my gigs and customers really liked them and wanted to buy them off me. I started finding more and more products to buy—LED was just at the very forefront at the time—I bought some LED bars and built some custom cases for them. I rented those a handful of times.”

 The positive reception resulted in the formation of AV Shop in 2010 which Rose runs with his brothers Laurie and Shael. “[Selling products] wasn’t our goal, it kind of just happened,” says Rose. “We we're trying to find more and more unique products that not everybody had. We were having a very hard time finding anywhere to buy that type of equipment in Canada. We were finding lots in Europe and lots in the States.”

Originally inaugurated as a website in 2010 before the ecommerce boom, AV shop currently employs 19 people. “Around 2016, we decided to change from a rental and staging only focus. Prior to 2016, we were doing a bunch of install work, and we were selling more and more to integrators. So around that time, we said we're no longer going to be doing any installs. We were strictly going to be a sales focused company and started almost sub-distributing to integrators and resellers across the country. We didn't want to compete with them. So we cut out all of the actual physical work.

As far as career highlights, Rose says that his successful partnership with his brothers is a pinnacle. “I’ve talked to members of family businesses and they absolutely hate it. We have been very fortunate to actually love it. It’s great on a personal side and work side and it makes things very easy. You've got partners that you can trust and that have similar values to you.”

While Rose admits that supply chain issues and a shortage of staff has resulted in the temporary closure of AV Shop’s showroom (he’s also looking for a larger warehouse space) he says that AV Shop’s business continues to flourish.” Doing business has changed from where we were and it wasn't that long ago to now,” he says. “Having a team that can rely on us  has been great. Most of our customers consider us friends. You know the number of repeat business is really high because everybody has a similar vibe and gets along and enjoys working with us. They’re more partners than they are customers.”

Away from work, Rose enjoys spending time with his wife and two little boys aged three and one, skiing and cars while also confessing that he doesn’t have too many hobbies because he has worked his entire life.

 Matt Bauer is a free lance writer based in Niagara Falls, ON.

He can be reached at mattbauer1975@gmail.com