Sound Business: Blountstown’s Matt and Dara Layfield


Sound BusinessBlountstown’s Matt and Dara Layfield, owners of the nationally recognized store Sound Off Audio, make waves in the world of small business.By Jennifer Ewing

Between managing their company, Sound Off Audio, and its offshoot, Redneck Archery, handcrafting approximately 15 made-to-order speaker boxes per day, raising their two daughters and preparing for the birth of a third child, business owners Matt and Dara Layfield are living life at full-volume intensity.

Epitomizing the phrase “jack of all trades,” the Layfields sell hunting equipment and a wide variety of electronics, both online and in their store. They also install car audio equipment and home theater systems and produce some of the finest speaker boxes on the market with a staff of only four people. Yet despite their hectic schedules, the Layfields manage to blast forward in every direction at once.

Stepping into their Blountstown store, visitors quickly see that it’s as comprehensive as the couple’s business endeavors as they’re surrounded by an array of truck accessories, tree stands, flat-screen televisions and bows and arrows. It’s a sea of electronics and camouflage, akin to a budding supercenter – but this is no random assimilation of merchandise.

“I base everything we sell on my own personal hobbies,” says self-described “normal dude” Matt Layfield. Every item sold and every service offered through both Sound Off Audio and Redneck Archery points to Layfield’s interests and therefore reaches a familiar, well-understood demographic. Layfield can easily project what will appeal to his market because he recognizes his customers’ needs and hobbies as his own.

This natural business sense, along with hard work and a commitment to customer service, has helped Sound Off Audio thrive since its inception in 2000, and others are taking note. Just recently, Mobile Electronics magazine hailed the company as one of the top 100 audio installers in the country, an honor reserved for “prime examples of professionalism, service and expertise.”

The Layfields’ work ethic and dedication to their business is indisputable. In order to establish Sound Off Audio, Dara Layfield left her job as a paralegal, while Matt Layfield traded his midnight shifts as a correctional officer for 16-hour workdays. Rather than the standard 9-to-5 job, he now spends the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. in his workshop, constructing speaker boxes for sale online. He then goes to the store to tie up any loose ends on the business side of the operation.

While the job is far from easy, ultimately, Matt Layfield enjoys being able to excel without the aid of a corporate ladder. He also is happy to remain in his hometown and utilize the skills he has honed since his ninth-grade cabinetry course.

When asked what sets Sound Off Audio apart from other retailers and installers, Layfield simply says, “The quality of our products.” This grounded business outlook is what Layfield believes has helped his business scale to the top.