Heartbeat: The Early Years 2003 – 2009. It started in 2003 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. After a frustrating experience purchasing a drum kit for the church that he was attending, Noel Walker was challenged to do something about the process. As he left the music store, Noel was complaining to himself that there should be a place where ministry folks could go and get proper information and education on the right products for their application, and then be able to purchase those products at a better price. He thought since ministries typically raise all their funds through donations, then why couldn’t they get a break on instruments and gear instead of paying regular retail?
What he didn’t expect was someone to answer him with a question. “How many times am I going to give you a great idea and you are going to say: ‘Wouldn’t it be great if somebody did something’ about it?” Stopping on the sidewalk, Noel knew the thought wasn’t his own and his spirit acknowledged that he was hearing a divine voice. Quite perplexed about the encounter, he thought about it driving home. Questions were bombarding him, such as: “What could I do about it?” and, “Did I hear correctly or was it just a random thought.” Then a more startling question: “Wait a minute, Lord, what do you mean, ‘How many times?’ What else have I missed?”
Later that day Noel told his wife Phyllis about the encounter and asked her to pray. He fully believed that the response would be something like: “You are crazy.” But, the next day it was a surprise. “You need to look into this further,” she said. And so it began!
Where to start? Noel needed a formal business. After learning about the legal process of starting a company, the Heartbeat name was secured and the company was created. As a drummer, it was logical to start with drum gear. A logo was born… a beat shaped like a heart coming out of a drum. Now, where to get products to offer to ministries? They had to be good quality. And Heartbeat had to be able to offer them at great pricing.
The only place to start was to contact companies that were making great products that were already on the market, but not available in Canada. It seemed illogical that a major manufacturer already with distribution in Canada would be interested in supplying an individual to sell their product directly to non-profit businesses. That would compete directly with their distributor and retail selling outlets. Heartbeat needed to be the exclusive Canadian distributor, purchase goods at distributor pricing, and then would be able to supply those products to ministries at pricing that might be equivalent to what distributors of other products were selling them to stores.