2017 has been a watershed year. It’s been a year of unforeseen events that have significantly altered our view of the world as well as our role in it. These events have not been ukulele related, in fact the ukulele part of our life, in stark contrast, has been a comforting and reassuring element. Suffice it to say that the lessons of 2017 will be long remembered.

The Los Angeles International Ukulele festival was a wonderful event. Mitch Chang and his crew put on a terrific show and the venue was very good. We enjoyed beautiful SoCal weather that day and the well-attended show kept us busy all day. We don’t do many outdoor shows because of the unpredictability of the weather but Mitch ordered a gorgeous day for us. It was great to see so many old friends and make many new ones. We love the festivals! It was good to get some southern California exposure and we came away with some interesting feedback which will help shape our production for the upcoming year. Our semi-hollow sopraninos generated a lot of interest and we will be making some variants of it for the Spring 2018 shows.

It’s becoming more and more clear that our ukuleles have a special appeal for women players. Perhaps it’s the relatively coarse finish that gives our instruments a very tactile wood texture. Or it might be the extra low action coupled with the zero fret that gives ease of playability. Or maybe it’s our unique IDeale size that is bigger than a concert and smaller than a tenor. We’re not exactly sure what it is but it’s clear that women players are our most common customers. We’re going to take this into consideration as we develop our ukuleles in the future. Designing specifically for women actually targets the main demographic of ukulele players in general, that being seniors. The majority of players are from my age and up so ease of playability is crucial. That will continue to be a driving force behind our designs.

Smile when you play that!