At Amahi Ukuleles, we love supporting local business and we are excited to recognize Kidder Music as our first dealer for our Shop Small Saturday feature. Check out our interview with Beth Kidder-Houlihan!
AU: When and how did you get started selling ukuleles?
BKH: We dipped our toes in with a couple of basic models in 2013 after a clinic at either NASMD or NAMM. In 2015 we really got in the game. We dedicated wall and floor space to ukuleles, stocked many more models (including higher end ukes), and talked with more schools about ukulele programs.
AU: Tell us a fun fact about your business?
BKH: My parents bought the school music segment of Byerly Music in 1974 with little to no experience in business. My father had been a band director and road rep, so he had some basic knowledge and new some directors. My mother was an English teacher and had a minor in Spanish! She learned bookkeeping on the fly, by hand (the old-fashioned way), and is still our CFO today. In addition, she still uses the Spanish with our Spanish speaking customers!
AU: What do you contribute to your success in selling Ukuleles?
BKH: Ukuleles are FUN, happy little instruments! What’s not to like? Their use in mainstream music and increase in popularity have reintroduced them to the public over the last few years. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to learn, and can be played by small children. That translates into immediate success whether being used at home or in a school program. In many ways, they sell themselves!
AU: How do you display your ukuleles?
BKH: On slatwall as well as our Amahi ukulele tree!
AU: Have you noticed any new trends in ukulele customer buying habits lately?
BKH: It seems they tend to fluctuate between the inexpensive starter ukuleles to the more expensive. We’ll go for a period where the starter models are hot, and then one where consumers are looking for a better ukulele. I think we’ve been selling more of the traditional wood ukuleles than the colorful painted models lately.
AU: What kind of fun in-store events have you done/planned for ukulele?
BKH: We tried a ukulele jam group for about a year, but sadly, it never caught fire. We do have a couple of teachers giving lessons.
AU: What is your favorite Amahi ukulele?
BKH: I really like the colored Ash models, but the new UK445 is one of my new favorites.
Thanks to Kidder Music for the interview, check out their website to learn even more: www.kiddermusic.com and remember to check back for more of our Shop Small Saturday blog posts!