Maria and Jens of The Uke Supply in Germany effuse every part of their business with love and the Aloha spirit. With care and attention to detail, fun and engaging classes for all ages, and wellness events that incorporate music....well, we just can't wait to see what new fun things will be happening at The Uke Supply next!
If you happen to be in the Frankfurt area, be sure to carve out a little time for this shop full of joy, and EVERYTHING ukulele.
Company: Uke Supply (ukesupply.de)
Name: Maria & Jens
Open Since: 2019
Main Focus: All things uke - nothing more, nothing less!
Instruments, strings, and all kinds of useful accessories.
How long has your company been in business?
We started in May 2019 and now exist for a little over two years.
What makes your store stand out?
Our mission is to offer a large variety of ukes, strings, and accessories while giving online shopping a personal touch. We love to chat with customers and guide them to their first, next, and second to last Uke. ;)
We also do custom setups and include a handwritten card and “Aloha” stickers in all orders. Quality is something we put emphasis on, and we check all instruments upon delivery to ensure they are flawless and offer great playability. Our customers appreciate the extra effort and service!
Community programs you’re involved in?
We both share a background in Public Relations and Marketing, so it came natural to us to support local festival organizers with communication campaigns around their events. When this (quite sadly) came to a halt due to the global spread of Covid-19, we launched our “Support Your Local Artist” initiative to help out ukulele artists, who faced enormous losses due to the cancellation of their gigs. We just wanted to help in whatever way possible, but I guess we’d all rather go back to celebrating the uke at festivals together.
How did you get started in musical instrument sales?
UAS, basically. Haha! It all started 2013 on the island of Oahu, Hawai’i. That’s where we bought our first uke – and the ukulele acquisition syndrome set in. After a couple of years, we felt a need for a specialized shop in Germany that would offer the ukes we were on the lookout for. We then figured: how hard can it be to set up and run an online shop?!
Retrospectively, it wasn’t as easy as expected but still a whole lot of fun. We just love the ukulele scene and love seeing the community grow. We met a lot of awesome and passionate people on this journey so far, both accomplished players and absolute beginners, who bring so much aloha to playing the ukulele and sharing it with others.
Any favorite tales from retail?
Yeah, and a fun one, too! We had a customer who was interested in a Ohana TK-350G. We then ordered it for him and once we finally got it he called and said he was able to buy one from his local vendor. We weren’t worried that it wouldn’t sell and told him we’re happy he got one. The next day he called again an bought his second TK-350G one from us for a Low-G setup. That’s how much he fell in love with this beautiful instrument!
Favorite age to teach to, and instrument to teach?
We believe the uke is the perfect instrument for any age – it’s easy to learn and yet hard to master. The most beautiful moment is watching somebody holding a uke and playing chords for the first time. That joy! It’s simply contagious!
We sometimes host trial courses in yoga studios and love participating in design markets in Frankfurt, close to where we are based. Quite often people are afraid to actually touch the uke because they feel they are terribly unmusical. After just a couple of minutes, they are able to produce the sweetest sounds – that’s lovely to hear and such a boost to their self-esteem. It’s so much fun to be able to play a couple of chords and an easy song in less than an hour.
Why are Ohana ukuleles a good product for your space?
Personally, we love the quality and that we have little to no adjustments to make even when the ukes arrive with us after having travelled around half the globe for days and sometimes weeks.
We also feel quite a surge from the community, who enjoy the huge variety of beautiful models, the attention to detail, and who are also very appreciative of Ohana’s artist program.
We like to recommend Ohana ukuleles for their beauty, great setup, and playability. Thanks to the variety of models and sizes, it’s easy to find the right instrument for each of our customers.
Why do you enjoy working with Ohana?
For a couple of reasons. There seems to be a constant stream of new and innovative models that are always exciting and fun to try out, especially when you can see that are improvements made or new ideas implemented. We love that Ohana keeps the promise that is in the name – doing business feels like being family. We also enjoy Ohana’s artist program and feel that it helps a lot to promote those beautiful ukes and the brand.
Which Ohana uke is your favorite?
That’s a tough one because there are so many. I think the entire Vintage Line is our favorite. Two models that really stand out here are the new CK-390 made from ethically sourced all-solid Koa and – if you like a smaller scale – the Pequeno is a unique and enjoyable instrument – and something you can only find at Ohana.