Monday, October 19, 2009

I Bought A New Uke Today!


I know you are asking yourself “why the hell is he posting this? We are all sick of random ‘I got a new uke’ posts. Like any one gives a sh*t.” Well this one is different. It’s a Mainland….

What? Everyone has a Mainland! Yes, I know, that is precisely the reason this is different. I DON’T have a Mainland. Most of us have known Mike (HoosierHiver) since back when he worked at Bushman. I own a Bushman because Mike worked there. Not long after he sold me a Bushman Cedar Tone Tenor, I remember him sending me an email telling me about his idea for a new company. At the time I thought Bushman was going out of business (they couldn’t keep any ukes in stock, and seemed to just stop answering the phones) and I also thought that Mike was gaining ownership of Bushman (of course that wasn’t the case. In fact to be clear, he never indicated any of that to me, he only said he had some “things” he couldn’t talk about). I have to say, at the time I was jealous. I couldn’t help but think “damn it, if Bushman is going out of business, I want it. Not just one Bushman ukulele, but the whole damned company. I always thought that Bushman was a success story just waiting to happen. There is only one thing standing in the way of it becoming the next Kala, or Ohana; and that one thing is good management. It takes real talent to take a company like Bushman and run it into the dirt. But that’s exactly what happened (and continues to happen). And perhaps the biggest mistake that Bushman ever made, was severing ties with HH. Not only did they lose a great guy, and a great representative, but they created a competitor that they literally can NOT compete with.

Now to my new ukulele… Mike has always treated me well, even when he was representing that other company. When he ventured out on his own I wanted to support him. For one reason or another I never could. Luckily the success of his company did not rest on whether or not I bought from him. It turns out that I wasn’t the only one who trusted him and supported his endeavor. So a year later, Mike’s little company is going gang-busters. And finally I can support him in my own tiny way. And so that is why I can say proudly “I bought a new uke today”.

14 comments:

Mugambismonkey said...

Really nice uke, Boozy!

Since we're all getting serious on here lately (*snicker*), I would like to ask you a question about Mainland ukeses that has been brooding at the back of my mind for some time, since I've been following UU posts and uke news, etc.

One of the secrets in running a successful (factory-made) uke business is obviously knowing the right contacts in China. (I'm not talking high-end and custom-builder ukeses here, of course!) I can imagine that there are many Chinese companies out there that produce trash they call "childrens' guitars", so knowing and maintaining a good relationship with one of the few Chinese companies that can reliably produce awesome ukeses is very important, if not the key to the whole business! (And yes, a good management is also part of it, but that comes second.) Obviously Bushman have/had this knowledge: they have/had the right contacts to the right Chinese people. If I was a company like Bushman and my business success depended on knowing the right contacts in China, I would definitely keep this information secret and wouldn't share it with my employees. Would you?

Against this background I ask you why the Mainland and Bushman ukes are made in the same Chinese factory? Please enlighten me. (In case my questions are wrong, please correct me, too...)

RussBuss said...

lolz, is this factory really an ancient chinese secret?!?!? i'm sure you can find the factory in the chinese "yellow pages". or in china, simply "pages".

Boozelele said...

Russ! you are a racist!

Boozelele said...

I think any of us here can only guess. I have never talked to Mike about this. However, I would bet that it wouldn't be too difficult to find out where Kalas are made, and approach that same factory with a design to have built. While I'm sure the owner of Kala would wish that information was not available, I bet it is. I'm also pretty confident that the same factory makes a lot of things that aren't ukuleles. I'll bet that if I wanted to, I could find out where they are made...and have a new "Boozelele" Brand Lute on the production line in no time.

RussBuss said...

vroom vroommmmmm!

Mugambismonkey said...

I'd definitely get me a Boozelele uke!! Does it come with a built-in glass holder? The company's logo could be a driver playing an uke on the freeway while going at full speed...
Btw. if anyone has the address of that Chinese factory... Germany needs more Chinese ukeses!

UkeNinja said...

This Blog Is Useless Without An Opening Of The Box And Subsequent Lame Out Of Tune Song Video.

[insert appropriate emoticon]

"Look at the... box! Weeee, it's got my name on it, and everything..." That killed me.

(Now, when will Mainland start shipping to the land of the rising sun?)

deach said...

lolz @ UkeNinja. too funny!

Am I the only UCBer without a Mainland? Grumpy do you have one?

Grumpy Coyote said...

I do have one - soon to be two. I have the mahogany tenor, and thinking about my first soprano being a little honey-bee.

Boozelele said...

I thought you had got one when he first opened Deach? Did you buy one and give it away? I was sure I was the only one who never had one....

deach said...

Booze - I've bought a few for other people but have never owned one.

Adelle the Great said...

Love this:

"It takes real talent to take a company like Bushman and run it into the dirt"

Add the fake talent from the people who they sponser... those two things combined are unstoppable.

Will Deuel said...

On the UU board I tried to give Mr. Bush Man a chance to rectify some previous customer service issues while maintaining his dignity. Apparently he did neither.

From what I gather, last year's second place winner never received his prize and this year's contest is already going. If you entered, I hope you win. If you win, I hope you receive a prize.

Boozelele said...

I doubt anyone around these parts will be entering....just a hunch.

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