Strumming up continued success


OREGON – John Lindhorst is obviously doing something right.

The Oregon business he owns, Ukulele Station America, has again been named a top 100 dealer by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), the global association of music products and music retailers.

“I’ve been in business four years and I’ve been in the top 100 all four years,” said Lindhorst, who opened in July 2015. “That’s kind of crazy.”

According to a release from NAMM, the award honors retail music dealers who demonstrate exceptional commitment to their stores, neighborhoods, and customers and share in a vision to create a more musical world through their local communities.

Lindhorst said he was told that the size of the business or sales weren’t the point of the award. It is about the impact in the industry and the community. He said his “tiny little ship” has had a big impact on the industry, and on Oregon, as it attracts people from all over.

“I’ve had a family that drove from Schenectady N.Y.,” he said.  “About 1,000 miles.”

And the Oregon stop wasn’t just on the way – it was the reason for the trip.

He said a woman recently called from Omaha, Neb., to make sure he would be open when she drove to Oregon to buy an instrument.

“The little building has made me a destination,” he said of the 208-square foot building.

In that building, Lindhorst keeps 100 ukuleles, and also has about the same amount at home.

He said he hopes to expand his business by adding another building on the property. That annex would be larger and have a showroom, office, lesson area and possibly even a performance space. Lindhorst said he is just waiting on numbers from a builder.

If that happens, he said he would be able to hire a person to do online sales – something he does not do currently.

“Hopefully I can make it work, but I’ll see,” he said.

In the meantime, he will be traveling to Nashville, Tenn. for the annual mid-year summer NAMM gathering on July 19 for the awards ceremony. His business is also up for the “Innovation Award,” “Best Community Retail Store,” and the “Dealer of the Year” award.