Michael and Cheryl Rock
Owners, Hawaiian Instrument Designs Corp. dba Mele Ukulele
“Once we made the switch to Bank of Hawaii there’s been no reason to go anywhere else. They’ve taken banking to a different level.” —Michael Rock
After moving to Maui in 1982 from Boston, Michael began building custom furniture and circular staircases for high-end building projects. For fun he used his craftsmanship to make repairs on stringed instruments. When the Gulf War slowed Maui’s construction, he began making ‘ukulele full time. Cheryl, whose background is in business and finance, focused on the clients so Michael could concentrate on crafting instruments, and in 1997 they opened their first store in Wailuku.
All of the instruments at Mele Ukulele are designed and finished in their shop. When the business started, ukulele were considered toys sold as souvenirs or expensive custommade instruments, with nothing in between. It became their mission to fill that gap and deliver affordable and quality instruments, especially for local families who wanted their children to learn to play. They developed different lines to offer a selection of price points suitable for anyone from a beginner to an intermediate to a professional. Thirty years later, the ukulele is a mainstream instrument, and Mele Ukulele is proud of the role it continues to play.
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