Guam will soon see the opening of JB’s Ukulele Hut its first ever ukulele store. The 753 square-foot store is located on the first floor of the Agana Shopping Center between Tapioca World and Gino’s. The store is set to open late November or early December.
Jeffrey P. Borja president and chief executive officer of JB’s Ukulele Hut told the Journal that in August when he was on Guam for vacation his friend Derek Shimizu founder and owner of GString Ukulele Co. asked him to set up an account for his instruments at the ukulele stores on Guam. “As a favor to him during my trip to Guam I looked for the ukulele stores to set up accounts. When I realized there were no ukulele stores I called him and said “”Good News. Bad News. The bad news is there are no ukulele stores here. The good news is I’m going to open one up.””
JB’s will be the exclusive distributor of GString ukuleles on Guam. “”It’s not the only brand I’ll carry but I want to let the people of Guam know that I’m bringing over this particular brand and the only place they’ll be able to find it is here at the Ukulele Hut. It’s the same brand of ukulele that Kelly-Boy DeLima from the band Kapena plays.””
He said that GString Ukuleles agreed to sponsor Robert “”Bobby”” Alvarez from the local band Those Two Guys and JB’s will sponsor the band Those Two Guys.
Borja said that just about every major ukulele store in Hawaii carries GString Ukuleles.
The ukuleles at JB’s will range in price starting at less than $100 up to $1 000 or more for a fully customized ukulele. “”The most expensive one I’ve seen Derek make was $5 000 retail.””
JB’s will carry two major categories of ukuleles "" entry level and premium brand ukuleles. “”The price point for entry-level ukuleles range from under $100 retail to approximately $350. The premium brands range from about $450 to over $1 000.
Including the GString Ukuleles JB’s will carry seven different brands of ukuleles "" three premium brands and four entry-level brands and is in negotiations with at least two others. In addition to ukuleles JB’s will also carry tuners strings cases instructional books CDs and DVDs as well as music CDs by artists or groups that play the ukulele.
Ukulele lessons taught by Alvarez and Dennis Nakamoto of the band Those Two Guys will also be offered and with the purchase of every ukulele customers will also receive a certificate for free lessons.
The store will be open everyday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends with about seven to 10 employees working there. Borja would not say how much was invested into preparing the store for its opening.
Customers will also be able to order customized ukuleles. Borja said that the customers just have to tell him what they wants and JB’s will put the order into the manufacturer. Depending on what the customer want custom orders can take anywhere from six to 12 months to arrive.
“”The whole objective for me is not to sell somebody a piece of wood with four strings on it. My whole goal is really to promote a fun-loving island music culture and to honor the island musicians that have forged the path already and also to encourage the development and the passion for future players “” Borja said. MBJ