The Ukulele is a symbol of the Hawaiian culture. Although it is based on a Portuguese instrument, the Machete, it became a Hawaiian instrument when strung with gut strings instead of metal ones, tuned similarly to the guitar, and made out of Hawaiian koa wood (at that time known as “Hawaiian Mahogany”). We at Mele Ukulele are very conscious of the cultural significance of the ukulele and its importance in Hawaiian society and Hawaiian music.
When we first started our company, 22 years ago, we had already connected with many of Maui’s and Hawaii’s best ukulele players and were repairing and maintaining many of their instruments. We found it sad and ironic that a new professional-quality ukulele was beyond the price that a working musician could afford. We set out to find ways to make and sell quality instruments at reasonable prices.
Today, with 2 retail stores, some 35,000 satisfied customers, and a worldwide following, we feel that we are accomplishing that mission. Many professional musicians worldwide are playing Mele ukuleles, for which they have gladly paid full price. By not giving away instruments, we are able to keep the prices down for everybody. We want every ukulele player, but especially those who play for a living, to be able to have the quality instrument that they deserve. We also want to spread the “Joy of Uke” to everybody, from youngsters to elders and everybody in between. With over 300 models in many different brands and every price range, we are now in a position to do so.