By Greg Olwell
The independent entrepreneurial spirit runs deep in the ukulele community and last week’s Reno Ukulele Festival was a great place to get a concentrated taste of the small businesses that sprout in the ukulele community.
Case in point: Ukulele Tonya’s booth of ukulele-inspired jewelry, uketreasures.com. The booth, and the website, is the effort of Tonya Dale, who serves as a kind of hub for a spoked wheel of small jewelry makers in Hawaii. She showed off some groovy earrings, necklaces, and pendants made by local craftspeople using local materials.
The ukulele-shaped items included necklaces carved from mother of pearl and sterling silver earrings and necklaces, and cool ukulele fingerboard earrings, made with koa, abalone dots, and yes, real frets, by uke maker Chuck Moore and his wife Bonnie.