Amy Sullivan and Kali Nowakowski to Expand Straight Up Strings Division
Luthier, Orville Gibson and Lloyd Loar historian, inventor, and acoustician, Roger Siminoff, has announced that he will retire this month and steadily phase out Siminoff Banjo and Mandolin Parts. Amy Sullivan and Kali Nowakowski, Siminoff’s stepdaughters, will continue to own, manage, and develop the Straight Up Strings brand and product line.
Siminoff has been designing, building, playing, and researching musical instruments for more than 50 years and has had an extraordinarily distinguished career. His contributions to the field of luthierie are many. He holds six U.S. Patents for musical instrument designs and has developed several devices for structural tuning, string tensioning, and pattern carving. He has served as a consultant for many leading musical string and acoustic instrument manufacturers and has authored hundreds of articles and numerous books, including: Constructing A Bluegrass Mandolin, Constructing A 5-String Banjo, Constructing A Solid-Body Guitar, How to Set Up the Best Sounding Banjo, The Luthier’s Handbook, The Ultimate Bluegrass Mandolin Construction Manual, Siminoff’s Luthiers Glossary, and The Art of Tap Tuning (all published by Hal Leonard Publishing). His extensive research and writing on the life and work of Orville Gibson and Lloyd Loar have made him an expert on these renowned artisans. “It is safe to say that Siminoff is one of America’s foremost authorities on string instrument design,” says Nowakowski. “We are excited to bring Siminoff’s latest and greatest innovation [Straight Up Strings] to musicians and luthiers alike,” notes Sullivan.
“We’ve had a great run for the past 56 years,” says Siminoff. “With Amy and Kali, the string business is in good hands, and my retirement will allow me to get out of the shop and spend more time pursuing my other interests.” Siminoff enjoys spending time traveling in his Airstream trailer, restoring early Jeeps, and leading a local cowboy action shooting club. He also has plans to author more books and release an instructional DVD.
Sullivan and Nowakowski worked with Siminoff to research, develop, and bring Straight Up Strings for guitars, banjos, and mandolins to market. Nowakowski has a communications background and has led the company’s customer service and online presence since 2007. Sullivan’s background in marketing and product development closes the loop to provide a strong business environment for their new direction. As co-owners, they will continue to drive growth of Straight Up Strings brand and product line, which will also include Siminoff-exclusive products via an online store. These offerings will include Straight Up Strings, mandolin and mandola plan drawings, templates, and Siminoff’s many books. While Siminoff has remained the company’s face, Sullivan and Nowakowski have owned, managed and significantly grown the string business since 2013.
Existing inventory will be sold via the website while supplies last. For volume discounts on existing Siminoff inventory, luthiers should contact Kali Nowakowski. Interested parties are encouraged to contact Roger Siminoff regarding the sale of equipment, including a steam-bending machine, custom carving machines, and specialized jigs.