McNally Instruments LLC. and Strumstick.com are owned and run by Bob McNally and Evelyn McNally. We have been in business steadily since the early 70's, and started selling online in the 90's. As a result, we have a lot of professional and personal experience that have given us two main perspectives on business.
• Number One is, "If work isn't fun, what's the point?"
• Number Two is, "Business is based on mutual satisfaction;
If the customer is not happy, we are not happy" (... see Number One).
We have a Mission: Bring more happiness and contentment into peoples' lives by opening the door to playing music (for people who think they can't), and helping people who do play to rediscover the simple heart of music that they fell in love with in the first place.
We are both musicians, Evelyn recreationally and Bob professionally. We really love playing music. So we experience what our mission is about personally, and as we conduct our business.
You can read the history of the Strumstick in more detail here, but suffice to say that Bob taught guitar for many years, played recorded and performed on numerous instruments, and built guitars, banjos, dulcimers, etc for a dozen years before deciding to design an instrument for beginners that would do away with the crippling frustration that does so many budding guitar players in. You could say the Strumstick is the intersection of playing, teaching and building, and a deep love for music and empowering people. Sounds a little corny, but thats simply how it is.
We are located in Rockaway, Northern NJ. We do not have a store you can visit in person, we are not zoned for that, but we have a very physical location at which we make, pack and ship several thousand strumsticks a year. We have been in the same location since 1980 (Bob had a storefront shop in Boonton, NJ for quite some years before that). Since about 1973 Bob has sold his instruments at folk festivals and then at high quality juried craft shows (the original Rhinebeck Craft Show, The Philadelphia Museum of Art Show, The Smithsonian Craft Show, and many many more, up to the present day). As a result, we have had the opportunity to talk with literally hundreds of thousands of people about music, learning, frustration, and satisfaction; those conversations shaped the Strumstick that emerged, and educated us about what our instructional materials needed to teach.
When you do something for many years, with heart and commitment, you get very very good at it. We are very grateful that circumstance have permitted us to continue for all these years, making the kind of contribution to people we intend.
We have a few dedicated people who work with us building strumsticks, stringing, packing and shipping. The Strumstick is entirely handmade right here in NJ (no CNC robots or offshore sweatshops involved, thank you). We work with our associates the same way we work with our customers (see Number One) and consider ourselves very fortunate to have folks around us that like what they are doing too.