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Interview with Flight Ukulele’s founder Juliana Kaltakhchan
Posted on April 21, 2022
Yousician is teaming up with Flight, a ukulele brand from Slovenia. Flight’s founder Juliana Kaltakhchan was excited to answer our questions about the brand and tell us more about Flight’s instruments. You can read more about Flight and find their entire selection of ukuleles and accessories on flightmusic.com. There you can also look for your closest authorized dealer of Flight products.
How did you start Flight?
We are from Slovenia and there weren’t many ukuleles made and sold here. Music is my family business and we were looking for ukuleles to sell in the Slovenian market. However, there were not any, so we decided to make our own. We took our time to find good suppliers, we also worked with some local music teachers to get their feedback on which instruments were needed in the market.
At the time, the market in Europe was flooded with cheap ukuleles and people were thinking that was the standard. However, those were not suitable for beginners because of their poor quality and you couldn’t even play them properly. We were looking for ukes that were better. That’s how our Flight Natural series was born. At that time we also decided that all our ukuleles would have the gig bag and this is how Flight’s signature beige gig bag was born.
We started offering them to nearby countries, starting from smaller countries and moving to bigger ones. Soon we got into all the major markets like Germany, Spain, Italy and many more. Because we are from a small country, we had to work hard to develop good products that people would like to buy.
What makes Flight’s ukuleles special/different?
What makes our ukuleles different is that we are always looking for what people want. Instead of thinking “Oh, let’s make something new, like some weird ukulele shape, and then see if people want to buy it”, we do as much research as possible. We have many ways to collect opinions and we actually listen to what people are saying and read our customer service emails and feedback. If somebody writes us suggestions or complaints we try to see if we can implement them. I think that this makes us pretty unique as a brand.
As an example, we found that there was a niche for more high-end ukuleles, so we made the Royal series and it was a huge success. We spotted a hole in the market and moved in with exciting products that people had not seen before. Meanwhile, our Rock-series is making a big splash and is more accessible and better available than other similar products. We are very proud of those series and we are happy that people are loving them.
What kind of ukuleles, accessories and other products does Flight offer?
People are saying that our products are just as good or better than other more expensive brands. This shows that we have a really good product and it’s in big demand. We also really love our core audience and community. We have a lot of different series for different kinds of people.
We have more special ukulele models like the ukulele bass and guitarlele. In recent years we have also focused more on accessories: ukulele stands, strings and straps which are very popular. We also have a tiny amp for the ukulele.
What ukulele would you recommend for beginners?
The type of ukulele I would recommend depends on the size of the player. For bigger players, I would advise starting with the concert ukulele and with soprano size for smaller beginners. We usually recommend starting with our Travel-series because it is very affordable. At the same time, it is very high quality in terms of both sound and playability. The action on the Travel-series is very low as the strings are close to the fretboard. This makes it very beginner-friendly.
We also have our Natural-series which is very popular and good if you are more into traditional-looking ukuleles. I’d say that the Travel-series is our most popular series of ukuleles. However, the Rock-series has been getting the most online hype recently.
How do you market Flight’s products?
We were the first ukulele brand to start working with YouTubers back in 2013. We were kind of the pioneers doing that kind of digital marketing. We are mostly active on social media. It has been a sort of snowball effect as we started on Instagram in 2014 and more people started tagging us in their videos. We wanted to reward people in some ways for posting our content so we started collaborating with them.
Recently we have concentrated a lot on TikTok. It has become more popular than our Instagram profile with over 155 thousand followers. We have an amazing and committed community of creators all over the world.
All this growth has helped us solidify our position as one of the ukulele market leaders, practically everyone in the ukulele community has heard of our brand. We are not planning on stopping and plan to introduce many more exciting models to the ukulele community.
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