NYC's Only Woman-Owned and Staffed Lutherie Opens Doors

by Acoustic Nation
Posted Apr 11, 2014 at 4:11pm

Created to serve the needs of the local community, Brooklyn Lutherie has opened its doors to the public.

A place where musicians of all skill levels, particularly women, can feel comfortable and confident bringing their instruments, Brooklyn Lutherie represents a new approach in stringed instrument repair and restoration.

It is an accommodating, one-stop shop, focused on repair and restoration, where customers feel fully informed, not kept in the dark about any aspect of their repairs.

Brooklyn Lutherie is founded by Mamie Minch and Chloe Swantner. Expert technicians and working musicians, Mamie and Chloe founded Brooklyn Lutherie after serving, respectively, as head of repair and master technician at Retrofret, the well-known, Brooklyn-based music store specializing in sales, repair and restoration of vintage stringed instruments.

“We created Brooklyn Lutherie to meet our vision of an inclusive, one-stop shop for all your repairs and restorations for both fretted and violin-family instruments,” said co-founder Mamie Minch.

“We are strong with vintage pieces. We are fast and good, and for us, client relationships are paramount. As active members of the local Brooklyn community, we aim to be the ‘Musician’s Fixers’; people whom you know and trust, and who get the work done the way you want it.”

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Mamie Minch and Chloe Swantner of Brooklyn Lutherie.

Coming from different backgrounds and drawing upon varied expertise, Mamie and Chloe have teamed up to provide traditional craftsmanship in their repairs and restoration for the working musician. Mamie Minch brings a no-nonsense approach to her specialty of fixing fretted instruments, and has a particular, intuitive expertise in vintage guitars. Having served an apprenticeship under a master builder, Chloe Swantner is a violinmaker and violin-family expert who brings an inherent elegance to all her repairs and who creates custom-made instruments on commission.

“We are known as working musicians and we treat customers they way we would want to be treated, with respect and transparency,” said co-founder Chloe Swantner. “We are approachable and non-discriminatory, and provide a welcoming atmosphere for our customers, especially women. We provide quick turnaround at sensible rates, and with a wide breadth of skills and a high level of craftsmanship, using traditional techniques and materials.”

Chloe and Mamie know that setups and repairs are not one-size-fits-all, but should be tailored to meet customers’ needs. Brooklyn Lutherie’s fresh approach to repair and restoration is based on the creation of good long-term relationships with clients, which makes the work Mamie and Chloe do possible. Brooklyn Lutherie values sharing knowledge with customers; provides long-lasting work, warrantied for 90 days; and gives accurate quotes so clients know what they’re getting into.

In addition, Brooklyn Lutherie is the only woman-owned and staffed stringed-instrument repair and restoration shop in New York City.

Find out more at brooklynlutherie.com.