Company one of largest ukulele pick makers in US

By The Associated Press

CROWN POINT — A Crown Point man who grew up playing guitar and drums from a young age runs one of the country's largest ukulele pick manufacturing businesses.

John Mick founded Mick's Picks in 2009 after he noticed that ukulele picks were difficult to obtain.

“I saw how popular ukuleles were becoming 10 years ago and knew this wasn’t just a fad that would die down,” Mick told The Times of Northwest Indiana.

Last year, the company manufactured more than 600,000 picks, which were distributed to about 380 guitar and music stores across the country.

The picks that Mick creates consist of four different components that allow for flexible and durable use.

Most are manufactured in a shop outside his Crown Point home. The picks are bagged for distribution by developmentally disabled workers at TradeWinds in Hobart. They're then sold through nearly 230 Guitar Center stores, about 150 privately owned music stores and online across the world.

“We’re in every state in the nation,” said Mick, adding that he even sells in Europe.

Company customers include Meshugga Beach Party, Nashville singer-songwriter Travis Bowlin, Atomic Groove drummer Michael C. Stone and Hal Lindes from Dire Straits.

“Session players like our picks because they don’t make the clicking or concussive sounds other picks do in the recording studio,” Mick said.

Mick’s company also expanded the business to create bass picks, guitar picks and cymbal drums, which are uniquely designed to stand out in the market.

“All our growth has been organic,” he said. “We never spent a million dollars on advertising or anything. Whether our uke pick or our bass pick, we made something that was cool and functional and really different from what was out there.”

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