The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.
Front and Center: Two Old Hippies Guitars Marketing Director & Artist Relations, Sami Mulhern
By Leslie Buttonow
Two Old Hippies Guitars is a company that’s made its mark in the music industry, offering premium stringed instruments from boutique and major brands such as Bedell and Weber. One of the key brands in their family is Breedlove Guitars. The brand prides itself on craftsmanship, finding new design and building techniques, and encouraging new guitar players of all ages. We recently spoke with Sami Mulhern, who navigates the crazy world of marketing and artist relations for Breedlove and all of the Two Old Hippies Guitars brands. She shared some insights about her role at the company, current Breedlove activities, and her experience as a female in the industry. To find out more, visit www.tohguitars.com/.
WiMN: What are your main responsibilities, and how long have you been there?
SM: I’ve been with the company for just over three years. I run our artist relations program, manage social media, and handle all the day-to-day marketing needs.
WiMN: What do you enjoy most about your job?
SM: It’s a crazy job! Every day is a little bit different and I love the challenge. I mostly love all the amazing people I’ve been able to meet and interact with. We have an incredible team here who all work so hard. It wouldn’t be doable without all of them.
WiMN: Your company is very involved in pursuits that educate, encourage playing guitar, and furthering one’s career. This past year, Breedlove was behind the #SaveAGuitar contest, a sponsor of the #SaveAGuitar and She Rocks Awards contest, and much more. What other endeavors have you been involved with, and how are you using campaigns such as these to educate people and share the love of playing guitar?
SM: So many of us are in this industry because we are super passionate about music and the amazing product we are building. Breedlove has worked with school programs locally for many years, and we’ve seen the impact it has on kids. But there are also people who come by our showroom and are just picking up the guitar for the first time in their forties and fifties. They inspire us just as much! You’re NEVER too old to start playing the guitar – we just want to remind people of that. Just pick it up and play, even if it’s just for yourself. It’s great to highlight those who just play for fun in their apartments, or are inspired by one of our artists to pick up a guitar and play.
WiMN: How does Breedlove distinguish itself from other brands?
SM: Breedlove is consistently challenging the standard style of building. We are always looking for ways to improve on our product and put the best we can out there. Our team isn’t afraid to challenge tradition and it’s really starting to show in our upcoming 2017 product lineup that we can’t wait to share with folks.
WiMN: Your company has an array of women working in some roles that were traditionally male-dominated. Can you share some of them?
SM: We have women in almost every department here. Our product design team is led by a woman, Angela, who has had almost every production job here. She has led the Bedell Guitars production team, designed and installed custom inlays, and is also our wood purchaser. That job is really important here because we are very particular about the vendors we source wood from and how the wood is handled. We also have women who lead sales for our independent dealers for Bedell, Breedlove and Weber, as well as in our finance department, purchasing, and consumer services and warehouse teams.
WiMN: What opportunities have you been seeing for women in our industry, in general?
SM: I can’t say I have a great answer for this. I know in the marketing world there are definitely a lot more females leading the charge and that’s great to see. It’s definitely a male-dominated industry and I feel blessed to work somewhere that values all our Co-Hippies equally, regardless of gender.
WiMN: Any hints about what we can expect from Breedlove in 2017?
SM: So many fun things! We have some exciting announcements coming up at the end of the year that have been years in the making. I look forward to seeing how the market embraces the new technology.