Meet the Builders
POP was created as a result of inspiration/love for the banjos of the 1920s and 1930s. I feel that during this era some of the best banjos were built. I’ve combined certain aesthetics of these banjos with some of my own ideas to create something unique and elegant. Most importantly to me is the sound that these banjos can make. The tone ring is king here. All of my banjos come with exceptional sounding tone rings.
What does POP mean? No, it’s not an acronym, or the right way to say soda in the Midwest. It’s just a reoccurring word/theme in my life that I thought would be a good company name. One way I look at it is that I’m POPping old aesthetics into something new.
My name is Noel Folstad, and I reside with my wife and children in lovely St. Paul, Minnesota. I’ve been building banjos since 2015. My dad had a workshop when I was growing up and I was always fascinated working with wood. I never knew it’d bring me to a place where I would devote myself to making banjos. My previously built banjos were under the Capital City Banjos name, which I am no longer making. I really feel strongly about POP Banjos, and am putting all my time and passion into these banjos. They will give you the sound, playability, and looks that will knock your socks off, and leave your audience with their mouths hanging open.View website
Songbird Stringed Instruments
Songbird Stringed Instruments is a new business venture by Nebraska luthier J. Ryan. The goal is to bring to market professional level banjo-ukulele hybrids that embody an entirely new level of artistry and innovation.View website
My instrument building is about working within the history and tradition of the banjo, and reimagining it whenever possible for a 21st century player. I work with local or recycled wood, striving to create banjos that come directly out of the region of the Midwest in which I live and work.View website
Bruce Berry Banjos
In 1989, at the age of 15, I began attempting to built my first banjo neck, in my Grandfather’s shop. With pine lumber and copper wire as the available materials, it was a banjo neck in appearance only. But it was good enough to catch my Grandfather’s eye and gain his support. He bought me my first piece of mahogany hard wood to experiment with, and gave me full reign of his shop. As life goes on and takes its turns, and needing a career path, my pursuit of instrument building took a back seat to the craftsmanship of construction trades. But 30 years later, in 2019, I refocused my efforts on handcrafted banjo building, and have dedicated my home shop in Mesa Arizona, to their creation. I’m proud to say that I’ve recently begun building my banjos using rims created by my friend and mentor, Mark Hickler. And I’m looking forward to sourcing the majority of my hardware from Balsam!View website
Zach Hoyt Banjos Etc.
Zach Hoyt has been building custom handmade stringed instruments since 2004. He is based in New York in Orwell, east of Lake Ontario and west of the Adirondacks.View website
Mulheron Banjos – Lindsey Liden
Handmade Banjos, Fine WoodworkingView website
Hickler Banjo LLC was established in 2007, but founder Mark Hickler began building musical instruments as a teenager. The rigors of raising a family took precedence over banjo making, but eventually he returned to his craft and maintains a shop in Mesa Arizona. He has published detailed research into the banjo rim construction. One of his banjos was purchased by the Musical Instrument museum in Phoenix Arizona.View website
Dogwood Banjo Co.
The Dogwood Banjo Co is a one man shop in Minneapolis MN building beautiful, handcrafted instruments that are made to play and sound phenomenal for years to come. Mike Chew is a musician and builder that takes tremendous pride in creating highly functional pieces of art. These are instruments built to inspire fellow musicians, help them give life to their art and spread joy to others.View website
Cedar Mtn. Banjos
Tim Gardner, a graduate of NC State’s School of Forestry, started with Cedar Mountain Banjos after working several years as a timber framer and house carpenter. Having built over 300 banjos since 2005, he continues to manage the company full-time, focus on new concepts, and maintain CMB as an industry leader for fine design, craftsmanship, and customer service. In September 2013, Tim took over ownership of CMB and moved the workshop to the new Mills River location just outside of Brevard.View website
Kevin Enoch, founder of Enoch instruments, has been involved in playing as well as making banjos and other stringed instruments since 1984. Enoch Instruments was formally established in 1990. Kevin’s goal is to create an instrument designed for clawhammer playing, embracing the aesthetics of the great banjo makers of the early 20th century. Kevin’s love for the music, as well as his craft, is apparent in the degree of care and precision he puts into every detail of these musical masterpieces.View website
Our mission is to create affordable, professional quality, handcrafted banjos using 100% Native Appalachian Hardwoods. Located in Fairview NC, just outside of Asheville, Patrick Heavner has been building banjos for over 10 years. He started Pisgah Banjos in 2012 and continues his craft full time in his new state of the art banjo shop. Patrick is proud to use Balsam Hardware on his banjos exclusively and encourages other builders to continue the tradition of using American Made.View website