On a recent shoot for a Making It Here segment for Connecting Point, I found myself in Sheffield, Massachusetts, at the headquarters of the Magic Fluke Company. While the name implies that there might be some kind of luck, chance or happenstance involved with the company, nothing could be further from the truth. The Magic Fluke is the result of hard work, craft, dedication, and perseverance. They’ve been making ukuleles since 1999, starting first in New Hartford, Connecticut, before making their way to the Berkshires.
It should come as no surprise that they should choose the southern Berkshires as their base of operations; that part of western New England has always been home to arts and culture, music, and a fierce entrepreneurial spirit. Western New England as a whole is a hotbed of invention, innovation, and creativity. Whether it be the industrial and tool-making heritage of Franklin County, the massive railroad and paper industries of the Northern Berkshires, the great textile mills of Holyoke, or the “City of Firsts” – Springfield, MA – which can lay claim to the ice skate, the monkey wrench, and basketball among countless other things, this area has attracted people with vision and drive from the start. People who create, make, and grow things. People like Phyllis and Dale Webb, owners of The Magic Fluke, who started off with a dream and are now the premiere manufacturers of something that brings joy to music lovers and musicians far beyond the confines of our little part of the world.
These are your neighbors, your friends… the people in line behind you at the post office, or across from you at the produce aisle in the grocery store. They make up the fabric of our community. And they’re doing great and wonderful things.