Downpatrick guitar maker on song in international markets

With support from Invest Northern Ireland, Downpatrick small business George Lowden Guitars is targeting increased sales in the American, European and Far East markets.

Backed by an offer of over £30,000 from Invest NI, the maker of high quality acoustic guitars is investing around £75,000 in an extensive marketing campaign and the recruitment of a Business Development Manager.

It is hoped that the project will further enhance the company’s international profile and deliver a one third increase in overall turnover, with exports accounting for the vast majority of sales.  

Mark Bleakney, Manager of Invest NI’s Southern Regional Office, said: “A by-product of Northern Ireland’s rich cultural heritage is the skill in the design and manufacture of both traditional and contemporary musical instruments that exists here. George Lowden is an excellent example of this, converting his considerable expertise in acoustic guitars into international business success.

“Combining creativity and craftsmanship with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, the company is now seeking to build on this even further and is well placed to grow sales and successfully navigate the downturn.”

Company founder and Managing Director George Lowden, commented: “Our guitars are designed first and foremost for their sound quality, with the materials we use selected for their acoustic attributes rather than aesthetics. This approach differentiates us from many other manufacturers and has helped us attract discerning and virtuoso guitarists from around the world as clients.

“We have already enjoyed a degree of success in the USA, France, Germany and Japan but now we want even more musicians to enjoy our product range. This project, backed by Invest NI, will help us better communicate our strengths and selling points to potential customers through attendance at trade shows, the establishment of new dealer networks and an improved online presence.

“A dedicated Business Development Manager, to be recruited as part of the initiative, will further strengthen our management team, overseeing export sales growth and developing strategies for long term success.”