PHYLLIS began Robinson's Harp Shop some 42 years ago with her husband, Robbie. Together they published the Folk Harp Journal from 1973-1985 and founded the International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen. She is a retired Postmaster of Mt Laguna, yet stays active in her community by volunteering as an auxiliary member of her
local fire department.
Meet the special people from Robinson's Harp Shop, Vermont Strings, and North Shore Strings.
Phyllis Robinson and Richard "Skip" Lamere are siblings, born and raised in a musical family in Vermont. About 12 years ago Robbie showed Skip how to make a harp string. Skip has been making harp strings since then, initially helping Robbie fill a few orders each month and ultimately developing a "Vermont Strings" customer base. Although separate businesses, Robinson's Harp Shop furnishes Vermont Strings with materials, products, and advice; the two businesses act in concert in terms of major decisions, customer service, and workload. Daily communication occurs between the two by telephone, FAX, or E-mail. Robbie envisioned the whole Lamere family becoming involved in the harp world. His untimely death in 1993 forced us to pause, re-think
and re-group, thanks to Phyllis's tutelage and
leadership, Robbie's vision is becoming a reality.
Although Joan and Skip are Vermont String's
primary players (with Skip being the chief
string maker and Joan doing nearly everything
else--including customer relations, shipping and
receiving, book-keeping, and string analysis).
Robinson's/Vermont Strings another string
maker at their service.
Vermont Strings & North Shore Strings
Skip and Joan's daughter, Kelly Stallings, has been making strings since 2001. Kelly graduated from the University of Vermont in 1992, majoring in biology. Her business is North Shore Strings at Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA. Kelly pitches in on a regular basis to help assure prompt delivery of quality strings.
SUSAN has been with Robinson's for the past 25 years. She serves as the manager/stringmaker at Robinson's (if she's not off somewhere playing firefighter/emergency medical technician). Susan plays harp and violin professionally and has several books and CDs available. Her spare time is spent creating music for animals to relax them; Pet Pause has gained national recognition for its effectiveness.
Skip and Joan met as freshmen at U.V.M.
Following careers that included teaching and human services, they both retired early to spend more time concentrating on the harp world (although Joan continues in her own business as an employee assistance counselor / employer consultant).