Mom And Pop Guitar Shop Opens In Uptown Maumee

In November, John and Allison Fowler opened Small Box Music, a full-service retail music store in uptown Maumee. The business offers custom-made string instruments as well as accessories and professional vocal equipment.

BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — If you are in the market for a stringed instrument, or the many things that go along with it, Small Box Music has you covered.

The new shop recently opened in uptown Maumee, and with a wide variety of equipment on hand, store owners John and Allison Fowler are confident that just about any musical enthusiast is sure to find what they are looking for.

“We wanted to have a bit of a unique selection,” said John. “I’ve seen over the years from being in the industry that a lot of people have the desire to shop at a local, independent store, but there are not a lot out there.”

The smaller shops that do exist might not have the selection that a big-box store has – at least that’s the perception – hence the name, Small Box Music.

“We thought that we would fill a need that people are looking for,” said John. We have unique guitars that you don’t see at other stores and we have them at all different price points. From the absolute beginner to custom or vintage pieces that professionals and collectors want – and a little bit of everything in between.”

In addition to selling acoustic, bass and electric guitars, the store also carries banjos, mandolins, ukuleles, amplifiers, pedals, microphones, cables, cases and more. John also offers repair services as well as custom modifications and even custom-made instruments. The store also carries Friedman amplifiers and is a certified Taylor Guitar retailer. 

“We’re really focusing on the art of the instrument, said Allison. “And our customers can enjoy a comfortable and friendly setting,” she said.

While the couple recently opened the shop in Maumee, they are not new to the area. John grew up in Oregon and attended The University of Toledo, where he studied business, entrepreneurship, marketing and music technology. Since age 17, he has also performed regularly in local bands, including Resident Soul, which performed at local gigs for 10 years, including at very first Acoustics for Autism event.

Allison grew up in Perrysburg and attended the University of Findlay and Albion College, where she studied mass marketing and equine science. She also lived abroad for a time before returning home.

After a chance meeting through a mutual friend Allison had come across at The Village Idiot, the couple moved to Detroit and then to Florida. They continued working in the music scene – performing and managing music stores.

In 2015, the couple moved back to this area to get married. Then, after working at Allison’s parents’ retail business, Wyldwood Tack Shop in Lambertville, Mich., they welcomed their son and decided to open their own shop.

“It was kind of a rite of passage,” said Allison. “We are in fact a mom and a pop – we’ve got the criteria – so it was time to open a store. With John’s musical knowledge and both of us with a strong background in retail, it made sense.”

The two love being in uptown Maumee and look forward to supporting the musical scene as much as possible. 

“Music has always been such a big part of our life, it truly made sense to make it the rest of our life,” Allison said.

Small Box Music is located at 203 Conant St. in uptown Maumee.

Hours of operation are Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

For more information, please call the store at (419) 740-3434 or visit

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