Gianna’s - but without that name - began in the early 1990s with the restoration of vintage violins. By the early 2000s, the company was producing its own trade line of instruments for the wholesale and retail market, including models still found in their lineup, most notably the flagship “Appalachian.” In 2002 the company’s retail and online presence expanded, with the entity “Gianna Violins” created. By 2004, the company occupied an old country store in Unitia, near Friendsville, an old Quaker town. Retail offerings expanded to include a range of guitars and mandolins. Gianna’s was the first Eastman mandolin dealer and one of the earliest Eastman guitar dealers. The mandovoodoo process was the first foray into acoustic enhancement, inspired by the work of Deena Spears, but incorporating a great deal of information from other workers. The business survived the Great Recession intact, but maintained a fairly low profile for a few years. In 2014, Rebecca Rosenthal joined the firm and continues to work towards expanding its business, while Stephen Perry focuses on the precision craftsmanship required for professional instruments and on research and prototyping of new products.
Gianna’s remains and will likely remain a small specialty company focusing on high quality products, high quality work, and on the development of innovative products with a traditional feel.
Our philosophy is simple: players deserve the performance they pay for. That is too often overlooked in the rush to provide the lowest price, or ship immediately. Instead, we hold to the traditional values.
Gianna’s currently operates out of a small workshop on the south shore of the Tennessee River in the old Quaker town of Friendsville, Tennessee. While no walk-in retail store currently exists, we welcome visitors by appointment. A larger workshop with additional equipment, warehouse space, and a minimal showroom are in the works.
Stephen Perry grew up on Air Force bases, with summers in England, his mother’s birthplace. Classical piano dominated his elementary school years, with popular piano, improvisation, and arranging added through college. In graduate school, he studied piano with Max Camp at the University of South Carolina. During his professional life he studied and performed on classical guitar, and also played fiddle, recorder, viola da gamba, and continued with piano. He holds degrees in anthropology, geology, and law.
Rebecca Rosenthal comes from the Chicago area. She studied and performed on clarinet throughout her secondary and college education, while studying biology and philosophy. Her education included a stint at Oxford studying medieval and renaissance architecture, music, and history. She provides supports the company web presence and business operations, and is an apprentice in the workshop.