About Our Shop
We are proud to represent the best luthier workshops in our showrooms. We work closely with companies like Krutz Strings, Violin House of Weaver, the Jay Haide workshop, Eastman Strings, Samuel Shen, and others to bring our customers a wide selection of quality instruments. We also source our Artigiano line of instruments directly from overseas workshops. These instruments are made to our specifications. Since we're ordering them in large quantities directly from the source, we're able to pass on cost savings to our customers.
There are a number of things that distinguish our shop from other retailers who also sell violins. We have a much larger selection of instruments on hand for you to select from. All of our instruments come with a five-year warranty. The main thing, though, is that we do all of the final work on our instruments in our shop. We're not just getting a violin out of a box and putting it up for sale; we're fitting the pegs, shaping the nut, fitting a bridge, fitting a soundpost, and making tonal adjustments before putting it out on display. All of the parts of the instrument that you interact with when you play have been adjusted, fit, and optimized by our staff.
We also provide instrument repair services. Our trained luthiers handle repair work for musicians from across the spectrum, from beginners to professionals. Violin-family instrument repair work is very specialized and utilizes different tools, techniques, and even different glue from plucked stringed instrument repair. Our trained repair staff will make sure your instrument is fixed correctly and is operating at peak capacity. We are also the preferred repair shop for the Rogers, Bentonville, and Fort Smith school districts.
In November 2023, we opened a related business. Palmer String Studio is located in Bentonville and provides individual and group instruction for violin, viola, cello, and bass. We've got a great group of teachers on staff. We are also working on adding some of our retail items at that location, mostly books, shoulder rests, and accessories. At this time, our instruments are all over at our Rogers location, and the majority of our instrument inventory will remain there. We will have a select group of instruments on hand at the Bentonville location. We will also handle much of our Back to School season activities over there as well. Stay tuned for more developments!
Meet Our Staff
Owner, head Luthier
Raymond Palmer began his lifelong interest in the violin at age 5, when he began taking violin lessons from his mother, who taught the Suzuki method. He continued to play through his school years, switching to the viola around the sixth grade. Upon graduation from high school, he enrolled in college as a viola performance major.
It was around this time that he became interested in the craftsmanship that went into the instruments he was playing. He’d always been a tinkerer, and the world of lutherie seemed fascinating. He researched the various ways to learn the trade and happened upon the Violin Making School of America.
It was a perfect fit, so after he completed his degree, he moved to Salt Lake City and enrolled. He was one of the few students who had the opportunity to work in the violin shop that was associated with the school, Peter Prier and Sons Violins. It was an excellent hands-on education that supplemented his school training.
Upon graduating from the school in 2007, he took a position as an apprentice to a master violin maker in Fayetteville, Arkansas named Terry Borman. Mr. Palmer preferred the woods and rivers to hectic urban life, so t
The apprenticeship ended, the business grew, and somewhat to his surprise, he found himself running a full-time violin shop. The shop has evolved from a small workshop in a house in Fayetteville to the larger, somewhat more customer-friendly location in Rogers.
When he’s not behind his bench at the shop, he enjoys mountain biking, traveling, fishing, hiking, and camping with his family.
In addition to his training from the Violin Making School of America, Mr. Palmer attends workshops from time to time to learn more about the latest technology and trends in instrument making and repair, and to gain competency in areas beyond his original training. He’s a member of the Violin Society of America and has attended the VSA’s Summer Restoration Workshop. He’s also become skilled at doing more advanced bow repair work by attending the workshop run by one of the contemporary masters of bow making and restoration, Lynn Hannings.
Kimberly Oehlert is a Bentonville native who has grown with the area and has seen how much this tiny town has changed. When she entered middle school she took an interest in the orchestra program that her school had recently started. After playing the viola in orchestra throughout her middle, junior and high school years she discovered that music was her passion and decided it would be the focus of her career.
She attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville where she graduated with a Bachelors in music education. After teaching private lessons at a local music conservatory for over six years, she took an interest in violin repair. She now assists Raymond Palmer with basic repairs and set up work. She is also trained in bow rehairing and repair. With a lot of love towards Bentonville she enjoys talking to the local teachers and students and seeing new growth in the music programs in the area.
Kimberly is also the manager of Palmer String Studio, where she also teachers individual lesson.s
Benjamin Weir is a Violinist who plays with the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra. Growing up in the local school system, Ben had the chance to join the orchestra program. He has enjoyed playing and performing ever since. His musical upbringing includes the Suzuki method and performances in the Arkansas Public Theater pit orchestra. Aside from performing locally, he works with the Arkansas Philharmonic Youth Orchestra as an instructor and conductors assistant. Ben strives to share his appreciation of music and support our growing community through teaching technical skill, expression, musicianship, and theory.
Benjamin mainly focuses on the retail side of the shop. He works with customers who are looking for a new instrument, or for rosin, or who need to move up to a larger rental instrument. He also manages the shop's E-Commerce platforms and assists with our school rental outreach programs.
Benjamin is also a violin teacher at Palmer String Studio.