I have been working on a very "big idea” for our company related to custom guitars. Now to be clear, I do not intend to start building our own guitars. Instead I plan to partner with iconic guitar brands (who already have the guitar building part nailed) and customize their guitars. In this model, Thalia will become a guitar “hot rod” shop. We will start with stock guitars and upgrade them to our customer’s spec or to our own limited-edition vision.
Now Custom Shop already exists in the high end of the market. Every major manufacturer has a "made to measure" or custom shop offering. That is not what I am talking about. I'm talking about customizations in the low to mid-range of the market, guitars in the $500 to $2.000 range. To show you what I mean here are some guitars that we have customized recently as part of a proof of concept.
First up is my Gibson Ebony Les Paul Standard. We tricked this baby out with a number of sweet custom upgrades, while retaining the core Gibson DNA and brand attributes. We finished it off with a custom setup by Paul, our in-house guitar setup master. This thing looks and plays like a dream.
Next up is my daughter Ella’s, Taylor GS-Mini Koa. In this case, we upgraded the headstock faceplate which was previously black paint with a pad printed logo. It is now Santos Rosewood with an inlaid pearl logo. Next, we inlaid pearl stars into the fretted neck of the guitar. We inlaid these overtop of the pre-existing pearl dots.
And finally, here is a custom upgrade on my Gibson SJ-200 1938 Reissue. This guitar is 1 or 30 ever made and was given to me by my amazing wife on our 20th wedding anniversary. The date of Sept 7, 1990 was the date that I first confessed my love to her and is also the day I married her six years later. In this case, I inlaid that special date into the 19th fret. This was to showcase that in some cases the customizations I am talking about could be minimal, but extremely meaningful and personal.
I will share more details in subsequent weeks, but we are very excited about the prospects of this new initiative and you will be amazed by what we have in store for you as this unfolds!
What do you think of this idea? Is this something that appeals to you? What would you want if we could offer it? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.