So much has happened in 5 years. It’s easiest to see what I’m up to by following me on Instagram, @guitarleys. But while you are here, please check out this video made by my good and very talented friend, Tyler Spooner (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk3yhEQG-n53IPIqRTzMPZw). Share just enough to make it viral! 😉

5 Year Anniversary

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 4.12.03 AMCan you believe that it’s been 5 years since Guitarley’s opened it’s doors!? I can! It’s been a wonderful adventure and the shop has grown immensely. Starting as just a small repair shop with a small work bench, a few guitar hangers, and an amp or two, I now have a custom wood shop and repair/show room, that is packed full of guitars, projects, and woods! I have worked on thousands of guitars and built several customs, with many more in the works. It’s hard to believe sometimes.

Guitarley’s has recently been chosen to design and build 12 custom guitars for Geisinser Health Systems! 12 guitars! Get ready to see some serious building this spring.

I’ll also be hosting an open house to celebrate the 5 years of business! Please plan to attend on Saturday, April 2, from 4-7pm! Come see the guitars that have been built, custom amps, woods, tools, and me!

More new products on the way!

Image

More new products on the way!

Most retail music stores carry the run of the mill chrome and glass slides, but here at Guitarley’s I wish to offer you slides of the highest quality! I have recently been signed up to be an authorized dealer of the world’s greatest guitar slide, “The Rock Slide!”

RockSlides have unparalleled sustain.Why so much sustain? Because the heart of The Rock Slide is the solid brass rod that is CNC carved to fit your finger. This particular brass formula has a lot of nickel content which is the best for tone, sustain and plating. The walls are thick and get thicker towards the end of the slide. We intentionally added a tone ring at the fingertip end which adds mass and helps secure your finger. Like a Hawaiian tone bar cuts through the mix with more weight and mass, so does The Rock Slide. NOT JUST A PIECE OF PIPE.

The first batch of these should be arriving at Guitarley’s in a week or two, so stay tuned for when you can test drive one of these beauties! Check out all of their great products…

http://www.therockslide.com

L.A. Amp for sale!

Image

L.A. Amp for sale!

This is an amazing sounding “Super Reverb” style amp, custom built by Gary Crouse of Lewis Alexander Amplification! This amp boasts 45 watts of all-tube tone! You have to hear it to believe it. This amp is currently for demo and for sale at Guitarley’s so stop by and check it out!
-45 Watts
-45 lbs
-All USA made parts
-Completely hand-wired
-Mercury Mag input/output/choke transformers
-Hotrod Channel 1 with special gain structure and “Phat” circuit
-Ruby 6L6’s
-Vintage tone soul USA 5U46B rectifier
-extra filtering tube reverb w/military Phillips 12AT7
-JJ’s in all other preamp positions
-4×10 w/ 2 Kendrick Black Frame and 2 Eminence
-Vintage 1965 reverb tank
-RCA vintage style foot switch
-Custom cover and leather handle

The next BIG step…

Image

Over the past several weeks I have been preparing for a big opportunity in my career as a luthier and business owner. In a previous blog you’ll see that I had my first CNC experience as a woodworker. With the help of my good friend at Hermance Machine Company (www.hermance.com) I participated in a CNC demo with C.R. Onsrud (www.cronsrud.com) making a few of my resonator guitar bodies. The demo was well received enough that the company is taking me to Las Vegas with them for the 2013 Association of Woodworking and Furnishing Suppliers Fair (http://awfsfair.org)! There will be hundreds of thousands of people in attendance, lots of contacts, exposure, and opportunity. It’s kind of a big deal.

In preparation I purchased a variety of aged tone woods from Lewis Lumber Products (www.lewislp.com) and other various providers in my area. There will be 24 blanks consisting of curly maple, ash, alder, African and Honduran Mahogany, black walnut, and padauk. I have done a fully detailed CAD drawing of my guitar that will instruct the CNC routing machine on what to cut, and it will do it efficiently and accurately!

Image

While the machine demonstrates its cutting abilities, making a large batch of guitar bodies for me, I’ll be there to answer questions and demonstrate the lutherie process. I will also have one of my completed resonator guitars on display for me to play and for others to test drive. I’ll have various hard ware pieces as well as my new line of custom winds form Porter Pickups (www.porterpickups.com). With these pieces I’ll be able to do a “dry-fit” assembly and preview the further building process.

In the mean time I’ll be planning display materials, printing handouts about my business and music, and working away in the shop for the upcoming week. Then its time to fly to the deserts of the southwest. 

Is there anything that you fellow bloggers would like to see at a demo like this? I’m open for suggestions and experiences. Thanks for your support and I can’t wait to show you the guitars as they progress!

Don’t forget to follow my progress on Twitter and Instagram (@Guitarleys) and visit my http://www.facebook.com/guitarleys page and support me with a ‘like’ and a share!

 

Link

Sean Farley Music

Please come see the website I’ll be focussing on mostly over the next few months! Check out soon-to-release album “Karma” and my upcoming tour! I’ll be playing in GA on my way to Memphis TN for the International Blues Challenge (January 30-February 2) and then to the beautiful South West to tour for a month! Thanks for the support and please check out my new website!

A victory for Guitarley’s

Image

I’m happy to announce that I recently won a regional Blues competition hosted by the Billtown Blues Association! This makes me a quarter finalist in the International Blues Competition (http://www.blues.org/ibc/#ref=ibc_index) to take place in January of 2013 on Beale Street, Memphis TN! I have done this competition twice before with two different bands and had a blast every time. Last time I played with a freshly re-attached left thumb, playing slide on my lap while in a fancy cast. I hope to make up for it this time around. The saying goes “third time’s a charm!” I’m hoping it applies this time. Not only do I hope to gain from this as a musician, but now as a luthier also. It will be an amazing networking platform for me to play my original music through guitars that I have built myself. I can’t wait to tell everyone about them! I have to remember to take a few business cards with me! I attached a link that will take you to the article about the event I participated in, the musician involved, and a little about myself too. Enjoy!

http://www.sungazette.com/page/content.detail/id/576235/BLUES-TIME.html?nav=5011

LIVE DEMO: The fruits of my labor…

Please check out this video of me playing a newly fixed stratocaster. It needed a lot of love when it came into Guitarley’s! It received some neck repair, fret work, full set up, new bone nut, and a new set of pickups from Seymour Duncan ( http://www.seymourduncan.com ). The “Everything Axe Set” sound outstanding! You can check this link out directly to my youtube page or you can visit and ‘like’ my shop’s Facebook page and see this job and lot’s more! ( http://www.facebook.com/guitarleys ) Make sure to check blogs about my shop, being a luthier, being a musician, small business, and more! Make sure to give me feedback and share! Thanks!

 

Small Business Ownership: “It’s kind of like a roller coaster ride…”

          I officially opened up my small business on April 1st, 2011. The business name: “Guitarley’s Custom Guitar & Repair.” The paperwork and red tape was easily navigated and completed thanks to my local Small Business Development Center (http://www.lhup.edu/sbdc/), a wonderful resource. I was in and out of this office in about an hour with all necessary paper work, tax items and helpful reading material. I was officially a sole proprietor! It almost seemed too easy!
          My business model? I make and fix stringed instruments. My customer base? Relatively specific: people who have stringed instruments. I do a little retail here and there, order parts as needed, have select tools, and do the best work I can. I started out with as little overhead as possible, as advised by one of my instructors at Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery (http://www.roberto-venn.com/), where I was trained and certified in my craft. He suggested some basic power tools, hand tools and a little shop in a good location. “Just start out simple and let it grow naturally,” he said. Well, I lucked out by getting a great deal on a business district storefront and apartment all in one– it was custom made for me. It’s beautiful and convenient! I roll out of bed and walk into my shop! I can take breaks, or never take breaks! I have a 5 foot commute to work, the place is a tax write-off, I’m there to “guard the fort” and I’m always comfortable.
          I took advantage of my connections and relationships to get things started. People were excited for me and my new venture and were willing to help out and lend or return favors. It felt great to have all that support from friends, family and acquaintances. I had lots of local press to draw attention and the help of social media as well (https://www.facebook.com/guitarleys & https://twitter.com/#!/guitarleys). Almost all of the advertising I have done to date has been FREE, and it has worked! Thanks to Facebook and Twitter I have freely promoted myself and made customers and professional contacts locally, regionally and, even cooler, world wide! In business school, I always loved the concept of “buzz marketing” and that’s what I have mostly relied on. It’s very tangible and accountable– I do good work, customers tell others about their positive experience with my service and my customer base grows!
          Now, about that roller coaster ride…
          I have already had my first experiences with cyclical business trends. As a bartender I know that January and February are usually slower months, but as a guitar repair shop owner, I noticed a different trend. I remember tons of cool work coming into my shop in the beginning, I was slammed! It was so exciting. I felt so useful and needed. Long term success was in plain sight. Well, maybe that was a little premature. After finishing up a ton of work I would sit down and feel proud. Then it would hit me… I just finished all my work! That meant something different when I worked for someone else. In this case it meant there wasn’t any more work to do and get paid for! It was a pat on the back that turned into a sharp blow to the gut. I realized the responsibility and sensed the difference of being employed vs. self-employed.
 Image
          Very little work came in for a few weeks after that. Just as I was really stressing over keeping up with bills and losing hope (also premature), a big job would come in! So I was back on top! Then a few more came in, and again, they were big jobs! So I paid the bills and then repeated that cycle for several months. When people asked me “What it was like?” or “How is the business going?” all I could say was “It’s kind of like a roller coaster ride.” The nervous anticipation as you climb, waiting for the next drop, the thrill and enjoyment of getting over the hump, the sudden twists and turns, up and down, up and down, fast and slow! It’s exciting and then a little stressful, a humbling experience that continues to keep me on my toes. I’ve been learning to put the money away for those “rainy days” in business. I also use those slow times to come up with other ways to make money: product extensions, new ventures, booking gigs, picking up a bar tending shift here and there, etc. I learned to not waste time and use free moments to invest and create busier days in the future. As a result, I have been experiencing longer busy times and slower down times.
          So, the graphs and charts show positive growth, and that’s fundamentally positive and successful. That’s the exact plan! Patience and positive thinking get me through. Inventiveness, during slow times, helps things to grow down the line. As a small business owner, and a person in general, you should never be bored. Boredom is just another word for lazy and unmotivated. Down time is when you get a chance to plan for the future, explore new ideas and take stock of your past-to-current practices and outcomes. You should always be learning and researching your business and/or trade to improve your product and offerings. Some of the best advice I received pertaining to that is, “You have to be the expert your customer expects you to be.”