My husband is an expert in vintage guitars. He’s been buying and selling them for about 20 years or so. But he was always passionate about building replicas. While it’s really cool to play a collectible vintage instrument, they’re rare and irreplaceable. They’re also really expensive. So, if you can’t afford the real thing or don’t want to risk damaging it, you might choose a replica instead. Replicas are usually force-aged to look like they’ve been through years of use like a favorite pair of jeans.
My husband is one of those genius people who can figure out how to make or build anything. He invented a 3-dimensional routing machine about 18 years ago and had been collecting parts to build it since before we moved in together in 1997.
He would periodically pull our cars out of the garage and set up shop, turning our over-sized 2-car garage into a woodworking studio.
He built custom guitars when he got this itch. Usually he did it as a favor to a friend. But he periodically would come to me and start talking through a plan to build guitars to sell. I felt he needed to either be a vintage guitar dealer or a guitar maker, not both.
Ultimately, he agreed with me and he kept guitar building at the hobby level until one fateful day. That was the day he googled guitars shortly after we’d moved to Chattanooga, looking for potential places where he might find collectible guitars to buy.
He discovered there was a guitar shop in the large, mysterious building across the street from our apartment call the “BDC.” One evening, we went in the building to look for the guitar shop. What we learned was that this was a Business Development Center and the guitar “shop” was actually a guitar builder. They made original-design electric guitars.
As Pat learned more about the BDC and the support they provided to new businesses, he decided maybe it was time to make the shift from being a guitar dealer to being a guitar builder. So, he launched Coop Guitars in January of 2012.
He recently was asked to be one of the people included in a collage used for a banner advertising the BDC. He gets teased about this now. His fellow BDC residents like to tell him they just saw a group of beautiful young women standing around giggling over his picture. Or that a bunch of people were there earlier waiting for autographs. One of them told him he’s “the face of the BDC.”
He is taking it in stride. After all, it’s just a banner in the lobby of a building. I have to say he is looking mighty fine on that banner, though. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they were having trouble keeping girls from lurking in the lobby hoping to run into him. That’s probably what I would do if I were single. 🙂