Moniker Guitars Crowdfunds Its Way Into Business

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When we last saw Moniker Guitars they were trying to raise $ 50,000 to fund a custom guitar business. Now, three months and $ 60K later, they’ve beaten their goal and are now selling their axes online.

The biggest differentiator at Moniker is their online guitar configurator that lets you create your own custom ax in any shape, color, or style. They’re also adding graphics and text, should you want to put your bands name boldly on the body.

The founders Kevin Tully and Dave Barry were looking for backers to help fund the first few fiddles off their assembly line. Now they’re offering entry-level models for about $ 900 and, depending on your paint job and parts you request, they can run into the $ 1500 range. However, given that this is a custom, hand-made guitar build by two dudes in Austin, Texas, it makes at least a little economic sense.

What’s truly interesting, however, is that the company is almost fully crowdfunded. They launched in 2012 and this initial investment pushed them into business. Whereas the traditional guitar maker would probably have to get a loan for parts and equipment, Moniker simply asked customers to pre-order, create a great product, and raised capital for sandpaper and saws without bank involvement. It is, in short, a brand new way of building a business. It’s not the first crowdfunding success stories by far, but it’s certainly one of the coolest.

In fact, it’s heartwarming enough to make you want to play a power ballad on a crowded tour bus while swigging Jack Daniels with four other men with questionable taste in hairstyles.

TechCrunch » Gadgets

Moniker Looks To Crowdfunding To Create A Custom Guitar Business

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Austin-based Moniker Guitars is running a Kickstarter campaign to create a line of semi-hollow-body guitars for discerning git-fiddlists. The company will offer their first guitars for a $ 700 pledge, not bad for a hand-made guitar from rockabilly city.

The company is looking for $ 50,000 to start and they’ve just passed the $ 6,000 mark.

The company already customizes solid-body guitars and hopes that the fund will help them build a line of semi-hollow-body models.

“Through our online guitar configurator you can choose your guitar’s shape, paint colors and parts, as well as add custom text and graphics; all at the price of an off-the-shelf guitar,” write founders Kevin Tully and Dave Barry. Moniker began in Austin in 2012.

“The money we hope to raise will go towards the tools and equipment needed to efficiently manufacture these guitars at our shop in Austin,TX. An efficient manufacturing process means we’ll be able to create high quality, yet affordably priced, semi-hollow guitars. We also need help funding the materials needed to produce these guitars on a larger scale. These materials include wood, primer, sandpaper paint, clearcoat, guitar parts, etc.”

The luthiers do most of their work in Austin and for a pledge of $ 350 they’ll strip and repaint your current guitar with a new color. You can also get a White Stripes-esque red and white model for $ 900. $ 2,400 gets you a lesson in guitar-smithing with the guys at Moniker.

As it gets easier to make things overseas it’s refreshing to see these guys attempting to build a local company. Customization is a hard job and it makes sense to keep the gear, supplies, and workers close to the consumer.



TechCrunch » Gadgets