I’ve spent over two decades helping people with their guitars in my shop in Long Island. It’s something I enjoy doing a great deal. Whether I am designing and building a custom guitar or repairing an instrument for a customer, it was my way of trying to make the world a better place. That’s something I take very seriously.
My business was running wonderfully throughout these years. I had built a great relationship with Martin, Taylor, and Gibson guitars, hundreds of wonderful local artists, and a handful of celebrities I respect visited and asked for guitars or repairs. Work started coming in from around the world, and I was feeling very blessed.
I was born in New England, however, and never truly felt at home in New York. There were too many cars, too many stresses, and I wanted a quieter more introspective life for my children. With so many customers my shop was busier than I’d ever dreamed. It’s hard to give that up. Still, I longed for a simpler life, with land, quiet, a dark night sky and the studio of my dreams. The more time passed, the more willing I became to give up the security of an established business with a large client base. I wanted something special where I could help folks out in an environment that supported my spirit.
My family and I came to know a community in Vermont through some events I did there promoting a book I wrote, and we made friends there and fell in love with the area and lifestyle. Despite change of this magnitude being scary as Hell, my wife and I bravely chose to start fresh where we knew we’d be happiest. For two years we shared our dream of finding a house in the woods that also had meadows for growing food, and that it had to have a separate workshop for my guitar building and repair business. The more we talked about it, the more friends we made, and the more things began to happen. Magical things. It was as if the more we put our dream out there, the more it began to happen. This is how it works. Looking back, it feels as if we were led here.
With each short visit we made to look at houses we made new friends, who told of us other people we needed to meet and know. One set of these new friends led us to the home of a furniture builder who lived in a 10 acre forest. He’d built an amazing workshop on his property next to his home, but had moved to Maine and was looking for the right people to buy his property. We talked about life and I shared my dreams with him for both my business and my family. He saw how much we loved his property, and was happy that a guitar maker would be working and creating in the shop he built. We made an offer, and it was accepted.
My new studio sits in a forest on a magnificent property that also has a stream and two small meadows. I see now that the years spent in New York honing my skills and building my business were really just practice for something greater and more meaningful.
So, I am starting fresh with renewed passion and vision. Please come share this with me. I’ll make you some coffee or tea. We can walk the woods and talk about the guitar you’ve always wanted. Or I can fix the instruments you love that need some TLC. Some of you may even start to dream a bit about what you really want in life by just being here: Be prepared, it’s contagious. I’m looking forward to new friends, new stories, and visits from old friends.