How did you come to play the guitar?
“Music has always been an important part and I have always been obsessed with the guitar in particular, watching videos on MTV and admiring the guitarist of my favorite bands, I knew I had to get my hands on a guitar and learn to play my favorite songs.
When did you start building or tinkering with guitars?
“Back then, I got my first guitar, a Yamaha bundle guitar, when I was 14 or 15. I was so curious how it worked, so I took it apart and put it back together. I did this several times, then again with my second guitar, an Epiphone Les Paul. I’m so glad I didn’t break any tie rods!
“When I was studying industrial design, I realized that a guitar was something I could make. build a guitar. At that time, building a neck seemed beyond my skill, so I just made a body and bought a pre-made neck.
“When I graduated from college, I already had the idea of making a guitar of my own design. I was on a quest to design what I thought was the perfect guitar for me – aesthetic, ergonomic, simple, while keeping in mind tradition. This time I had to do the neck too, I almost got it, but I still needed some advice. I found a local luthier, owner of Olmos Guitars, and he mentored me and taught me what I was still missing.
When did you realize you had a viable business?
“Almost from the start. In college I took business courses and there I started to study the viability of the project, then when I got to my final design, I spent time doing validations on specialized Facebook groups and made an Instagram profile for the brand. I saw a good answer and went from there.
Did you have any external investments at the start?
“I started with my own money. The family business makes furniture, and it was easy to get by. I am lucky to have access to a CNC and some equipment that helped me get started, but I started very small, made an instrument, sold it, and then with that money I bought more equipment and tools, made new one, sold it and so on. “
When did you feel like you nailed your branding?
“When I came up with my first design, my Standard model, I knew design had to be the centerpiece of it all, so once I had that, my whole brand, my brand identity, etc. have started to fall into place. “
What were you inspired by when designing the standard?
“I took a lot of inspiration from mid-century modern furniture and minimalism. One of the things I wanted to achieve with the instruments was that besides being a tool for making music, the instruments could be part of the decoration of the house in which they reside, such as a sculpture or a work. of art. Moving on to the world of the guitar, the works of Millimetric Instruments, Frank Brothers and Fender were very influential in the aesthetic and the construction process.
You’ve also updated familiar designs with a modern, streamlined control plate. Why did you choose this design decision?
“I wanted to pay homage to the classic design of Leo Fenders, in the same way that an artist can cover a song and update it with his style. There is also a functional and practical reason; I wanted to solve a tedious problem of working with a Strat, and that is that if you ever want to rewire the guitar or change a pot or add a switch, you have to remove the strings, unscrew a dozen screws and unsolder the ground wire. . With my design, you don’t need to remove the strings, just a few screws and you have more room to add controls if the customer wants; all checks are organized in an orderly fashion.
What is your proudest moment as a designer?
“I’m just really proud to have a design that people love and can make their own. Even though this is my design, people have the flexibility to customize it to channel their own personality.
How has the guitar community helped you grow your brand?
“I learned a lot of the tricks and trade secrets of the trade by following and messaging other luthiers who are more than happy to share their knowledge. You also learn a lot from customer feedback, what works and what doesn’t. It’s a very supportive and constructive community that is very curious and receptive to trying to adopt new ideas, and you can see this in the wave of new brands of guitars and guitar related products.
What’s next for Paragram?
“I want to expand my product line; I want to introduce a short scale bass and do each iteration of my Standard / Agave model (something similar to what Fender does with its Parallel Universe series). I also worked on a model that uses something that has never been seen before, I can’t give details at this time, so you’ll have to stick around and see if I can make it happen.
Follow Paragram Guitars on Instagram via @paragramguitars.