Admit it: even if you’re not an aspiring rock star, you’ve at times been jealous of the cool custom-made guitars your music idols rock out to. You may have dreamed about having one of your own, or even designed one in your head. Moniker Guitars, a Venture that has worked with IDEA, can make that dream a reality. While their custom designed guitars may not make the common man sound like Hendrix, Moniker provides a guitar that is quality in sound, feel and price, and is custom-designed for each user. Moniker has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their newest line of semi-hollow body guitars.
Inspired by the success of “design your own” sites like Republic Bike and Nike ID, Moniker co-founder Kevin Tully recognized the opportunity for guitars to be the next customizable product. “Like bikes and sneakers, guitars are one of those personal items that people like to show off, so I thought the idea of customization would be well received, especially by musicians who are creative people to begin with,” Tully says.
Moniker compares the process of buying a guitar to choosing a new car: you can find a model with one or two of the features you’re looking for, but you will not feel like you’re getting exactly what you want without special ordering. Tully says the hope of he hope is that their hope for 2013 is for their business model to fully allow guitar players to create an instrument that shows something about their musical and visual style. And because Moniker guitars start at an incredibly affordable price, these aren’t just for the multimillionaire rock stars.
Since being founded in 2011, Moniker has grown from a “maniacal obsession” to a successful business. For Tully, the most challenging aspect of developing Moniker has been establishing a high level of quality through the Internet. While sound may be easy to convey online, it is hard for a guitar player to get the feel for an instrument over the Internet. But if you have seen a Moniker guitar in action, that high level of quality is evident. “The most rewarding part of developing Moniker Guitars so far has been watching musicians play our guitars live and seeing people in the crowd respond to the music. It’s an awesome feeling to see that something you’ve made is being used to make other people happy,” Tully says.
Moniker Guitars has been working with IDEA for the past year and a half. As a Northeastern University alum, co-founder Dave Barry was able to connect his Venture with IDEA and use the mentors, coaches, and other services IDEA provides. Tully states that IDEA has helped Moniker not only with necessary funds to launch their website and production, but also for guidance and advice through challenges: “I can say with 100% confidence that we would not be where we are now without help from IDEA. Northeastern as a whole has influenced Moniker so much. We have two incredible co-op students working with us now and even our accountant in Austin is a Northeastern graduate!”
Moniker was recently featured on MSNBC’s program “Your Business,” which gave them widespread exposure and helped them reach a more broad audience. Moniker was also featured in this year’s SXSW conference in Austin, Texas. Take a look at their MSNBC segment here.
As a part of their Kickstarter campaign, Moniker is offering an Early Bird Special, as well as opportunities to take a guitar-making class or have a guitar named after you! The money they hope to raise will fund the equipment and tools needed to efficiently manufacture quality and affordably priced semi-hollow guitars.
IDEA is very proud to have been a part of Moniker’s success and is looking forward to watching this Venture continue to grow!