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.