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Class Notes May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2
   

Entrepreneur's Corner:
Striking the Right Chord
Andy Powers, Muir ’04

   
     

“Andy Powers rules.” That is, according to Alex Woodard, a San Diego-based musician who purchased a guitar Andy Powers, Muir ’04, made for him. It took a year and a half to build, but it was made using wood Powers found on his honeymoon and personalized with an inlaid image of his two dogs.

At Andy Powers Instrument Co., Powers personally spends approximately 300 hours making a custom guitar from scratch so that his customers get exactly what they dream of. “It’s like having a suit made for you,” he says.

As the son of a carpenter and an artist in a musical family, he made his first attempt to build a guitar before he was 10 years old, and made his first sale by the time he was 15. Today, his clientele includes such big names as Jason Mraz and Elvis Costello (he built him a ukulele), and Powers is kept busy with a waitlist that is currently at one and a half years long.

The price of one of his entry-level instruments is $4,500, but arch-type guitars go for as much as $14,000—and Powers is one of the few that makes them. With the level of care, precision and skill that goes into each instrument, it is not surprising that this year he plans to build fewer than 10 guitars.

— Neda Oreizy, ’08.

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"Andy Powers rules."