more than a few fine guitars. The typical customer is passionate about their instruments and wants to keep them properly cared for. Guitars that sold for one or two hundred dollars when I was in high school can be worth tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars today. Most of the cabinets are going into homes. Even the famous musicians who have our cabinets, like Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, Jason Isbell, or Zac Brown guitarist Clay Cook, the cabinets end up at home as opposed to the studio.” For Jennings the most memorable American Music Fur- niture moment has been building a cabinet for luthier Wayne Henderson. He was chronicled in the Allen St. John book Clapton’s Guitar: Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument. “I read the book about 10 years ago when it first came out,” he explains. “Wayne is legendary. He has a list of requests from prospective cus- tomers that exceeds his remaining years as a luthier. He kind of builds what he wants to build for who he wants to build for. He builds 30-35 guitars a year and about half go to charities he supports, a handful go to friends, who are typically talented young musicians that Wayne spots and knows they’ll make good use of his instruments. When
you go down to the Henderson Festival each June he’ll give one as a prize to the best player. He’s also made one for major stars like Vince Gill who come out to perform at the festival. I met Wayne at a house concert in Raleigh, North Carolina where he was playing. The “house” was the home of one of our customers and friends who invited me down because he thought Wayne would love our cabinets. Turned out he was right. Wayne offered to build me a guitar and trade me for a cabinet. I built the cabinet and we did our trade right before the last Hen- derson Festival. He’s a fine gentleman, and it’s one of the points of pride in my life that we could make something he’d want enough to trade me a guitar for it.” “Guitars that sold for one or two hundred dollars when I was in high school can be worth tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars today. Most of the cabinets are going into homes.” The American Music Furniture team has been in business for nearly 40 months, operates in 3,000 square feet in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and hand-builds an average of three cabinets every week.
JULY 2018 • SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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