Ham Jones goes to Philly

Time to write about attending  the ‘Philly’ Guitar Show with my wife, who by the way is my biggest fan and #1 sales and marketing guru.  She has the experience plus the personality for it.  How lucky am I? Right?

I wasn’t sure we would get to this show, but wanted to have Scar (the new electric) finished, plus I hoped to have two more Acoustics as well. I had already started Scar in early August, about a week before the Show in Concord, NC . I worked solely on this guitar until August 29, when I started on two new Dreadnoughts.

I do most of my work upstairs in the bonus room, which is where I stayed for 6 to 7 hours per day, seven days a week for two and a half months. There were  many days when I really pushed it and was flat worn out. Then there were a couple of days about a week before the show when I was not the easiest person to be around, I’m sure. “Very sure, she told me so.”  I put a lot of pressure on myself to get all nine guitars ready including the new ones.  These new ones were a Rosewood with Maple trim and a Sapele with with Rosewood and Maple trim.   Somehow I managed to pull it off without spending too much time in the ‘doghouse’.  The new additions, ‘Rosie’ & ‘Bucky’ turned out very nice.  I thought we had them both sold but, love vs. money.  “Love the guitar but love my money more”.   These two beauties are still available and priced for the holidays.  hamjonesguitars.com

The actual exhibition was on a Saturday and Sunday in PA. which took us near enough to my brother in law to pay a visit.   My wife’s brother has a co-worker who had been interested in one of my guitars for a few months.  We arrived there on Thursday afternoon and by evening we had sold the Red HJ electric.  Thanks to the buyer and thanks especially to officer Dan and crew.

We arrived at the Exhibition hall Friday afternoon to unload and set up our booth.  Great, we had anther good location, thanks to the folks at Bee 3 Vintage.  We were next to the entrance/exit so we got traffic entering and leaving. It has been interesting and fun attending these first two shows.  Aside from the travel I could do it more often.  Meeting potential buyers, especially the ones who are truly interested and know guitars.  The magic moment for me is seeing and hearing someone else truly enjoy playing one of my guitars.  The gentleman who purchased a guitar at the show was truly that.  He and two friends played several of my guitars and honed in on the acoustic I had named Black & Blue.  He would play, then ask a friend to play so he could hear it from the front.  Initially he left but assured us he would return.  Return he did and the playing continued until he was sold.  Again I say thank you.

In general it was a positive experience.  Still, it is a Vintage Guitar show and most of the traffic is there for just that.  There was another boutique builder next to us, Baleno Instruments.  A one man shop like myself, and I think Chuck sold a guitar as well.  Congrats.  One thing that the wife and I noticed was that of all the people who actually ‘shopped’ at our booth and Baleno’s, a very,very small percentage ‘shopped’ at both.  They either went to his or ours, not both.  Hmmmmm?

Next one is in Greenville, SC and we plan to be there as far as I know.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Author: Rick

A life long woodworker, I've been building guitars for just over ten years. I build acoustic dreadnoughts, electrics, and the "Hambone", a Terz guitar. I am a North Carolina native and am currently located near Charlotte, NC.

Leave a Reply