January 2008 Interview With Kevin Gaskell of Gaskell Guitars

Author: classic-guitars  //  Category: Music
n interview with Kevin Gaskell, designer and founder of GASKELL GUITARS from Australia. This is from January 2008.

Name of your company?

Gaskell Guitars

Your name?

Kevin Gaskell (I am the designer)

Your Location (city, etc)

Alexandria, Sydney. Australia

Please give us a short summary of your company?

Gaskell Guitars is the only guitar manufacturer in the world that makes ONLY left handed guitars. Based in Australia, Gaskell Guitars is attempting to provide popular guitars not otherwise available as left handed models to the LEFT HANDED GUITAR PLAYERS of this world. I started this 10 years ago. I got it fully together at the end of 2006.

What inspired you to launch your own website?

To get the message out: Left hand guitarists need not feel left out in the dark, or penalized, or ignored for simply being a left handed guitar player.

When did you launch your first website, and what was it?

We have been in business since the beginning of 2007 but did not launch our website until mid 2007. There is still some work to be done but the most important thing is getting high quality guitars into the hands of left hand guitar players who have often given up ever finding the guitars we make!

How did you decide on a name for your website?

Brand name

What makes it different from other, similar offerings?

We are the only company in the world that provides left handed guitars exclusively despite it apparently being a small market. No one else is doing this because no one else really cares about left handed guitar players unless they have a lot of CASH to flash around and have something made in a Custom Shop.

What is your eventual goal?

Corner the market. Internationally. Our brand name recognition is growing. People like our products and they ARE good. I am a left handed guitar player myself so I talk the talk and walk the walk.

How does your investment of time and money balance against your success?

Still to make a profit! Heavily driven by passion, as any purpose that someone is dedicated to.

If you had an unlimited development budget for development, how would things change?

We’d be able to make more guitars faster and satisfy even more left handed guitarists – e.g bass players. Demand is greater than supply at the moment. It costs money to take another step and then another step.

If your business site got really big, really quickly, would you be able to keep up with the demand?

Already struggling with keeping up with product demand! Left Handed guitarists are a passionate lot. And they should be! They’ve been kicked in the teeth for many years. All lefty players know this.

What unexpected costs and headaches have you had to deal with?

The first model is always the most expensive. All our guitars had to be redesigned from scratch and are largely hand made. Tooling (CNC Machines) in factories is designed for making right handed guitars. It’s been “interesting” to set this up shall we say. It would never have been this tough to make right handed guitars and try and break into a saturated market there. It is much much cheaper to make right handed guitars.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Making the guitars affordable while still making a profit. We don’t make a lot on our guitars. We could’ve charged ridiculous prices since no one else makes our models but then that’s called “greed” and that’s not where we are at. Left Handed guitarists have been betrayed bad enough as it is. The other thing we struggle with is shipping costs. This is beyond our control. Costs to USA and Europe from Australia are pretty ridiculous in the post-9/11 world.

What method has been most successful for promoting your website?

Classified Ads

How has running your website differed from your expectations?

I’m not a website builder or hoster. Every little change or improvement costs money! Good news comes at a price!

How long have you run the site already, and how long will you continue to keep it up if you don’t enjoy big gains in traffic, income or popularity?

Since about mid 2007. We intend to keep it going for as long as left hand guitarists want our guitars – hopefully forever!

Why are you doing this?

I was born in New Zealand. I have been playing guitar for 25 years. I always wanted to own a Gibson Explorer. In 25 years I never saw one and Gibson only ever made them at one time, in the 1980s when I didn’t have the money to buy one. Many other guitars didn’t come in left hand at that time. 25 years later NOT MUCH HAD CHANGED. I decided that if we are going to be essentially “overlooked” by the big guitar manufacturers then I will fill this void. I made my first guitar in 1992 and it’s developed from there. Customers who have bought Gaskell guitars are routinely delighted and grateful for these instruments, not just because the price is good, but because they are EXCELLENT, high quality guitars which has always been and always will be our intention. We don’t do “cheap” except in price.

What is your website address?

Gaskell Guitars

By: Gaskell Guitars

About the Author:

Gaskell Guitars is a guitar manufacturer in Sydney, Australia that makes only left handed guitars

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