Norfolk guitar maker hoping to kick start business

Ian Elson who has launched a guitar manufacturing business in Norwich with his guitar.David Hannant

Ian Elson who has launched a guitar manufacturing business in Norwich with his guitar.David Hannant - Credit: Archant

A guitar maker from Thorpe Hamlet is looking to give his business a kick-start by making a plea for financial support.

Ian Elson, 39, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help lift his blossoming business off the ground,

Mr Elson, has begun hand making electric guitars, having grown frustrated with the quality of brand name products he witnessed while working at one of Norwich's former music shops, the Music Room on St Benedicts Street.

Mr Elson said: 'The biggest problem with big name guitar manufacturers is that they tend to be mass produced and imported from either Asia or the United States.

'The cost of shipping obviously adds to the price, but the wear and tear of being shipped doesn't help either.

'Working in retail makes you realise exactly what you are getting for your money when you buy a guitar, and it also told me that mass production is terrible for guitar.'

Upon leaving his job at the Music Room, Mr Elson, who has also taught guitar since 2002, made it his ambition to learn to make guitars, aiming to launch a business from this.

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He said: 'When I originally learned how to make guitars, I learned to make acoustic guitars and found that the process of making these leaves very little wasted materials.

'When researching, I found that in mass producing electric guitars produces around 15pc wastage. So I thought 'why can't we use the principals used for acoustic guitars, with electrics?' With care and attention, there is less waste.'

Mr Elson has now set up a small, independent business, in which he makes and sells handmade guitars, of domestically sourced materials – where possible – and is now looking to grow his business further.

His partner, Katie Utting, has been assisting him with marketing and he has received the support of several local musicians,

He said: 'Norwich is a great place to start a business. I'm now hoping that within three years I will be able to create at least 10 new jobs.

'The interest shown has been very surprising at times, as I've even had people getting in touch from as far afield as America.

'The response has been incredible.'

Mr Elson is now looking to find a larger premises for his business; he currently works from his home in Thorpe Hamlet, with the Kickstarter launched with the ambition of achieving this goal.

The Kickstarter page can be found at