Richard's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Design Roadtrip

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    San Francisco, CA

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 12

RICHARD HOOVER

Founder
Santa Cruz Guitars

“If you do the right thing, you treat people really well, and you stick to your moral compass, then success will come.”

INTERESTS:

Design Music

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Opportunity Passion Success Values Beliefs & Faith Choices Inspiration Transitions Hobbies & Pastimes Instincts Experience Risk Self-Reflection Honesty Money & Financial Security Community Societal Pressures Fulfillment Simplicity Struggle Acceptance

FOUNDATION:

Working with Others

TAGS:

career, compromise, contentment, death, ethics, experience, guitar, inspiration, inspiring, letters, morals, natural, philosophy, print ad, process, profit, serendipity, success, technique, values

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Says he started playing guitar for "the same reason everybody starts playing guitar-to attract the attention of a girl or a boy."
  • While looking at his guitar one day, realized he wanted to know how to make them; started taking his guitars apart.
  • At one point, his guitar was stolen; when he went to a shop to get a new one, he took one of the guitar builders as his mentor.
  • He'd study with the luthier every week; his mentor made him promise he'd pass his new knowledge on to other people.
  • His guitar-building business initially wasn't doing well; he put the last of his savings into advertising his guitars.
  • The ad caught the eye of Eric Clapton, who asked Hoover to build him a custom-sounding guitar-that became his big break.
  • During the recession in 2008, people weren't buying guitars, and Hoover had to reevaluate his business.
  • Realized he'd been focusing on profit over product; flipped that, focused on his product and his work ethics first, and gradually the business recovered.

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