Hand-crafted guitars in Utah
The reviews are in and the consensus is that newly opened Mid-Valley Guitar Gallery is a local resource for beautiful, custom handmade electric guitars, as well as a place to meet and chat with some very fine people.
Daphne and Justin Pierce are the duo behind Mid-Valley Guitar Gallery, providing guitars, amps, accessories, repair work, and lessons.
“This is our shop together,” Justin said. “No matter what we do, it’s an us thing. She supports me like no other. I wouldn’t be where I am right now without Daphne’s encouragement and support.”
Justin has been building and repairing guitars since the late 1980s.
As a musician, he started customizing his own instruments in an attempt to get certain sounds and a musical quality more to his liking.
“I started doing custom work on my guitars,” he said. “I started hot-rodding with modifications.”
Soon, his bandmates and friends wanted him to do the same with their instruments. He purchased a router, hand press, and bandsaw. “I started making and never looked back.”
He now has twenty years in the rearview mirror.
String King Guitars
He even created his own line, String King Guitars. Daphne is quick to mention his Diner Bass model.
Imagine a ’50s era diner, complete with the long bar, a collection of barstools and a dining room filled with Formica-topped tables rimmed in chrome. Now imagine someone has taken one of those vintage table tops and used it to create a bass guitar. Justin did just that, and the result is stunning.
Daphne said that, for Justin, opening a shop has been a lifelong dream. “He has always wanted a place where he can make and sell his own guitars.”
Last fall, Daphne noticed a commercial space available for rent. She convinced Justin that now was the time to make his dream happen.
The two of them made the commitment, converted the space, and in early February, opened Mid-Valley Guitar Gallery. Justin’s handcrafted guitars are showcased art-gallery style, which is apropos since they are both musical instruments and works of art.
Starting a small business comes with challenges, one of which is a lack of free time.
“In five years,” Justin said, “I would like to see the shop thriving and doing well. I would like to see my guitars spread across the country. I want help in the store so Daphne and I can travel, deliver guitars together, and vacation together.”
“I love talking about guitars and music!” Justin said. “Daphne knows how passionate I am. She says I could talk about guitars all day.”
For more handcrafted products from Utah craftsmen and artists, click here.