Redwood Acoustics isn't like most music stores. You won't find that mass-produced guitar perfectly priced for the child who might lose interest in a month or so.
No, the guitars that hang on the walls of Redwood Acoustics are all hand-built by some of the top luthiers in the world, each instrument custom-designed by owner Tom Dircks.
He chooses the woods. Will it be Brazilian rosewood? Cocobola? Walnut?
He chooses the shape: Will it be more rounded or square? Feature a little rock 'n roll flare?
And there are countless other decisions to be made, from nut width to whether to have fret markings.
It's a dream job, Dircks admits.
"I just love to play them, and love the tone," he said. "I love the look of them - the wood, the finishes, the craftsmanship."
That craftsmanship, with the help of the Internet, has drawn collectors nationwide to the fledgling store. Some fly in to strum the 75 or so guitars in the shop before buying, others know so specifically what they want that they don't need to. And some design their own, ordering it through Redwood.
High-end guitars by companies like Collings, Huss-Dalton, Bourgeois, Eastman and Lowden are worth it, Dircks said.
While the guitars are perhaps a little beyond the casual musician's needs, Dircks doesn't thumb his nose at recreational guitarists. He is one.
"My first guitar was in the 1970s, but between then and now I didn't practice at all," he admits. "About three years ago, my son and I got into it."
That's Tommy Dircks, a Wisconsin Hills Middle School student, who keeps every guitar in the store in tune.
Dircks invites all guitarists to stop by. He enjoys meeting others with the same passion.
"People who play guitar tend to be fun," he said.
That's why he's taking names of people interested in forming an informal guitar circle for people of varying skill levels. It will meet at the store once a month or so, just for the joy of it.
If you would like to suggest a business to be featured, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
JUST THE FACTS
BUSINESS: Redwood Acoustics
ADDRESS: 2835 N. Brookfield Road
PHONE: (262) 439-8393
OWNER: Tom Dircks
TYPE OF BUSINESS: Custom and hand-built acoustic guitar retailer
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Business Spotlight: Fred Astaire's grace lies behind every step
- Flower design drew event planner back to the business she loved
- Brookfield Business Spotlight: Wilson Center embraces the risks inherent in the arts
- Brookfield Business Spotlight: At Walters', a suit is at its best when it's wet
- Business Spotlight: Sunset Playhouse has come a long way
- Business Spotlight: Cookies by Design
- Business Spotlight: Can learning be fun? The owners of The Learning Shop believe it can!
- Brookfield Business Spotlight: With 170 years behind it, Laacke & Joys has a wealth of experience
- Business Spotlight: New owner hopes to continue Elm Grove tailoring shop's high standards
- Business Spotlight: Healthworks Wellness Center in Brookfield
- Business Spotlight: Elm Grove's Mystic Ireland celebrates the culture of the owner's homeland
- Business Spotlight: Paper Envy is not a paper tiger in the personalized stationery business
- Business Spotlight: Renovators Ltd. of Elm Grove has a program for every construction job
- Brookfield Business Spotlight: 9Round fitness center
- Business Spotlight: From Panera to Blaze Pizza in Brookfield, franchise owner has succeeded again
- Brookfield's Pet Supplies Plus caters to a four-footed customer base
- Brookfield and Elm Grove Business Spotlight: Jamba Juice
- Business Spotlight: Taking pictures is easier today, but taking good pictures is not, as Mike Crivel
- Business Spotlight: Elite Sport & Spine LLC
- Brookfield's O' What a Day Cafe strives to make any day a good day to stop in