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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
- 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
- Skateland, jut beyond Brookfield, proves an enduring attraction for a fun night out
- Business spotlight: Brookfield dry cleaner emphasizes efficiency and economy for customers
- Business Spotlight Employees make Brookfield's Half Price Books work in a changing literary world
- Business Spotlight: Shoe Carnival's goal is to make shopping fun
- Brookfield Business Spotlight: Chiropractor takes a full-body wellness approach
- Brookfield business sells, buys 'gently used' children's goods
- Brookfield promotional business advocates useful items, not trinkets
- Company helps people, businesses save on energy
- Karate American encourages healthy body, mind
- Fazio's chocolate shop a second chance at happiness
- Local art gallery boasts diversified collection
- Ballet school helps students move with grace, confidence
- Enhancing Light Cosmetic Laser comes to Elm Grove
- Matt Schultz's search for a franchise was led by the heart
- Retirement just didn't pan out for Pro Cast's owner
- Halen Homes young, but making mark