We made a list of 10 women-owned businesses in the guitar industry that are doing innovative work that you should consider buying from this holiday season.
You must have expected this one from us, and we can’t say it enough: support women-owned businesses in the guitar industry. Not just during the holidays, but everyday. And not just in gear, but in everything.
So perhaps this holiday season you’re looking to throw down some bucks on a new guitar or amp for your sweetie, or want to buy a young shredder in your life their first Kyser capo, or maybe you’re looking for a self-gifted holiday treat for yourself (the Taurus in me fully supports this move). We’ve created a list of 10 women-owned businesses in the guitar industry that are doing some super innovative things in guitar gear and accessories. Spread a little holiday cheer by buying gifts from people who deserve the support!
How many times can we shout out luthier Leila Sidi of TunaTone? (Apparently, a lot. She’s just that rad.) Inspired by “vintage futurism of mid-century electric guitars,” Sidi’s guitars both look and sound incredible. Most notably is the short-scale Teeny Tuna, an iconic pink guitar with incredible tone and style—perfect for that guitarist in your life who is looking for a smaller, yet beautiful guitar.
Fazio Electric Amps
Behind Fazio Electric Amps is Colleen Fazio, who left her repair job at Deltronics to launch her own business earlier this year. The LA-based company currently offers The Wooly 15 on their website (alongside any custom amp you could possibly dream up), with a 15 watt output, 10” speaker, spring reverb, and tremolo—but we expect to see a lot more out of Fazio in the near future.
Kyser CEO and President, Meredith McClung, was entrusted the family legacy in 2012, and has been since following in her uncle’s footsteps to keep the integrity and quality of Kyser a priority. In honor of their 40th anniversary in 2020, Kyser has released three new vintage-inspired capos in their legendary Quick-Change spring-action capo design. Now available in classic maple, rosewood, and sunburst finishes (along with a whole rainbow of other colors), you can add a bit of capo flare to your shredding.
Owned by a husband and wife team, Spruce Effects is all about quality, tinkering, and helping you to find your signature tone. The duo source every part and build every single pedal themselves—measuring 4 times, and soldering once—and all of their pedals are named with nature in mind. They currently only offer two effects pedals—the Gale distortion/fuzz, and the Giganteum drive—but we’re excited to see what they do next!
Built By Wendy
Here’s one for my ‘90s/early ‘00s guitar players out there! Built By Wendy, an independent fashion line founded by designer Wendy Mullin in 1991, started a cult following of fresh alt looks and classic guitar straps. Today, Built by Wendy offers a small array of colors in canvas or vinyl, as well as a custom strap you can design with photos and a glitter background. Fun fact: Courtney Love is known to have used a pink one in the ‘90s!
Vinegar Works Guitars
Jessi Carter of Vinegar Works Guitars in Brooklyn, NY specializes in restoring and reselling mid-century department store or budget guitars. While vintage guitars excel in appearance, design, and pickups, they often lack in stability and playability—until Carter gets her hands on them and upkeeps their style while upgrading their overall reliability. We’re personally digging the “Royalist” branded set neck Kawai guitar (circa 1963-5) and the Kimberly-branded Teisco BS-101 bass (circa 1965), a very short-scale bass.
3rd Power founder Dylana Nova Scott is a patented inventor, guitarist, and industry veteran. Her unique amp designs are handmade with 1960’s-styled manufacturing techniques, and currently include the Kitchen Sink, the Clean Sink, the Dirty Sink, and Wooly Coats Spanky MKII. 3rd Power also offers effect pedals, cabinets, and a whole bunch of “legacy” products to peruse.
Rabbit Hole FX
Self-proclaimed HBIC/Founder/Designer/Builder/TheBiz at Rabbit Hole FX, Safia Harrison, founded the company with the goal of creating satisfying sounds with high quality. According to the website, Rabbit Hole FX is more than its effects: “It is a music and sound-oriented mental and physical space where every form of creative expression and outlandish idea is openly entertained, encouraged and sometimes developed.” And with pedals like the Chaosmic fuzz and A ‘Merkin fuzz, there’s clearly some great ideas being had.
Copperpeace Guitar Straps
Sleater-Kinney, Cate Le Bon, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down… some of our favorite musicians use Copperpeace guitar straps, so of course we’re here for it. Founded by Johnna Lynn in 2006, Copperpeace straps specialized in handmade leather guitar straps, banjo straps, and bags. With classic styles, limited edition fringe styles, and donating some proceeds to charity styles, Copperpeace might have just the right gift for that certain guitarist in your life.
Fanny’s House of Music
With a mission to be “Nashville’s most comfortable music store,” you know that Fanny’s House of Music has got to be owned by two rad women. Pamela Cola and Leigh Maples have provided lots to choose from for the musician in your life (or let’s be real, yourself): oddball vintage electrics, a wide-range of acoustics and basses, and plenty of amps, affects, and accessories. They also sell vintage clothing and ephemera, and the store is named after, yes, that Fanny—our Issue 17 cover artists! Have you died and gone to heaven? Maybe.