THE TEXAS TOAST PHILOSOPHY
We've long used the phrase “1 Percenter” and “Second Kind of Cool” when describing who our target audience is and what they are looking for. We didn’t coin the phrases, but we did steal them fair and square because they perfectly describe what makes hand-built guitars worth the bucks they command. We estimate that 1% of the guitar buying public appreciate what guitar makers do. American’s love to customize almost everything but there are a small number of people who really get turned on by having a real live, honest to God luthier build their guitar.
Do you see yourself as you read this?
Do you love the idea of heirloom quality musical instruments created by long tenured craftsman who have worn a bare spot in the floor under a vise? If you answered “no” you should stop reading this now, you are wasting your time. Chances are you will be satisfied by the great new import line-up from brand X. If you already skipped past that last sentence because you know in your heart that all the stuff I was just talking about described you...
CONGRATULATIONS… you are a 1 percenter.
Do you know what we're talking about when we say that "cool things are cool because they are cool" and not because they are affordable and practical? “Second Kind of Cool” is that little something extra that you can’t quantify but you know it’s there. If you have ever talked to someone from Philadelphia about a Philly cheese steak you have seen this dynamic in action. They are fanatics about getting a simple combination of ingredients perfect. Don’t try and tell them that you can get the same thing in Nebraska either. This is second kind of cool.
So now you know how we think. You have a better idea about the intangible elements that are very important to a fraction of the people who buy guitars. Again, if this is not you… 1. We understand and 2. why are you still reading this?
We all know that this isn’t a high margin industry and slugging it out in a saturated market place takes a lot of work. It sounds cliché, but you have to love it. We’ll leave you with this - We have a friend who is a brain surgeon. His earning potential is considerably higher than ours. He doesn’t have to haggle with patents. When asked about his profession he doesn’t look at his shoes and squeak out “I’m kind of a brain surgeon.” When someone asks what we do, we don’t respond meekly with, “Well, I’m kind of a guitar maker.”
We ARE guitar makers. We love what we do, it IS who we are...and it's cool because it's damn cool.
Matt Flaherty and Chris Fesker
Texas Toast Guitars