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The Fretfunk Story

Posted by Andrew Rivers at

You could say the Fretfunk story started in 2010.  That's when I designed the first product.  It's when I founded the company.

You could say the story really started in 2011.  I remember going over to an industrial estate in Chichester in my old Toyota estate and filling the boot with 10,000 pick holders from a plastics company there.  Within a few weeks they were on sale on Amazon UK, and we were up and running.  Sort of.

 Pick holders fill the boot

 

I remember when the first online sale ticked in.  What a feeling!

I'm not the first person in business to launch a product with high hopes, only to find that things work out slower than expected.  It's not that people didn’t love the product, it's not that no-one was buying the product either.  The problem was that not enough people were hearing about us. You can't buy something you've never heard of!

The other thing we realised was that we were a bit of a one-trick pony.  We needed to build out our range of products, but we also wanted to keep to our values.  Our products needed to be funky, different, interesting, inspiring and above all, quality.

We decided to get on the road and meet people, and what better way of doing this than by exhibiting at guitar shows?  The first show we did was at Bristol in 2012 and, to be honest, it was a bit of a disaster.  Lots of good came from it though:  we started to build up a network of friends and contacts in the business that have been good to us ever since and the fact that we were speaking to customers face-to-face allowed us to engage and get feedback in a way we hadn't been able to online.

 

Next time we were back on the road was 2014 at the Birmingham Guitar Show.  This time we had some graphics, we had more products and most important of all, we had orange hoodies.

 Johanna and Andrew Fretfunk owners

 

This time it was a great experience.  We even roped the kids in on a commission, in a type of task from The Apprentice.

 Kids work the stand at Birmingham guitar show apprentice style

Whilst there we met Peter of Northern Guitar Shows and were introduced to a new set of shows that enabled us to get on the road and meet more fellow guitar enthusiasts and potential customers.  These shows have always given us the feedback we need to continue to move forward on our journey.

 Some days are more fun than others!

 Fretfunk team play guitar

Continuing to grow our brand we looked further afield travelling to NAMM in Anaheim, Los Angeles in 2015 where we were totally overwhelmed by the amount of innovative products and gear on display and the constant feeling of being part of a large family of musicians with live music coming from every possible open space in the exhibition area and all of the surrounding hotels. Everyone wearing name badges and calling you by your first name wherever you went was a new experience for us and made the event very much more personal even though thousands were attending.

 Fretfunk team attend NAMM show 2015

 

With a real passion for live music we decided to try something new and took our brand new orange gazebo along to the Ramblin' Man Fair 2016.  What a glorious weekend, beautiful sunshine a perfect pitch and plenty of live music to keep us entertained for the weekend.  We met some great people and even sold some of our unique products to a guitarist from Whiskey Myers. All in all we made no profit but had a great weekend and got a loads of useful feedback.

 Fretfunk stall at Ramblin' Man Fair

 

 

…So 2017 is the year we have decided to really grow, with more great ideas in the pipeline we need to branch out into your local music stores so you can feel and touch our products and we can concentrate on designing and delivering new ones.  We will still be at the shows and have a stand booked for NAMM 2018, who knows where we will be exhibiting after that, Jo fancies Australia!

 

We hope you stay with us for the next stage of the Fretfunk journey!

 Andrew and Jo from Fretfunk

 

Fretfunk Coloured Guitar Gear

We make funky products for musicians,

Funky, nifty, colourful, different, interesting, quality products

Products that put a smile on your face.

 

As always feedback is very welcome you can get in touch with your preferred method:

e-mail  hello@fretfunk.co.uk

Phone +44 (0)2393109850

or complete this feedback form.

Many thanks

 


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