In this article, Tim of MIA Member Palm Bay Guitars updates you on the brand’s story and recent developments. Palm Bay Guitars are looking to re-engage with the MI retail network, so we’d like to encourage you to read on and find out more…
In 2017 I bought a Palm Bay guitar (Cyclone P7) from Cranes in Swansea (which, sadly, closed recently).
I was not familiar with the brand prior to that but the guitar blew me away.
I was already working in the MI industry but, because I was so impressed with the guitar, I contacted Palm Bay Guitars purely out of personal interest in the guitars and what the company was up to.
From 2018 I started Freelancing within MI and, as part of this, I was looking out for UK distribution opportunities for an Irish retailer/distributor I was working with. I immediately thought of Palm Bay.
It turns out that the founder, Andrew, lived only a short distance from where I was living at the time, so we arranged the first of many meetings, where we discussed all-things-guitar and the longer-term plan for Palm Bay.
Andrew has been running Palm Bay Guitars since its inception right back in 1991.
In the early days the guitars were 100% handmade but as demand grew, he developed production overseas.
Ever since those early days the guitars have always an amazing look (the colours and finishes have directly influenced some very-well-known big guitar brands), with a focus on genuine playability and quality materials.
The 90s were a real peak for the brand, with guitars being shipped all over the world.
There was a period of selling into UK MI retailers during this period, but the focus since the millennium has been exclusively direct-to-customer.
In recent years there has been interest expressed by distributors (UK and overseas) in the brand but Andrew was looking at retiring fully and the potential of selling the company rather than employing a distributor.
In short, I saw a potential to become involved.
Obviously, there are significant personal, financial and risk factors to content with when pursuing such an opportunity, but I have been very lucky to be able to get everything to line up.
The guitars are amazing and there is a genuine “story” behind the brand.
I see these as being the two key factors with Palm Bay Guitars in the future.
The intention is really simple: develop the brand and range, keeping the core ethos of producing guitars that look, sound and feel awesome.
I have designed a new website from scratch, which has just gone live.
Guitars can be purchased directly from the website but I am very keen to re-engage Palm Bay with the MI retail network. The brand was hugely successful within MI retail historically, but there has not been a connection since 2001.
We have a long journey ahead but a genuine opportunity to build and develop this legitimate UK guitar brand.
I would urge retailers, artists and suppliers to get in touch.
I will be at NAMM and would be very happy to arrange meetings there.
I can be contacted directly:
+44 7740 362660
All social media: /palmbayguitars