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Have you ever stood in front of the mirror, held an invisible guitar, imagined yourself as a lead guitarist of your favorite band, and gave a live performance (not literally!) ? Well, we all are guilty as charged. Playing a guitar has always been the ‘coolest thing ever’. But buying one can sting our pockets a little. Plus, with the guitar market dominated by few players who charge premium prices, it becomes hard for most of us to fulfill our secret fantasy to become a Rockstar one day.

Bohemian Guitars_Logo

But, like the fairytales say, dreams do come true. The Team of Bohemian Guitars combined their love for music as well as environment to design a higher-quality, stylish and trendy oil can Guitar. Each boho guitar is not only affordable, but also a piece-of-art. Besides, the sound created by this recycled musical instrument is melodious and pretty different from usual.

Adam Lee, CEO of Bohemian Guitars, talks more about how their custom and vintage guitars are not only spreading music in every corner of the world, but also propagating social work for the amelioration of budding musicians.


About the Company

Q: Tell us something about your company Bohemian Guitars.

Adam Lee

A: Bohemian Guitars is rethinking musical products to create a more stylish, sustainable, and affordable way to make music.

Q: What is the story behind your startup?

A: My brother was inspired by street musicians in our home town of Johannesburg South Africa where people repurpose and we started the company with a couple of friends in our parents basement experimenting with different designs and prototypes.

Q: What are your strengths?

A: Our stylish and trendy but most importantly our guitars are harmonically rich due to the interaction between the the electromagnet in the guitars pickup, the metal body and the metal strings. It produces a sound that cannot be produced by a guitar with a composite or wood body. They are also about $150 cheaper than the average guitar in the US market.


Making Bohemian Guitars a Brand

Q: Being the startup, how did you go about generating as well as increasing brand awareness of Bohemian Guitars?

A: It comes down to engaging with and listening to customers. The more we listened the more we were able to produce a product that our customers wanted. But it also comes down to hustling to get our instruments in front of as many people. We found that the more we hustled, the more organic the brand growth was.

Q: Who are your target audience and how do you reach them?

Word of Advice by Adam Lee

A: Our audience is broad and includes musicians of all levels, art collectors and lifestyle enthusiast. From inspiring people to begin playing guitar to having international rockstars like the KONGOS we have a variety of market segments we target.

Q: Your company actively promotes ‘Community Involvement’ through social activities like ‘Far Out Fridays’. Please throw some light on them.

A: That’s correct. Music education and environmental sustainability are 2 of our most important core values. With Far. Out. Fridays. we donate 1 guitar to a partner organization for every 1 guitar we sell on a Friday. Everything we do is environmentally conscious, our vintage series incorporates parts from discarded instruments and oil cans while our Boho Series have bodies made from recycled scrap metal. We continue to seek out alternative ways to incorporate reclaimed materials into our products, and although we aren’t quite perfect we are doing a small part to protect the environment. We will also be planting 1 tree in Africa for every guitar we sell, that program starts next month.


Pitching and Cracking 500 Startups

Q: Congratulations for making it to the Accelerator Program of 500 Startups. We are keen to know about how you made it to the top 29 companies of Batch 9.

A: My relentless pursuit of keeping in touch with Dave McClure is the main reason, either that or he was tired of hearing from me. But in all seriousness I pitched Dave at the Global Technology Symposium last year and have done my best to stay connected with him. We have some pretty impressive growth since then and I think the sky is the limit.

Q: Now what is the next step in 500 Startups, and how do you plan to go with it?

A: We plan to work our assess of like never before and really do whatever we can to make the most of this amazing opportunity. It’s a blessing to be apart of 500 Startups, one that we do not take for granted. These opportunities come around once in a lifetime and we plan to blow up Bohemian Guitars leveraging every possible resource 500 has to offer.


Word of Advice

Q: What is the word of advice you would like to give to Startups who one day aspire to be where Bohemian Guitars is today?

Team Bohemian Guitars, The Lee Brothers

A: Get a good therapist. But aspiring entrepreneurs need to be hustlers, and that comes from working your ass off. You can’t be taught how to hustle. Also, learn as much as you can from your network, don’t be afraid to ask stupid questions. And trust your gut.


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