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Life in El Cajon: Music powerhouse Taylor Guitars hits all the right notes

taylor guitars
Posted at 8:37 PM, Jan 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-16 17:27:33-05

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) - Have you ever asked yourself what goes into a guitar? One of the biggest manufacturers in the world runs operations from El Cajon.

As part of our 10News “Life in El Cajon” series, we take you inside the music powerhouse that is Taylor Guitars.

Seven-hundred guitars a day are pumped out between the manufacturing plant in El Cajon and Tecate, Mexico. From its distribution center in Amsterdam, guitars go to all corners of the world. While guitars are sent to remote areas, they're also in the hands of music's most well known stars, from Taylor Swift, Prince, and George Straight, to Alan Jackson, David Matthews and Ben Harper, the list goes on.

Chris Wellons, the VP of Manufacturing talks about the company's mission. First, at Taylor Guitars there's an emphasis on finding your fit. That means physical fit and musical fit. A guitar should be comfortable, and its sound should complement your playing style.

Wellons says the company is a leader in sustainability. For every Koa tree they cut down in Hawaii, they plant three behind it.

Success has followed Taylor Guitars. It's bringing in $125 million a year. How? Wellons says valuing their work force, and their customers, as well as one other ingredient to greatness: courage.

"Just have the courage to pick up a guitar and try it," said Wellons.

The philosophy is inscribed on the entry wall inside their El Cajon plant.

The wall reads:

We believe at the heart of every great
accomplishment you will find a single
common ingredient: COURAGE.
It's courage that allows us to explore,
to push forward,
to venture into the unknown.
And while the decision to do so may seem
obvious afterwards, it wasn't at the time.
Because each time we make the bold
choice, or go down the narrow road,
we put something at risk.
Our Ego,
Our Reputation,
Our Livelihood.
Without courage we would never dare,
never change, never inspire.
That's why whether you're a guitar player,
or a guitar builder,
the world needs more of it.

Step is waiting.