I play guitar since I’m 11 or 12 years old, I’ve been with different bands since then and got to know various styles of music. I’ve always been facinated by handicraft activitys and to turn raw materials into a final product. The company Zeal Guitars exists since 2011. I started studiying interior design in my hometown Kaiserslautern and a short time later I got to know my partner Oliver Reich. So we decided to join forces and to create Zeal Guitars together. Soon after that we took part in the Musikmesse Frankfurt, which was the official introduction of our company to the musical instruments business. The most important part when it comes to select the materials for an electric guitar is, of course, the wood. We use only well seasoned tonewoods. If we use tropical woods, we always take care of our responsiblity to use only certified timber. But we try to use native european woods as often as we can for example basswood, alder, maple and ash to put an emphasis on ecological sustainability. We also have an eye on the origin of our hardware parts as well. Most of the parts we use are from Germany. We can find all of the parts that we need in our country: we have wonderful pickups, outstanding hardware, paints and varnishes and all kinds of components that we obtain from various suppliers from all over our country to keep the distance short. No need to say that we only use the highest quality standards available for our components. And to create our guitars from those fine components is one of the main parts of our company’s philosophy. Zeal Guitars offers – besides building custom guitars also a range of own guitar models where we put an emphasis on the creation of a very unique surface design. We simply came up with some ideas, that we personally liked a lot and that we sell now. Furthermore we offer customizing of guitars and all kinds of repairjobs. That’s our daily business! If a customer orders a custom guitar, the first thing we do is to take a lot of time for personal consulting to find out the perfect specifications. The possibilitys and varietys are almost infinite when you create a guitar that is customized in every single detail. So after the consulting and defining the specs we start the draft for fully custom designs, which we usually do with CAD on the computer. Thus you get a 1:1 preview of the finished instrument. When the design is complete and confirmed by the customer, we select the materials, partly order hardware that we don’t have in stock and then start the building. It takes about 8-10 weeks until the customer can hold the finished instrument in his hands. The most beautiful part of my job is – besides the handicraft activities itself the feedback you get from our customers. You see, it’s a very emotional product that we make. Different from almost every other object that we have: chairs, tables and so on. You have a very personal relation to your guitar, which makes it a very special experience every time you hand over a finished guitar to a customer, of which he dreamed for years and maybe saved money for. To make his dreams of his guitar come true and the very moment when he holds this baby in his hands for the first time is always magical. And the gratitude and appreciation that you as a guitar builder get in return is simply terrific.