How a Polish guitar manufacturer is rocking the world
Mayones Guitars & Basses began manufacturing their first electric guitars in a backyard workshop in the early 80s. Today, several thousand guitars leave the Gdańsk workshop each year. How did a small Polish guitar manufacturer find their instruments in the hands of legendary musicians, such as the rock bands and the masters of modern jazz music?
History of Mayones Guitars & Basses goes back to 1982, when a family of music enthusiasts from Pomerania began making guitars in a backyard workshop. When rock music started being all the rage in Poland, new bands were emerging one after another and with it came the soaring demand for electric guitars.
Similar to many other products during the Cold War, electric guitars weren’t officially available for sale in Poland. That’s when Mayones Guitars & Basses seized the opportunity and began making guitars for the domestic market. Musicians flocked to Gdańsk from across Poland to buy these unique instruments, with the trip sometimes taking as much as two days. Over thirty years later, Mayones is now one of the most valued electric guitar brands and its products are available nearly everywhere in the world.
Eight months to perfection
There is no room for error in the case of such an exceptional product as the electric guitar. Most Mayones Guitars & Basses instruments are made on special order, according to a detailed specification. Starting from the wood species, to engraving the owner’s initials, to the design of potentiometer knobs, each detail is created according to the specific expectations of the customer. The Mayones Guitars & Basses team of experienced guitar makers work on one instrument for six to eight months on average. Given the uniqueness of these products, consuming months of hard work, it is even more important for the instruments to reach a demanding customer on time and in intact condition.
Since the beginning, the company has focused primarily on the top quality experiences that their instruments offer to musicians. Each instrument is still predominantly handmade, and 90 per cent of the 30 company workers are musicians who put their heart and soul into producing each guitar. After all, their unique finishing with incredible attention to detail and most of all their unique character is what the company’s products are praised for by world-class guitarists.
Recipe for success
Asked for the recipe for their international success, the founders of Mayones Guitars & Basses emphasize that passion is the key ingredient. However, in order for musicians from all around the world to find out how exceptional the Polish guitars are, the iron curtain had to fall, enabling Polish entrepreneurs to break into foreign markets. Mayones Guitars & Basses made their first foray into international markets in the mid-1990s, making its début at the Music Trade Fair in Frankfurt and creating the first small communities supporting the brand around their new-established clients in Germany, Netherlands and Spain. In the following years, the company expanded its products and built the prestige of the brand, boldly penetrating new markets.
Despite the successful international expansion, the company would not lose its family heritage or craftsmanship. However, expansion abroad required new competences in the area of international trade. The manufacture of instruments requires solid, seasoned wood of the highest quality, imported from many countries. And the final products are sold all over the world. This is when FedEx Express were able to help, by supporting Mayones Guitars & Basses in its expansion abroad.
“For many years, we have based our business primarily on export, which is why it was a critical issue for us to work with a reliable logistics provider. The things that were important to us were international experience and on-time reliable delivery around the world, as our guitars are bought by extremely demanding customers from dozens of countries across six continents – from Romania to China or New Zealand. Owing to the extensive logistics network of FedEx, we are able to reach our markets with our products, enjoying the timely delivery of our products ready for use by the purchaser, which is particularly important in the case of such an exceptional, individual product as a guitar,” says Michał Gabryelczyk from Mayones Guitars & Basses.