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Handcrafted Business: 5 Questions with Dave Woods, Creator of Zenfire Guitar Picks

Handcrafted Business: 5 Questions with Dave Woods, Creator of Zenfire Guitar Picks

We asked Dave Woods our 5 Questions about his business, Zenfire, a company that sells handcrafted guitar picks made from bronze and brass. As an accomplished guitarist himself, Dave started making picks for himself and his friends, but soon discovered the business opportunity his unique picks presented.

What are the primary service(s) or product(s) that your business provides?

Zenfire guitar picks offer an alternative to the old, traditional, slippery plastic and nylon picks for tone conscious guitarists. My picks provide a brighter and more articulate tone, and the picks do not slip in your hands due to the textured grips that all of my picks come with. Zenfire picks are not machine made, but individually crafted by hand.

Who’s your perfect customer? Do you work with other business (B2B), or consumers (B2C), or both?

Besides my returning customers, my perfect customer is a player who tries my picks for the first time and is blown away by the clear tone and great feel of these handmade guitar picks. Currently, I work alone, as I feel it is truly the only way to assure consistant quality. I also sell online only.

When did you start your company? Share a little about your professional history leading up to starting your company.

Zenfire was launched officially in 2010, but I had been crafting these picks for many years prior, making them for myself and close friends. Monitoring different materials tonal qualities over the years led me away from plastics to different types of metals, settling ultimately on the hard brass and phosphor bronze I currently offer. I am also working with aluminum and titanium on a custom order basis. I had worked in the aerospace industry for close to 20 years and currently work in the sheet metal industry, which has really helped in learning about the qualities that various of metals have.

What are one or two things that you’ve learned the hard way?

Through this business I have learned that you can’t change everyone’s thinking overnight, especially when it comes to what has been “tradition” (plastic and nylon picks) for so many years. Some players have no desire to try something new, no matter how well it might work. Getting guitarists to understand my quest is an ongoing battle. On the flip side, I have close to a 90% return customer rate.

What is one thing that most people don’t know about your business or industry that you wish they did?

I wish people truly knew what it takes to craft even one of these picks by hand. Sometimes I even play the picks personally during the beveling process to make sure the pick glides over the strings just right and produces the correct “snap.” I am not knocking or trying to get rid of the plastic pick. I am simply offering a handmade product that does the same thing, only better!

Where’s the best place for people to learn more about your company?

To learn more about Zenfire picks you can go directly to the website at www.zenfirepicks.com or, if you have any questions about my products, you may contact me directly at [email protected] or through the website.


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by Emily Lund // Co-founder and Managing Editor of Businessing Magazine. Content Strategist and multi-function copywriter at Modmacro℠, specializing in marketing communications for small businesses and non-profits.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.