In pandemic, high-end guitars prove to be highly-successful pivot
OREM, Utah — The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an extreme toll on many businesses and workers, but one man found success by pivoting to a longtime passion.
Robert Rask said when his fortunes changed last year, his thoughts immediately turned to what had already become a highly technical hobby — building guitars.
“The pandemic hit and I got laid off and my wife and I looked at each other and said, ‘Well, what are we going to do now?’” Rask said. “She says, ‘Let’s go for it!’”
Today, Rask produces hand-crafted, high-end guitars through his Rask Guitars workshop.
Each guitar represents up to hundreds of hours of work. New orders have already stacked up to a one-year wait.
“The big reward is when I hand it to somebody who then gets to use it to create something for more impactful than anything I’ve done,” Rask said.
Music and guitars have certainly had a profound impact on Rask, who had been into woodworking for a long time but only got into crafting guitars 15 years ago.
“Without going too deep, I went through some pretty rough times 15 years ago and found myself at kind of an all-time low and I turned to music at that time,” Rask said. “Music literally saved my life.”
While Rask had an interest in playing guitar, his true love became building the musical instruments himself and perfecting their sound.
“I get to take some of the most beautiful materials that are hidden in trees all over the world and I get to make something new with them that’s beautiful,” Rask said.
As Rask continues to grow his business, he involves himself with the local music scene and community.
On Wednesday evening, a group came to his workshop to learn more about his process and guitars.
“I’m more fulfilled than I’ve ever been in my entire life,” Rask said.
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