gmhTODAY 11 gmhToday Nov Dec 2016 - Page 66

Jeff and Juli Strametz and Boulder Creek Guitars: An Ever Growing Musical Family By Amy McElroy 66 I f you wander into Milias Restaurant in downtown Gilroy on a Wednesday night, you’ll typically fi nd a man and a woman singing 1960’s and 70’s covers —with an unusual looking guitar. The couple, Jeff and Juli Strametz, also co-own Boulder Creek Guitars, whose headquarters is located in Gilroy. Jeff still has long- time friends who think he owns a typical music store. But in fact, the international business manufactures and sells a unique type of guitars, basses, and ukuleles to distributors, along with custom work for customers created right in Gilroy. Boulder Creek Guitars originated back when a golfing buddy of one of Jeff’s music students had an inventive idea for designing guitars. Jeff, who had a back- ground in business development and sales, GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 wanted to take a look. Jeff said, “One day this kid rolls up with a balsa wood model of this new idea for a guitar on the back of his Harley.” After completing several mock-ups and settling on a design in 2006, they opened the company. They started by calling one music store at a time across the country, and business took off. Two years ago, Jeff and Juli bought out the other owners, and it’s now a family-run operation. Jeff uses the image of another instrument to explain the basic design: “Picture a drum head on a snare drum, with no hole in center” Like the plastic head on most snare drums, Jeff explained, “wood transmits sounds and creates tone on a guitar.” By cutting the giant hole in the center, you lose much of the ability to transmit tone.