The exterior of the Collings Guitars workshop in Austin, Texas.
Collings moved his operation once and
expanded twice before moving into the
current building. Now, approximately 70
employees work to build flattops, archtops,
mandolins, ukuleles, and electric guitars.
get a reputation as a quirky genius. It’s not
just guitars that Collings loves to work on.
He’s got a real thing for cars and motorcycles, too. McCreary says he’s notorious for
being out working on a car and coming into
the shop for something, getting distracted
and starting to work on a guitar with his
hands still covered in oil from the car. “We
call him Collings, the One and Oily. To him
it’s all kinda the same thing—it’s all ‘How
do you get the most you can get out of
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with plastic over them to the other building.
That was kinda fun.”
Wildfire Word of Mouth
Once the company was set up in Austin,
things really took off and Collings began to
McCreary says they’ve never really done any
marketing, and not much advertising. “We’ve
always been kind of under the radar. We’ve
never been able to make more than we can sell,
so we’ve never had a marketing department.
It’s all been pretty organic, the growth over the
past several years.” Subtle things have added to
the buzz, though. Things such as actor/director/
musician Christopher Guest’s character using a
Collings guitar and mandolin in the wonderful
“mockumentary” A Mighty Wind. Guest also
recently used a Collings to perform music from
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