Growing up, Sean was always really into building and tinkering; be it with Legos, plastic models, or carving things from wood in his dad’s shop. He grew up surrounded by music and guitars thanks to his father and Uncles always playing around the house and in bands. Being the youngest of three brothers he was exposed to many eras and styles of music. Being left-handed made it very challenging for him as a kid; when you can go into a music store with hundreds of guitars on the walls, and maybe two or three would be left-handed! This forced him to meticulously take care of his own instruments and learn how to get different sounds out of what he could find, which led him to learn how to setup, repair, and modify his own as well as other people’s instruments along the way.
Sean met a lot of guitar techs over the years during his trips to local music stores; he became friends with a few of them and learned only a handful had attended school for it. After reading an article sent from his grandmother, he found a certified school in Phoenix Arizona. His grandparents being snowbirds, they flew from Washington to Arizona each year, so he was already very familiar with the area. At that point, everything seemed to sort of fall into place; he left college a few credits away from his degree to pursue a new direction.
In fall of 2012 Sean attended Roberto-Venn’s School of Luthiery and enjoyed every minute of it. Months seemed like days to him, “It was just a blast getting to be in that kind of environment ya ’know? So many people from all over the world who love music and guitars in one place sharing their knowledge! Ten-hour days of hands-on lessons and lectures from people who have been in the industry for forty plus years and who are some of the most world-renowned repair techs and builders”. There he learned the theory, concepts, and skill sets required to properly build and repair just about anything with strings on it.
After graduating, Sean flew back home and started collecting tools for his shop and picked up jobs at music stores where he continued honing his skills and expanding his skillsets. He became one of the regional guitar tech trainers for a few years while also working venues in the greater Seattle area for bands at night, even playing in a few himself. It was exhausting work, but in doing so; he learned a lot about what performing musicians really look for and need from their instruments and equipment. After taking a break from those scenes, Sean eventually found his way to Puyallup and began working for the Warmoth Guitar Manufacturing company, where he learned a different side of the business! His job there really had him sharpening his skills and putting his training to good use. Eventually due to health reasons and an injury, he decided the factory setting and city life was not for him.
Sean decided to finally open up his own shop here in Lake Stevens full time doing custom builds and all sorts of repairs. He spends most of his time working on custom designs, customer repairs, or on Campus busy with his classes and ensembles. He can also be found occasionally teaching or donating restored instruments to programs or local schools, music festivals, and nonprofit music therapy programs. He is always practicing his craft and loves to share his experience and knowledge with anyone who is interested! Having quite an extensive network for resources and quality information available for his customers, thanks to also being a member of multiple luthier guilds and groups where he gets to participate in seminars, workshops, and exhibitions, exchanging ideas and knowledge with his peers.