Chris Jones, from North Wales, has been building guitars for 15 years, but it was only during lockdown that he realised that his hobby could become a business.
A talented wood carver, Chris was recently scouted to appear in BBC’s The Bidding Room with his carving of the Last Supper.
Chris first learned to carve with his father at a young age, and now carves ornate pictures including pets, people, nature and dragons! But his real passion lies in creating bespoke guitar designs.
Some of his latest designs include a fiery red dragon and an owl with piercing glow in the dark eyes. Chris enjoys using his creative flair, adding special touches such as LEDs to make his guitars truly unique.
His new business, JCJ Custom Guitars, is a far cry from his old line of work as an insurance assessor. After facing bankruptcy, Chris had to start from scratch, but is enjoying his new-found sense of purpose.
Chris also benefits from the freedom that comes with running your own business. With acute back pain, he can decide when he needs to take time off to rest.
PRIME Cymru Mentor, Russell Gibbon, has been supporting Chris with his business plan, offering guidance and encouragement on a weekly basis.
Although Welsh-born Russell lives in Mexico, he has been meeting Chris on a weekly basis via Zoom.
Chris said: “It’s been really helpful having a mentor to kick ideas around with. Russell has also helped me secure a grant for marketing and tools, which has helped me get up and running.”
Russell said: “The mentoring process has been entirely natural and flowing. Because we “clicked” quickly and well, understanding where the other person was coming from, it has been a pleasure.”
If you are thinking about starting your own business, please get in touch with PRIME Cymru to access our free mentoring programme. Contact the office on 01550 721813 or email email@example.com to find out more.