Originally from Missouri, Andrew Rocker, Owner and Founder of Blue Rocker Guitars, moved with family to Central Florida in the early 90s. After working various odd jobs, he got into the plant business and eventually started his own company. His business, Rockin Bloom's, is a wholesale nursery focused on landscape design, plants, pottery and landscaping. Even though Rocker runs a successful plant business, as he shared, his true love is music. In 2004, he launched a business that combined his love of music with his eye for creativity.
"The original name for Blue Rocker Guitars was Blue Rocker Customs," he said. "I started off just focusing on custom paint and designs for guitars. I did designs for some celebrity musicians and even worked as a ghost painter for companies like Fender, Gibson and others that don't have their own full-time custom paint shop. Eventually I took an interest in building custom guitars. Before going off on my own, I was an apprentice for two years for a local guitar company called Starr Guitars. I worked with the owner, Kip Elder, and learned a lot from him. Around 2014 is when I changed the name of the business to Blue Rocker Guitars and started building and selling custom guitars."
After posting one of his custom guitars on Facebook, Rocker received interest from several well known musicians. The exposure attracted others and before long, Rocker's business started to grow.
"One of the first guitars I did came to me from a guy in a well-known Texas rock band called Dimitri's Rail," he said. "After that I did a build for Jeff Blando, the guitarist with Slaughter and the Vince Neil Solo Band. I've worked with Vince Neil and built him a guitar that toured around the world. I'm currently working on another design for him. I've had a chance to speak with Nikki Sixx, one of the co-founders of Motley Crue. I also did a guitar for Tommy Bahama that was featured at one of their stores in Hawaii. I've also done guitars here and there for an organization called Rock Pink. They raise money to fight cancer."
Despite the great exposure, Rocker still does his fair share of work to grow the business. Between going to guitar shows, Bike Week, meeting with bands and musicians, doing giveaways and reaching out to anyone and everyone in the industry to let them know about his custom guitars, Rocker is getting the word out any way he can. For Rocker, the challenge of it all comes down to what he enjoys most.
"I love the creative challenge," he said. "Coming up with the design and figuring out how to actually build it. That's the hardest and most fun part. I like to build guitars that are totally different from what other people are doing. That includes odd shapes that you don't normally see."
Looking ahead, Rocker would like to eventually make this business his full-time affair. He's also focused on more opportunities, such as the bass guitar he made for Kraken Rum, that provide exposure to a wider audience.
Rocker offers up some great advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. "Do it," he said. "I've never regretted starting the plant business or my guitar business. Even small success with your own business will outweigh any bad day. You're in control of what you do throughout the day. You have no one telling you what to do and the only person you have to answer to is the client. That's what makes it worth the effort. Also, talk to people in the industry before you make the jump. Lastly, you only live once. You'll never find out what you can accomplish until you get your feet wet. I never thought I'd build a guitar for Vince Neil of Motley Crue."
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