Randall Purdy may have just stumbled upon a million dollar idea.
And he has six really good reasons to count on being right.
Inspired, in part, by a desire to help fund his grandchildren’s futures, Purdy is trying his hand at eventually making his creation, Granddaddy’s Guitar Caddy, a household name.
“Once I built it and realized I could do it, then I thought about what I could do for my grandkids,” Purdy said.
What the Carolina Beach-based carpenter and musician has done is take guitar stands to Cadillac level. More than just a place to rest your instrument, Grandaddy’s Guitar Caddy stands as a functional piece of furniture.
The top of the folding table—suitable to sit out in the living room–doubles as a sturdy stool for live playing. On one end of the tabletop is a rounded, padded indention to rest your guitar neck, and at the bottom is a stand for the body. Purdy even makes caddies that hold two guitars.
All are handcrafted out of wood and can be stained, painted or custom finished.
Purdy began playing around with the concept about a year and half ago, when he made a stand for a friend.
“It took several attempts to get the prototype right,” he noted.
Then, he got a call from someone else requesting he make one. From there, he began building more and perfecting the style along the way. He has traveled to trade shows along the east coast to sell his craft, and currently has the caddies on consignment at Finkelstein’s in downtown Wilmington. And he takes orders through Facebook, word of mouth and, sometimes, “right out the back of the truck” when he is out and about or playing gigs.
“I still do open mics. Not only does it give me an opportunity to play but it also gives me the opportunity to present this to other musicians,” he said.
Local favorites like Weedeater and Eric Miller of L Shape Lot have recently begun sporting the caddy.
As a former band member and crew for acts like Gwar, Purdy knows the ease his stand can bring on stage. But he said he is primarily marketing his product to the avid collector for use at home.
And, he added, the most positive feedback he receives doesn’t come from musicians but rather from their wives, who appreciate a stylish option for storing guitars.
But he’s heard some good words from other people, which has given him the confidence to continue on this path.
“I had a couple people at shows say, ‘This is the coolest thing at this show.’ But whenever someone says something like, ‘Man, I wish I had invented that, that feels good,” he said. “So, I feel like I’m making a contribution.”
And that’s important to Purdy because, if Granddaddy’s Guitar Caddy grows as big as he hopes, he plans to put half of whatever he makes into college funds for his grandchildren, ages five to 18.
“That’s six sets of college, so you see how this has pretty much changed my life,” he said.
It’s an endeavor he takes seriously, but not one he ever thought he’d be taking on. It wasn’t until just a few years ago, when he was reunited with his two children, that Purdy discovered he had grandchildren.
“I was in a band rocking hard and partying and all the sudden I’m a granddad,” he said with a laugh. “It was nothing I ever had in mind until I combined the stool and stand in one and realized I could combine two things I love.”
Granddaddy’s Guitar Caddy retails for $100 for a single stand and $120 for a double. Click here to find out more, or call Purdy, (910) 228-0231.
Hilary Snow is a reporter at Port City Daily. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.