Paul Reed Smith
Founder and managing general partner
Paul Reed Smith Guitars.
Paul Reed Smith is a guitar maker and musician who has worked for more than 25 years as managing general partner of Paul Reed Smith Guitars.
For decades, Smith has built instruments for famous musicians including Carlos Santana and John Mayer. He also has several instruments on display in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and recently founded a new startup called Digital Harmonic.
How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect your company or organization?
“During the manufacturing shutdown, we had to physically rearrange the factory floor to social distance, develop new processes and policies for our employees, apply for loans to keep entire staff on payroll as no one was laid off and much more. So many people here were working unbelievably hard to make sure this company could survive. And, through all of it, our dealers and distributors were ordering guitars, amplifiers and accessories at a very high rate.”
What is the most significant challenge facing Maryland manufacturers?
“For us, right now as manufacturers, our most significant challenge is keeping up with demand. We are very thankful that music was a source of comfort, distraction, and joy for people. Like many others in the music business, we have seen our demand go up dramatically while we have seen the global supply chain struggle. We are backordered to almost mid 2022 at this point, so we’re trying to make more musical instruments and gear for people at our high standards.”