It’s the last day of our West Coast road trip and we are driving through San Francisco searching for a guitar workshop in what looks like a sleepy residential neighbourhood. Chris is looking a little puzzled “Are you sure this is the right place?”, our GPS hasn’t been wrong yet but i’m starting to wonder the same.
We park up and decide to continue our search amongst the pastel coloured houses on foot . “How did you hear about Prisma?” Chris asks as we turn another corner. I don’t remember when or where I heard about Nick Pourfard and Prisma Guitars. I can’t recall if it was a recommendation from a friend of a friend, an article in a magazine or just serendipity while browsing through Instagram. What I’m sure of is that we couldn’t head back to Manchester without meeting the founder of a company that thought of recycling used skateboards into beautifully crafted objects.
Out of the corner of my eye I spot three large brightly painted concrete bollards framing an unassuming wooden house. We learn later that these seemingly random artistic flourishes are typical of Nick and his approach to art, design and experimentation. As we cross the road and head over to the front door, Nick approaches us holding a sandwich bag. “Do you mind if I eating during the interview?” he asks and proceeds to casually set up some chairs in front of his garage workshop.
Nick didn’t grow up in an uniquely artistic family or was privy to a deeply creative education that you would expect from such an inspiring and driven person. The story of Prisma Guitars starts from a painful skating accident where Nick shattered his ankle and couldn’t walk for a long time “I remember sayin’ something like. One more try!" he says with a smile "When that happened I couldn’t walk for six months, never mind skate. All I did every single day was skate. So it was like. What will I do now? And I kind of, for some reason, I thought making stuff would be fun”.
It’s interesting how Nick started: buying second hand tools, watching youtube videos and researching materials with the only purpose of learning the processes and personally using his creations. There was never the idea of starting a company “I didn’t have any money to spend on wood. So I thought skateboards would be really cool. I didn’t know how to do it but it’s a free material and I thought if I mess up I haven't spent a lot of money” He explains “It wasn’t until four or five years later when I started the brand because first I didn’t feel comfortable selling...