We had the good fortune of connecting with Kazuma Tanabe and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kazuma, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
First of all, I’m one of many guitar collectors and music lovers. I’ve worked for a Japanese guitar manufacturer as an overseas sales manager, product designer, and artist relations for 7 years.
The guitar market is already overflowed now, but I tried to design what I want according to my favorite American vintage guitars and bizarre guitars produced in Japan in the 1960s.
As soon as we established our original handmade custom guitar brand, named ‘OOPEGG’(It’s abbreviated name of “Out Of Place Electric Guitars and Gears”) in May 2019, we released my first designed guitar called ‘Supreme Collection Trailbreaker Mark-1.
Then after that we released the model, we received many praise from NAMM show, Boutique Guitar Showcase, and American Premier guitar magazine etc.
Thanks to you, we are currently expanding sales of OOPEGG guitars not only in Japan but also at boutique guitar shops in the United States, United Kingdom and Asia.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
After I released OOPEGG guitars first time at NAMM show held in Anaheim, California January 2020, we got some praise from many professional musicians, famous guitar magazines, and Boutique Guitar Showcase etc. Besides thanks to many visitors who came to the NAMM show took my designed guitars and shared through Instagram, Facebook and twitter etc., I got many inquiries from customers and dealers worldwide as soon as we released the first guitar.
When it comes to my products, I always design new and unique items nobody has ever found before. When I design new products, first of all, I research the world-wide popular culture through Instagram and Twitter to understand what kinds of music, color, and arts people like. According to that research, I design all of my products until I have convinced myself.
After I designed my product, I’ll forward it to our R&D team to build a first sample and check the quality. The most important part of my business is not only designing unique product but also how to keep high level of quality all the time.
For the advertisement, I mainly promote our products worldwide through online (on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) while it is still not possible for us to travel overseas and visit guitar shops due to the spread of Covid infection these 2 years.
In my opinion, if we’d like to make a great success of our future business, it is very important to make effective use of social network services to communicate with everyone (retailers, musicians, parts suppliers and customers). In addition, we are entering the new era of digitalization which all information and goods are available online easily and smoothly. I think that many people tend not to wait a long time to get all of the information or products they want.
It is also important for us to be able to provide products as soon as possible after ordering. From now on, it is certain that how to promote one-of-a-kind products and how quickly we can deliver high-quality products to customers will definitely lead to our future business success.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
It’s very hard to choose which spots If I’ll take my best friend, I definitely would take them to my hometown placed in Miyazaki which is in the south country side of Japan.
There are many popular spots like Onsen (hot springs), local BBQ restaurants, beaches, mountains, waterfalls, shrines, sake factory etc..
Also, there are still old friends of mine living in Miyazaki, so I’ll take them to get local foods and drinks to introduce them to my childhood and funny stories with my old friends.
I think almost all people who love families definitely love my hometown for visiting.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Thanks to my family who gave me a great influence and opportunity to do whatever I want. Also, I wanted to thank all the friends and companies all over the world who have been helping me always.
Throughout my career I experienced and learned from great companies and people, without them I definitely could not have made this kind of a step of world-wide success.