We had the good fortune of connecting with William Walters and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi William, why did you pursue a creative career?
I chose an artistic/creative career because my life and my energy have always led me down that path. Since I was very young, music and musical instruments have sparked an intense curiosity in me that I still possess. I’ve had several hobbies and interests over the years but music and music gear has always remained my passion. I love music and I love playing guitar and making music with friends. It’s very cliche but it’s very true: if your job is something you’d otherwise be happy to do for free, it will never feel like ‘a job’. I can’t overstate how important that mindset is to creative people. It may mean, financially, that things can be a bit tight at times, but putting all of your energy into a creative career is much more fulfilling than cashing a check from a job that you dread driving to each morning. I’ve had several jobs like that and feel so thankful and lucky that I now get to do what I love to do for a living.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Acorn Amplifiers is a guitar amp company that builds unique boutique vacuum tube amplifiers and effects pedals. We also repair and restore guitar and bass amplifiers. We are very excited and proud of both facets of our current business model. On one hand, we work hard to be a premier guitar amp repair shop. Working on vintage Fender amps is a joy and making an amp sound better than it did when it was brand new is very fulfilling. We are also very excited about the gear we design and sell. We have several new guitar amps and effects pedal circuits launching every year and it’s been great to watch the brand grow. Getting to where we are now was quite a process. We work hard and are also always thinking of ways to grow or new things to try. One of the most challenging aspects of running a business is having the patience to get to where you want to be. There are times when I wish I could just skip ahead but perspective and hindsight prove that the journey offers many lessons along the way.
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.
I’d start with a trip to East Atlanta Village for food and drinks. Poke Burri is one of my favorite restaurants and their food is always on point. Right across the street is one of the best music venues in the city, The Earl. There are so many good bands playing there every year and the Salmon BLT is incredible. Next I’d recommend Sweetwater Creek State Park. There are several fun and challenging hiking trails as well as the glorious creek to splash around in. After that, I’d go to Music Go Round up in Duluth. They buy, sell, and trade music gear and always have some amazing guitar or amp to drool over. While I was in that area, I’d head over to Asian Fusion, another one of my favorite restaurants in the area. The Mango Chicken is crazy good and I always overeat when I go there. Town Center Music is another awesome music store that I love. Their effects pedal selection is top-notch. The High Museum is another must-visit when in Atlanta. Their collection is amazing and they always have interesting new exhibits. When the weather is nice, Piedmont Park is a great place to be outdoors and be active. The views of the city from the park at sunset are also quite nice.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My Shoutout goes to Tyler Petito, founder of Acorn Amplifiers. I became an apprentice to Tyler nearly ten years ago and credit all of Acorn’s success and growth to his teachings and mentorship & our lasting partnership. I would also like to shoutout his patient wife Andi, and their two girls, River and Fern.
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