Bohemian Guitars

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Bohemian Guitars, LLC
IndustryMusical instruments
Founded2012; 8 years ago (2012) [1]
FoundersAdam Lee and Shaun Lee
Area served
ProductsElectric guitars, ukuleles

Bohemian Guitars is an Atlanta-based guitar manufacturer that makes custom electric guitars and ukuleles using unconventional materials (such as vintage oil cans and lunch boxes).

The company was founded by brothers Adam and Shaun Lee, who grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa and were inspired by local township residents who re-purposed used materials into playable instruments.[2][3]


Boho Series[edit]

Boho Series Guitars

The Boho Series is a Bohemian Guitars branded line of 6-string oil can guitars with maple necks and rosewood fingerboards. They currently produce four designs: Motor Oil, Moonshine, Honey, and SurfWax. Each design has a different pickup configuration, ranging from a double humbucker to a soap bar pickup. The box shape of the oil cans lets the guitars stand on their own without a guitar stand.[4][5]

Vintage Series[edit]

Vintage Series Guitars

The Vintage Series guitars are all one-of-a-kind, upcycled instruments. Built from antique oil cans and tin lunchboxes, every guitar piece is made from recycled components. The neck, hardware, and other assorted parts are saved from used instruments.[5][6]

Artist relations[edit]

The artist G. Love of G. Love & Special Sauce is an avid supporter of Bohemian Guitars. The Kongos, Guster, Hozier, and David Cook also use Bohemian Guitars.[7][8][9]

Charity initiatives[edit]

Far Out Fridays[edit]

Far Out Fridays is Bohemian Guitars’ social action initiative aimed at promoting music education and therapy services to children around the world. For every guitar sold on a Friday, Bohemian Guitars donates a guitar to a partner organization. Previous partner organizations include: Guitars Not Guns, Pick With Austin, Music Heals, Triple Play, Fender Music Foundation, The Grammy Foundation, Nordoff-Robbins and Little Kids Rock. Many of the instruments were donated to schools with underfunded music programs and to Boys & Girls Clubs to start their own music programs.[10][11]

On Bohemian's charity initiatives, Chief Bohemian Officer Mark Friedman explained, "During our very first meeting we knew music education was going to be a cornerstone of what we did. We wanted to give the gift of music to as many people as we could, whether it be people who bought our guitars, or those that receive our donated instruments or benefit from our guitar auction proceeds."[12]


While brothers Adam and Shaun Lee were visiting their hometown of Johannesburg, South Africa, Shaun saw many of the street musicians using unconventional materials to create music. While he was impressed with the musician’s ingenuity and resourcefulness, he especially appreciated the sound quality of the oil-can guitar. When he arrived back in the U.S., he started building his own oil can and lunchbox guitars out of completely recycled materials in his parents’ basement in Marietta, Georgia.[9][12]

After initially selling guitars to friends and community members, the brothers realized they had a budding business on their hands. The company was founded in 2012 by Adam Lee (Chief Executive Office), Shaun Lee (Chief Manufacturing Officer) and Mark Friedman (Chief Bohemian Officer).[1]

To determine the brand's chance of success, Bohemian Guitars launched a January 2013 Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to create the Boho Series, a mass-produced self-branded guitar (still made from recycled materials). The campaign raised $55,000—$20,000 over their goal of $32,000 to meet production costs./>

Following its Kickstarter campaign, the company raised funds through SparkMarket, an Atlanta-based intrastate equity crowdfunding platform. Using the Investment Georgia Exemption (IGE) legislation, which allows businesses registered and headquartered in the state to raise up to $1M per year from state residents, both accredited and non-accredited investors, Bohemian Guitars was the first to raise money this way in an open (publicly marketed) capital raise since 1933.[13][14] In addition to Kickstarter and SparkMarket, the company has also turned to Fundable to raise additional funding.[13][15][16]


In an effort to build a larger community for musicians and artists, Bohemian Guitars launched a brand ambassador program in May 2015. The program offers an opportunity for musicians and fans of Bohemian Guitars to represent the brand in return for rewards and exclusive access to gear. Like similar programs, #TeamBoho was developed to organically increase awareness of Bohemian Guitars online through an individual's or artist's following on social media. The program is founded on Bohemian Guitar's "bohemian" lifestyle brand, and seeks any individual who embodies the brand's aesthetic.[17]


  1. ^ a b "Bohemian Guitars - Oil Can Guitar". Kickstarter. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  2. ^ "About". Bohemian Guitars. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  3. ^ Parish, Matt. "Green Guitars". MMR Magazine. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Boho Series". Bohemian Guitars. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  5. ^ a b Dan. "Oil Can Guitars From Bohemian Guitars". Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  6. ^ "Vintage Series". Bohemian Guitars. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Bohemian Artists". Bohemian Guitars. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  8. ^ Burford, Cori. "Bohemian: An Unconventional Guitar Makes a Splash at SXSW". SXSW. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  9. ^ a b O'Malley Greenburg, Zack. "Inside The Business of Oil Can Guitars, With A Special Guest". Forbes. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  10. ^ "Far. Out. Fridays". Bohemian Guitars. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  11. ^ McCarthy, Erica (23 Jan 2014). "Bohemian Guitars' Social Action Initiative 'Far Our Fridays' Promotes Youth Music Education and Music Therapy Programs" (Press release). Anaheim, Calif.: Bohemian Guitars. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  12. ^ a b O'Leary, John. "A conversation with Bohemian Guitars". business lessons from a rock. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  13. ^ a b Luzar, Charles. "Bohemian Guitars: "First In The United States" Equity Crowdfunding Campaign On SparkMarket". Crowdfund Insider. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  14. ^ Burress, Jim. "States beat the SEC to the new frontier of crowdfunding". Marketplace. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  15. ^ "Bohemian Guitars L.L.C". Fundable. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  16. ^ Martin, Jill. "The guitar firm playing a new fundraising tune". BBC. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  17. ^ "Bohemian Oil Can Guitar". Bohemian Guitars Blog. Retrieved 8 June 2015.

External links[edit]