By Brady Baylis ’19
It is a shame when talents are squandered because of a lack of passion. This, however, is not the case for Nick Amendolara ’12. Nick fused his love for the crafting of unique guitars with his artistic talent. Although he started from humble beginnings, Nick’s passion and aptitude for creating guitars from scratch have sent him down a self-made path with a great outlook.
Nick built his first guitar in wood shop class when he was in eighth grade. This first guitar, even though it only survived two months, set him down his unique path.
Throughout his Chaminade years, Nick worked at his craft.
“Do things when you’re young because you can. Put time aside to pursue your interests and use your free time wisely,” he reflected.
Fueling his interest, he read magazines about musicians and guitars while working on guitars in his bedroom. Other than building guitars, he hasanother passion: art. These two passions worked hand in hand, as his tools and paintbrushes became his close companions.
In his junior year at Chaminade, Nick took his first step into the commercial market. Mr. Peter Accardi, the head of Chaminade’s photo service, helped the young entrepreneur by creating a portfolio with professional photographs. These photos attracted the attention of a collector in Australia, who offered to buy a guitar made by the Flyer. This first sale taught Nick a lot, setting him up for future success.
After graduating in 2012, Nick took his talents to Fordham University. There, just like at Chaminade, he worked on his guitar business while a studentl. In addition, he worked with Fordham’s advertisement department, allowing him to exercise valuable skills.
“I learned how to manage and talk to people,” Nick said. “I have to talk with clients from around the world, so it taught me a lot.”
Since that first sale, Nick has made over 80 guitar sales. Nick has sold guitars to collectors and musicians in Los Angeles, Nashville, Finland, and Spain, to name a few. These guitars have seen action on famous stages such as AXS TV’s Battle of the Bands, Whiskey A Go Go, and on various venues across Las Vegas and Los Angeles. In addition to his successful guitar business, Nick dabbles in the art business. His art ventures include various paintings, some influenced by the style of Van Gogh, and even replicas of famous artworks.
Last week Nick visited Chaminade’s Music Club and shared his story. Nick then displayed a small part of his portfolio. He answered questions as he called members of the Music Club up to assist him in assembling the body of the guitar, before he finished by wiring the electric guitar and shipping it out for a photo shoot. Nick then finished with a brief demo before the meeting ended.
Throughout his unconventional career path, Nick Amendolara has undergone unique experiences. As a one-man business, Nick deals with tremendous amounts of work and lots of pressure. However, he has risen to the challenge and is thriving. As music teacher Mrs. Sally Zehnter noted during his presentation, “Nick had a smile on his face the whole time.”
Nick’s story can be a lesson to the aspiring entrepreneurs of Chaminade. Success stories like his show how far passion, hard work, and determination can go, and how fulfilling they can be.
“Be true to yourself and stay the course,” he advised his audience. “Don’t be intimidated, just jump right in!”
Nick’s portfolio and information can be found on his website: http://namendolara.com