John Cruz confirms closure of solo business, citing COVID difficulties

The former Fender Custom Shop luthier started his solo venture in November 2020.

John Cruz

John Cruz working at the Fender Custom Shop. Image: Eleanor Jane.

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John Cruz has officially confirmed the closure of his solo business, John Cruz Custom Guitars, after a retailer initially claimed that it had shut down without an announcement.

Last month, Germain retailer ProGuitar posted a news update that recounted troubled dealings with John Cruz Custom Guitars, until eventually it was told the company had gone out of business.

There was, however, no official announcement from John Cruz Custom Guitars itself. The only indication of a closure was the shutdown of the business’ website. But in a statement given to Guitar.com, Cruz has now confirmed the closure, citing the various difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In full, Cruz wrote: “To all my customers, dealers and fans around the world. I apologise for not being in touch for some time now. I have been going through some very rough times here. I just want to clarify a few things.

“John Cruz Custom Guitars, LLC has now closed its doors. It has been a rough economic battle trying to keep a new business afloat. The timing for the new startup was not the best: a time of drastic changes in our world. The initial business showed a lot of promise and excitement. However, the company, like many others, was severely impacted by the COVID crisis. The company made efforts to find additional capital without success. Without additional capital, the members voted to dissolve the company.

“During this whole venture I have learned just how incredibly difficult it is to run a successful business. Please know that my heart has ALWAYS been in the right place, as my purpose was to do what I loved and try to bring some joy to people around the world. I sincerely hope to return to making the best guitars I can soon.”

Cruz did not address allegations of undelivered guitars and poor QC brought up by ProGuitar, or the claims that Cruz “hid behind his lawyer” once he had closed up shop and disposed of all his assets.

Cruz worked at the Fender custom Shop until 2020, when he was dismissed due to a controversial Facebook post. He launched his solo venture the same year, and since opening produced a number of Stratocaster- and Telecaster-style instruments.


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