Anyone who has been to San Francisco can testify to its innovative and vibrant lifestyle. Even if you’ve only spent a day in the city hitting the main attractions, there is a high probability that you absorbed some of the Bay Area’s renowned culture. From the talented street performers at Pier 39 to the colorful murals of Haight-Ashbury, it’s no secret that this coastal city is home to some of the most imaginative minds in the country. In the midst of this creative traffic, one individual and his business stand out amongst the others.
Nick Pourfard is a local skateboarder, musician, and self-taught woodworker who started building guitars when he was 18. Upon moving to the Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco, Pourfard had an idea. He decided to blend two of his favorite things: guitars and skateboards, marking the birth of Prisma Guitars.
Using recycled skateboards that would otherwise head straight to the landfill, Pourfard creates a product that’s not only unique to the industry, but is also eco-friendly. Pourfard has now created dozens of these guitars, each with a unique look and feel, drawing inspiration from anything he observes within San Francisco.
“I'm inspired mostly by random things not guitar related,” he said. “A lot of the time, these things help clear my mind and bring me more ideas. For example, I really love urban development and use of public spaces. Environments, furniture, product innovation; I can't explain why, but these are the things that help me.” - Nick Pourfard
The newest collection to come from Prisma is the Sunset Series, which emphasizes colorful accents, a direct reflection the neighborhood where Prisma Guitars is based. This is the first project that utilizes materials other than recycled skateboards.
“The Sunset Series… [has] a guitar that features only skateboard accents and is painted in pastel colors to represent the colorful houses that are in the area.”- Nick Pourfard
Using his neighborhood as an influence for these functional pieces of art only adds to the value. Pourfard gets more requests for his guitars outside of San Francisco than he does from locals. With a well-crafted product that blends multiple lifestyles and finds its inspiration in San Francisco’s eclectic and vibrant character, it should come as no surprise that Prisma receives requests from all over the world. Even celebrities like Steve Harris (bassist for Iron Maiden) and Justin Figueroa (professional skateboarder) commissioned Prisma to make custom guitars for them. The authenticity and locality of these instruments is what truly makes them unique.
Being such a young company, Prisma has grown a lot and has no intention of stopping. Ultimately aiming to make Prisma a household name regardless of skateboarding or guitars, Pourfard is constantly improving his process and designs as well as the company’s brand. Check out Prisma’s store and some of the live sessions that truly showcase the beauty and tone of these guitars.