About Guitars And Caffeine
Chelsea Clark is the owner and operator of Los Angeles' awesome repair and restoration shop, Guitars And Caffeine.
In 2003, Chelsea found herself working in Dan Erlewine's guitar repair shop. She had been doing odds-and-end house repairs for the Erlewine's when Dan saw her potential and offered her a job sweeping and cleaning around the shop - this is when she first got the nickname "Clean Up Woman", inspired by the Betty Wright song, which was indicative of her knack for vintage restoration and detailing.
Through the seven years following, her journey seemed to be filled with everything else but bench work; though, she always made room for a repair bench where ever she lived. Chelsea got her undergrad in Cultural Studies, graduating with honors from Ohio University. After graduation, as she had a cosmetology license, Clark moved to NYC where she lived and cut hair for a year... all the while repairing guitars on the side. From there she moved to Louisville, KY, to build props for Actors Theater. In Louisville, Willis Music offered her the opportunities to repair on a bigger scale - with in a year she was operating and managing the repair departments for both music store locations, in Louisville.
The desire to repair guitars for a living fully solidified when she moved down to Nashville, TN, after accepting a position working on the team of Gibson's Restoration Shop. This was the first time Chelsea had had the privilege of working for an industry leader, and was exposed to some amazing instruments and even more complex lessons in business. After a year's time, seeing more potential in bridging the gap between guitar design and after years of use, she decided to invest her future in research and development, going back to school for Industrial Design.
After she got a Technical Certificate - the ability to take a drawing on a napkin and transform it into a tool path for a CNC machine, Chelsea briefly moved back to Ohio to work and learn beside Dan Erlewine. Though it wasn't long until she received a few job offers on the West Coast - the most intriguing came from Westwood Music, in Los Angeles, CA.
In the fall of 2013, Chelsea along with her better half, who is a professional musician, moved across the country to start a new life in the city that gave us Rock'N'Roll. At Westwood Music, she helped rebuild the reputation and manage the repair shop for a little over 2 year before resigning - it was time for her to take all of the knowledge she had gained over that last decade and apply it to the fullest.
On March 20th, 2015 Guitars And Caffeine was officially opened. The small, private shop located just West of Los Angeles' hip suburb of Culver City, takes on just about any type of guitar related repairs - from setups to refinishing. Chelsea's shop is small, but that's no testament to how mighty!
You can hear more from the horse's mouth by checking out the interviews Clark has done on podcasts like "Luthier On Luthier" , "The Luthiest" and "The Fret Files".