The Fredericton music scene is continuously expanding, with new musicians, venues and festivals popping up every year. For Peter McMath, founder and president of Timbre Cases, music also brought a business opportunity within the field that he loved.
“I was working in the music industry with a lot of different artists, and really found a gap in terms of the products that they needed and what was available,” said McMath.
That was about two years ago, and what McMath described as an “organic” beginning has now become a luxury guitar case company that is based here in Fredericton.
After the original idea, McMath and his team began doing a number of research projects that looked at potential materials that could be used in making a high-end guitar case. One particular project was with UNB chemical engineering professor Felipe Chibante, who introduced the group to new ideas and products. This eventually led to them to looking towards the auto and aerospace industries.
The guitar cases are made through a process called thermoforming, which is popular in the auto industry but not with guitar cases. Manufactured with thermoplastic, Timbre Cases are made of a material that is strong, waterproof and lightweight.
“Cases on the market today really don’t do a good job at what they are supposed to do. Our focus is totally around instrument protection, but with that we feel it should be done well and consistently,” said McMath.
The cases are made at a moulding facility in Quebec before they are sent to Fredericton for assembly. McMath says that the New Brunswick capital is the perfect place right now for a new entrepreneur.
“Over the past two or three years a real community has formed. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely career, so any aspect of community that can be found in those circles is a really good thing,” said McMath. Being able to talk to other CEOs and entrepreneurs allows everyone to learn together, as “a lot of problems, although they are completely different, they are also totally the same.”
While the company has been McMath’s primary focus for the past two years, they are just getting ready to launch their products, and have started a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of raising $30,000.
“The Kickstarter for us is a great way to really build some relationships with some early clients, who really understand what we are doing and want to be a part of it from the get-go.”
People who donate to the campaign have the chance to own the first Timbre Cases when they come out, which is projected to be in the spring of 2015. While people can donate as much or as little as they like, the cheapest case offered by Timbre is listed at $699. McMath says that compared to other luxury cases, this is relatively inexpensive, and also a lot better quality.
The main goal for Timbre is to make their product the best it can be, and in McMath’s eyes, that means getting the products to musicians and people who can critique and influence the direction the company should go. After that, it will be ready for more casual users. Right now, their only product is an acoustic guitar case, and the hope is to one day expand to protective cases for different instruments as well.
“I absolutely love the industry,” said McMath. “Musicians are an awesome, crazy group of people, and so this project is probably different from other aspects of business. But it’s totally cool.”