In 1972, at age 18, Bob Taylor began working at American Dream, a guitar making shop owned by Sam Radding, where Kurt Listug was already an employee. When Radding decided to sell the business in 1974, Taylor, Listug, and a third employee, Steve Schemmer, bought American Dream and renamed it the Westland Music Company.
Needing a more compact logo suitable for the guitars' headstock, the founders decided to change the name to Taylor as it sounded more American than Listug. Kurt Listug said, "Bob was the real guitar-maker." Listug became the partnership's businessman while Taylor handled design and production. In 1976, the company decided to sell their guitars through retailers. In 1981, facing financial difficulties, Taylor Guitars took out a bank loan to purchase equipment.
As of 2012 Taylor Guitars had more than 700 employees in two factories: one in El Cajon, California, and the other in nearby Tecate, Mexico, where the company makes their lower-priced models and guitar cases. In early 2011, the company opened a Taylor distribution warehouse in the Netherlands to serve the European market. In January 2014, the U.S. State Department honored Taylor Guitars with an Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) citing Taylor's commitment to responsible practices in obtaining ebony for its instruments.
Check out the Guitar Showcase collection of Taylor Gear below: