Meet Rick Sell of PureSalem Guitars in WestChester Miami

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rick Sell.

Rick, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
After a 21 year career in law enforcement, I decided to walk way and began a new chapter in my life. Everyone I worked with thought I was crazy because I was four years away from retirement and receiving the pension, etc… I had just reached a point where I was unhappy in the job and I needed a change. The spark that finally got me to leave was the unexpected passing of a dear friend and mentor, my friend Larry Bennett. Larry had just retired after 30 years of service and he had a massive heart attack a month into his retirement. We had eaten breakfast that morning and I was the last pesto see him alive. That was it for me. As a police officer working in a high crime area (Liberty City) for most of my career, I knew how precious life and time are. There is no guarantee of a tomorrow and I didn’t want to have any regrets so I quit and started PureSalem.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It’s been a learning process since day one. I knew no one in the music retail industry. I jumped into the deep end of the pool determined not to drown. I made a lot of mistakes and learned some expensive lessons along the way. My main priority has always been quality and being able to providing players with an excellent instrument. A guitar that working musicians could afford and be reliable to the rigors of the road or the demands of the studio. My first manufacturer who I was with for almost a year could not meet my high standards so I knew I needed to find a new one. I was in panic mode for about six months but a meeting at the annual Winter Namm trade show with Mirr Music changed everything.

I’m working with one of the premier builders in the world. PureSalem is a small family affair so I was very surprised when the 900 pound gorilla in the room Gibson Guitars took notice of us. For one reason or another we were served with Cease and Desist letters. I considered these to be nothing more than bully scare tactics since what they were claiming had absolutely no merit. The whole story can be read on our websites “News” page. In the end it was just a waste of time. Gibson has since moved on and is now suing Dean Guitars. Lol.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about PureSalem Guitars – what should we know?
The idea behind PureSalem is to offer guitarist a much needed break from the norm. In a world of cookie cutter guitars PureSalem is one of the few companies that sets itself apart. My guitars have been described as being unique and different while still retaining elements of classic designs. There is a familiarity there that transcends each model. As a small family affair I’m very proud of the reach we have made since starting in 2013. It’s been a steady organic growth and I attribute that to the quality of our instruments and the person attention that I provide to our customers. It’s a labor of love and I run it and enjoy it as such as opposed to having a cut throat business mentality about it. I think that shows through in our presentation and the way we connect with this amazing musical community via our socials (Social Media).

What’s your outlook for the industry over the next 5-10 years?
For the last few years “THEY” have been ringing the death knell of Rock N Roll. Whoever “THEY” are claiming that Rock Is Dead and guitar music is a thing of the past. “THEY” have no clue as to what is really going on. This is a renaissance period for Rock N Roll. The psychedelic scene is growing and I’m discovering new amazing bands almost daily. Heavy Metal has always survived and thrived in the shadows. The Doom / Stoner Rock scene is on fire and Punk is alive and well. The difference today is the listener has to seek it out. Today Hip-Hop and K-Pop rule the airwaves and garner the lions share of media attention. But it’s a played out scene. Just like the Hair Metal scene in the late 80’s it needed to die.

Nirvana came in and the musical landscape changed yet again. Things happen in cycles, guitar music is thriving you just have to look for it. The way we listen to and discover music has changed. There are so many options today that we don’t have to rely on radio. Another trend occurring in the industry is that women account for 50% of all new beginner guitar players according to a study conducted by Fender Guitars. In the film “FIELD OF DREAMS” the message was “if you build it they will come” well when it comes to guitar-based music of all styles from Bluegrass to Death Metal if you search for it you will find it.


  • Our guitars are built, with the working musician in mind. Our prices vary from $900 to a little over a $1000

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