Heading For Retirement, Trinity Guitars Owner To Close Shop

Jim Holler, right, owner and founder of Trinity Guitars, and business associate Bill Ward are pictured at the 800 W. Third St. music outlet. The duo will be closing the store at the end of business Saturday, and are currently holding a “retirement sale” on all in-store items throughout the remainder of the week. P-J photo by Gavin Paterniti

After more than 10 successful years providing area and regional musicians the best equipment and accessories, Jim Holler is ready to call it a day.

With retirement on the horizon Trinity Guitars’ owner and his longtime friend and business associate, Bill Ward, are closing up their storefront operation at 800 W. Third St. in Jamestown, and are offering “retirement sale” discounts of anywhere between 30 and 70 percent on all in-store items through Saturday at 4:30 p.m. — when they will close their doors for the final time.

“This has been a really great ride, and we’re proud of the reputation we’ve built as purveyors and restorers of fine instruments,” Holler said. “I’m really thankful to the folks who came and shopped here, and especially to Bill for helping out all these years. Going back to when I first thought about having Bill work here, I called him up and we agreed that if anything ever came about through this business that was impeding on our friendship we would call it quits and continue with our friendship. But the amazing thing is that it has never once been an issue. We’ve had a lot of fun.”

“It’s not often that a business goes out on top,” Ward said. “A lot of times people go out of business because it just wasn’t working out, but that wasn’t the case for us. Jim has definitely made an impression here and I feel this is going to leave a hole in our community.”

The impetus for Trinity Guitars came about when Holler, who is also a luthier, began building his own classical guitars back in 1993. His original Holler Guitars are rooted in the Germanic Hauser School of guitar building, to which he has added many of his own innovative ideas including the player response and bent top designs — which he has patented.

After a few years of improving and perfecting his craft, Holler decided to try his hand at retail and began selling Larravee Guitars out of his basement. He also wanted to become a licensed retailer of Martin Guitars but found it difficult to do so without a brick-and-mortar store from which to operate. This led to his decision to purchase the property that now houses Trinity Guitars and he has since become a licensed retailer of Martin, Fender and G&L guitars.

Although Holler and Ward will no longer be operating out of Trinity Guitars, the duo intend to continue many of the various services they have offered.

Holler will continue making his own Holler Guitars at a rate of about three per year, and also aspires to increase his volunteerism throughout the region, while Ward plans to continue offering his instrument repair services to the community. Additionally, the shop’s “Back Room Radio Hour” program — hosted by Ward — will continue with a new season in the fall, with a location to be determined. Ward advised that people should “stay tuned” regarding these updates.

As to the legacy Trinity Guitars will leave, Holler said he has always put a lot of energy into supporting local music and nonprofit organizations in the community.

“We’ve had a lot of musicians come through here for the radio program, and for some of them it was their first live performance,” he said. “As a result of that they had something they could add to their press kits and were able to find other opportunities from there. So we’re very pleased and proud to have been able to support the local arts community in that way.”

“We’ve also been proud of the community service that we’ve been able to accomplish,” he continued. “We highlighted so many different programs and organizations on the radio program, both locally and globally, and my hope is that in doing so we’ve encouraged people to look into some of these groups and get involved in some way.”