We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Ciprari and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Michael, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
There wasn’t a lot of thought that went into it. My brother and I started building drums at such a young age when we had so many other things going on in our lives, it just kind of morphed into a business from a hobby. As my brother graduated college we were getting more and more requests for us to build custom kits so he just went all in, and so did I. I left the band I was playing in and we both committed 100% to making drums. We had a lot of years under our belt of not running it like a business so it was easier to transition into it actually being a business, it didn’t seem like such a big undertaking. 

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started playing the drums at the age of 9 after hearing the song “Down” from 311. Something about the drumming and the snare drum tone drew me to wanting to learn how to do that. I was lucky enough to get a drumset for Christmas and dove right in. Everything I did revolved around the drums. I ended up working a couple summers to earn enough money to customize my own set, and it was then that my passion for custom drums and creating a community was born. SJC Drums was started in the year 2000 by my brother and myself out of our Grandmother’s basement in Dudley, Massachusetts. We started by refurbishing drums and building one offs for friends in our high school, and eventually made drums for some of our favorite bands. As this hobby became a business, we honed in more and more on our craft, our passion, and our skills. We always wanted to make the best sounding drums out there, and we wanted to blow the customer away each time. After all these years of ups and downs of running the business, I’m more proud of the passion and support that our drum community shows each other. We’ve been able to create a network of likeminded drummers around the world who no matter what, have each other’s backs if they see they’re in the “SJC Family.” We’ve seen our share of challenges over the years, like most small businesses, especially family run. My brother and I didn’t always see eye to eye and we certainly had our growing pains, from the financial struggles of growing a small business, to operational pains like keeping enough (and the right) inventory available to produce efficiently. We always found a way to overcome these challenges, most of the time through willpower and not giving up. We’ve had some incredible people come into our lives along the way and offer help, and I’ve learned countless lessons from these people and their mentorship. It’s that “SJC Family” that keeps us going through the ups and downs, and we’re fortunate to have such a supportive group of people on our side.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout has to go to my parents for being so supportive of my music endeavors from an early age. Without them, I would have never gotten into drums to begin with. They were always there at every local show, supporting my friends and I, and then when we started making drums, supporting us there too. I have to extend my shout out to ALL the music parents out there – without your support, this would be a lot harder and a lot less fun!

Website: www.sjcdrums.com
Instagram: @sjcdrums
Twitter: @sjcdrums
Facebook: /sjcdrums
Youtube: /sjccustomdrums

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