Hoffman Learn More +
I built my first guitar in 1970 while I was a Ph.D. candidate in American History at the U of M. When I realized that I didn’t really want to teach (what else can you do with a Ph.D. in American Constitutional history), I opened a repair shop (in 1971) with Rod Bellville. Within a few years I was devoting most of my time to building, and left repairs to others in my shop. To date my “body count” is in excess of 650 guitars, including one which is now in the collection of the Minnesota Historical Society (Apparently, unbeknownst to me, I had become an icon of the folk music boom in the 70’s in Minnesota and they were doing an exhibit of various decades in Minnesota History). In 1983, a combination of financial and other issues led me to go to law school. I graduated in 1986 and immediately joined a fine medium size law firm (70+ lawyers – but who is counting) here in town. Some years later I became a partner, and specialized in litigation and, particularly, state level telecommunications regulation. Despite this “mid-life crisis” I kept the shop open (never had any other thought.). More recently, in May of 2002, I became “Of Counsel” with the Maslon firm, a title that really means semi-retired. In 2008 when I turned 65 I officially left the Maslon firm. I am again actively building guitars, and am continually attempting to upgrade my production process and the quality of my instruments. Since 2014 my son Gabriel has been actively involved in my guitars as well as his own. I am married to Susan and have two children: Rachael and Gabriel, a son-in-law David and three grandchildren: Sari, Raafael, and Rowan. In addition to the above, I read incessantly, and am a bone fide tool junkie. I have never met a tool I didn’t want to own.