Before studying at BIMM Brighton, Jack Smith saw his talent for fixing electronic audio equipment as nothing more than a hobby. It wasn’t until word got out among his BIMM classmates that Smith saw scope for a potential business venture. With a little encouragement from BIMM Brighton’s tutors – and increasing demand from his fellow students – Smith set up JRS Audio: an online company specialising in hand-built boutique pedals, cables and amplifiers.
Sitting down with Smith recently, he told BIMM Brighton more about his business and the role BIMM played through tailor-made assignments, all of which contributed to JRS Audio and his final grade.
“My business began with fixing my peers’ equipment. Meeting lots of guitarists at BIMM, it didn’t take long for me to get hold of an effect pedal and I offered to take a look. There were various modules within my course that lead me to use this hobby to complete assignments. A tutor suggested using this hobby to finish a business proposal and advertising my services professionally.”
In a short period, Smith’s business grew from his bedroom to an international operation, with orders flying in from the UK and beyond.
“Eventually, my bedroom became too small of a workshop, and I’m now working from a workshop within the facility of PA studios, which also provide rehearsal rooms and recording space to Brighton musicians and BIMM students. My main custom developed from tutors and students at BIMM to fellow musicians locally in Brighton. Another assignment involved creating a website led me to expand my social media and enabled me to offer my services nationally, with some online international orders.”
Word soon spread, and it wasn’t long before JRS Audio began to gather a celebrity following, with fellow BIMM Brighton alumnus James Bay’s band enlisting his services, “I had cable and pedal orders over the winter from members in James Bay’s band. This led to me meeting them backstage at their show at the Hammersmith Apollo.”
Smith’s decision to move from High Wycombe to study at BIMM Brighton played a big part in his business’ success. He told BIMM: “Brighton is such a vibrant city, full of awesome musicians, lots of whom I’ve had the opportunity to meet and welcome to my business.”
His hard work, resourcefulness and outstanding talent have been the driving force behind JRS Audio. His pedals are the talk of BIMM Brighton, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.