Off-the-rack is A-OK when it comes to low-fat milk and tennis shoes. But when you want to treat yourself to a one-of-a-kind ware, the Valley has plenty of talented artisans at the ready.
Guitars from Atomic Guitar Works: You want crazy? Master luthiers Tim Mulqueeny and Harry Howard will give you crazy. “Once, we had a request for a double-necked guitar shaped like a dollar sign,” Mulqueeny says. “Most of the pieces we make are more sedate, but we can do the shock-and-awe stuff, too.” The duo handcrafts up to 110 electric guitars a year, from the $995 standard Atomic model to ground-up originals and complete customs ($2,500-$4,000). 8550 N. 91st Ave., Peoria, 623-878-4127, atomicguitarworks.com
Fire features from Bobe: How do you turn your run-of-the-mill swimming pool into a watery bacchanal worthy of a Tupac video? Fire effects, baby. And we’re not talking those two-for-$20 tiki torches, either. For guaranteed pool pimp-itude, only custom fire pots from Phoenix-based Bobe Water and Fire Features will do. 888-388-2623, bobewaterandfire.com
Bicycles from Bohemian: Dave Bohm makes custom bicycle frames – and, yes, they are the bomb. Specializing in “fill-the-niches touring bikes and... frames for people who don’t fit on standard bikes,” the Tucson-based metalsmith’s work ranges from the awesomely whimsical (think: Sunkist-orange tandem cruisers) to the admirably practical (think: a hand-brake-equipped trike for a client with muscular dystrophy). Each bike costs $1,500-$4,000; bohemianbicycles.com
Vests and Computer bags from Hide and Soul: Mesa leatherfrau Jennifer Todd scoured Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars frame-by-frame to perfect her custom buckskin vests ($160-$249) and tassled bike gear. Her custom computer bags ($300-$400) evince a similar Spaghetti Western aesthetic. Granted, Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name never needed to strap a MacBook over the sissy-bar of his Harley, but if he had, he almost certainly would have used one of these bad boys. 433 W. Main St., Mesa, 406-788-5352, hideandsoul.com
Custom-painted kicks from Suttongear: With a few swipes of her paintbrush, Glendale accountant Jenny Sutton can transform a pair of bland Vans loafers into one-of-a-kind superfan keepsakes. A self-described “crafty person,” she charges a mere $100 for the service – shoes included. “It takes me a long time, and I should charge more, but that’s not what I’m about,” says the outfitter, who also customizes gear for MMA star Jamie Varner. suttongear.etsy.com
Golf clubs from Arizona Custom Golf Clubs: Off-the-rack irons just not cutting it? Owner-operator Gary Balliet will build you a golf club set ($889) from scratch, factoring in such personal metrics as height, arm length, and swing speed and angle. “Probably 80 percent of golfers today have clubs that don’t fit them,” Balliet laments. Ill-fitting golf clubs? That’s sheer madness, and it ends here. 602-931-0653, arizonacustom-golfclubs.net