In 1972, at age 18, Bob Taylor began working at American Dream, a guitar making shop owned by Sam Radding, where Kurt Listug was already an employee. When Radding decided to sell the business in 1974, a triumvirate of Taylor, Listug, and Schemmer bought American Dream and renamed it the Westland Music Company.
Needing a more compact logo suitable for the guitars’ headstock, the founders decided to change the name to “Taylor” as it sounded more American than “Listug” and because as Kurt Listug put it, “Bob was the real guitar-maker.” Listug became the businessman of the partnership while Taylor was responsible on design and production. In 1976, the company decided to begin selling their guitars through retailers. In 1981, facing financial difficulties, Taylor Guitars took out a bank loan to purchase equipment.
As of 2012, Taylor Guitars has more than 700 employees. The company maintains two factories: One in El Cajon, California and the other, 40 miles away in Tecate, Mexico where the entry-level guitars of the Taylor line (the Baby, Big Baby, GS mini, and 100-200 series) are made along with the Taylor guitar cases. In early 2011, the company opened a distribution warehouse in the Netherlands. Also that same year, the company, along with Madinter Trade, S.L., partnered to purchase the Crelicam ebony mill in Cameroon.