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Giving pianos a new look

About a year ago, Justin Elliott and business partner Shon Craig started ResInno Piano Innovation and Design, a piano modification company. Located in Clearwater, Fla., the shop offers piano customization services to a clientele that includes some famous musicians.

The Grand Rossa piano from ResInno is named after Ferrari's 1957 Testa Rossa race car and painted in the iconic Ferrari red.

Elliot, 28, started enhancing pianos about eight years ago after working as a piano technician since he was 15.

“I wanted to give pianos a more modern look. They’ve always looked the same for hundreds of years and I just got tired of it, so I started changing them around in my spare time. I kept working on techniques like bending wood to enhance the legs. It launched into a full-blown business where I have four full-time people working for me and a couple of part-time people as well,” says Elliot.

The company has serviced pianos for Alicia Keys and Elton John and has a growing database of other famous musicians. Typical clients include high-end individuals that Elliott says have enough disposable income to warrant such products and services. He has little to no competition.

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“No one does aftermarket installs like we do. You can buy generic designs from a manufacturer, but if you were to research that you could see that they’re kind of different, but not strikingly different.”

The company will add news legs, a bench or a lid or make more extensive modifications to a stock piano. If the client already owns a piano, it gets shipped to the shop for a makeover.

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There are currently four piano modification designs available that boast spirals, arcs and other modern elements. The company’s latest design is the Grand Rossa, in which Elliott got his inspiration from one of his favorite race cars.

“I’ve always loved Ferraris and their style so I wanted to merge the piano and the car concept. The Testa Rossa was my inspiration from the different curves that it had. I don’t do any drawings or any specs first. I just start bending and shaping the wood into the different designs.”

Modified and customized pianos generally cost from $33,000 to $100,000.

Contact: Resinno Piano Innovation and Design. Tel: 727-851-9820.

This article originally appeared in the October 2012 issue.

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