I have had custom guitars since the mid 60's. My first custom guitar was a Guild 12-string. Through my dealer, I ordered a custom Guild 12-string, specifying the size, wood, inlays, etc. Guild had not made this particular guitar before, but agreed to make it. That guitar became to be known as the Guild F-512,'the' guitar that defined the 12-string guitar for almost two decades.
A couple of years later, I called Martin for a custom 12-string. They only made 12-fret models with a sloped dreadnought shape. I needed a 14-fret with their standard dreadnought. They hesitated, but finally made it for me. As far as I can tell in my research, it was the first 14-fret 12-string that Martin ever made (at least for resale). After that, they made only 14 fret 12-strings for decades until they brought back some of the 'retro' 12 fret 12-strings. That was far and away the best 12-string I had ever owned or played...until I started working with independent luthiers.
I've been working with many luthiers for several years designing guitars with all sizes, shapes, depths and exotic woods and inlays. I have more guitars than anyone is entitled to have. Each one has its own unique sound and is special in its own way. I happen to love inlays, while I understand that many/most people do not. The inlays on my guitars each tell a story and are a piece of art as well (take a look).
I played professionally while in school (when folk music was very popular) with an agent sending me all over the Midwest. After graduating, I recognized the business world held more promise to provide better for me and my new family. I have had very successful careers in software, sales & marketing and consulting; while still creating highly customized guitars.