Hi, I’m Melvin, the sole founder of Greenchild Amplification. I’m very excited you’re here and sincerely hope my story inspires you to amplify your life.
I believe that with a little grit and determination you can create something you’re proud of, regardless of your starting point. That’s definitely been the case for me.
My path began with limited means. I’ve always been a hard working, driven individual, although I learned early on that no one was going to clear a path and make it easy for me.
I decided to put my love of math and science to work by serving my country and enlisting in the U.S. Navy’s nuclear power propulsion program straight out of high school. By some stroke of luck and a lot of hard work, I secured an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis one year after I enlisted.
I had always done well in school and had a knack for figuring things out - like when I taught myself the C Programming Language from a book when I was 13 years old (WAY before the internet was readily available) - so I was pretty confident the Naval Academy would be right up my alley. Turns out, I was in for the biggest challenge of my life.
I was suddenly surrounded by some of the most intelligent, ambitious people I’d ever met. Let’s just say it taught me a lesson in humility. One of the best parts of the experience was that it opened my eyes to opportunities and possibilities I had never even considered were available to me.
After graduating from the Naval Academy with a degree in electrical engineering I traveled the world serving as a Surface Warfare Officer, including one deployment to Iraq.
Ten years after I first enlisted in the U.S. Navy I decided to transition back to the civilian world. It was time to settle down, start a family, and complete my Master of Engineering.
Everything in my life was going pretty smoothly when out of the blue in 2012 I found out that my cousin, Jonathan F. Pratt, had been killed by a drunk driver while crossing the street in our hometown of Binghamton, NY.
As a kid I spent as many weekends as possible at Jonathan’s house. We were both close in age, enjoyed reading and watching sci-fi, playing old school computer games, messing around with electronics (he had a pirate radio station in his basement), and imagining and contemplating our futures while trying to find answers to big, life questions. Jonathan was my confidant and best friend.
Without Jonathan, Greenchild never would’ve happened. Jonathan embodied the entrepreneurial spirit, founding his own small business and was always excited to share his creativity and optimism with others. Unfortunately his life was tragically cut short before he could fully bring his dreams to fruition. Jon’s memory gave me the inspiration to start Greenchild.
Our number of days on this Earth are finite. If you have a dream or life ambition don’t wait a single day to do something positive to move yourself forward in that direction. Theodore Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena” speech perfectly embodies this ideal, and I recommend it to everyone for a serious dose of motivation.
After Jonathan died I picked up the guitar again (after dabbling a bit as a teen and in my 20s) and decided it was time for a new challenge - to pursue what I really wanted in life, to find an outlet for my love of audio and electronics design.
From the time I started Greenchild, I told myself I wanted to build something worthy of Jonathan’s memory, of my new family, and of the amazing community of musicians and gearheads who appreciate high-quality analog gear. I also chose the name Greenchild after my first born daughter.
By day I work as an engineer in the corporate world, although Greenchild is a side hustle obsession that consumes the majority of my waking focus.
Greenchild has definitely evolved. Initially, I personally worked on every single part of the process, designing and building the first few stompboxes right on my kitchen table. While I continue to do all of the design work (a HUGE passion for me), I’ve taken the time to get the lay of the land in the industry, learning how to source the best components straight from manufacturers, and finding top-quality team members for the graphic design, assembly, and mechanical design.
I personally test and perform quality control on every single piece of gear that leaves my shop. I am proud of the fact that all of our gear is designed, assembled, and tested in small batches right here in the USA.
Even though my business has grown over the years, attention to detail in each step of the process and providing the highest quality and reliable gear for my clients remain core principles.
Because I believe anything worth doing is worth doing well, I’ve taken a slow and steady approach to growing this business. Like each piece of gear I build, Greenchild is built to last.
In fact, when you buy my products, you’ll find that I personally sign the inside of each piece of equipment. My signature means that it has passed my rigorous quality testing and inspection to provide you with the best quality tone.
Greenchild is my passion, not only because it was inspired by my cousin, but also because I see it as a means of creative self-expression to pursue my interests in all things related to audio and electronics. I love playing guitar, but designing and building useful gear that inspires others to find their own unique sound is what keeps me going year after year.
Doing what you love never gets old.
To those of you who feel like you don’t have as much time as you would like to spend honing your craft as a musician or taking advantage of your collection of amazing instruments and equipment, I say enjoy the journey. I’m enjoying the journey of creating the highest-quality guitar gear possible.
Welcome to the Greenchild tribe. Lets make some noise!