Tacoma Guitars began as a division of Young Chang America that made piano soundboards for export to Korea. In 1996, it was decided that they would create an American acoustic guitar company. In 1997, production of the unconventional Papoose model began. Since then, they have developed ranges of guitars, some with conventional round sound holes, others with the paisley sound hole introduced on the Papoose. A recession in the Asian economy caused Young Chang to sell the division to a local concern in Tacoma. The company was purchased by Fender in October 2004 and is now a division of Fender. Fender has shut down manufacturing of Tacoma products, and new stock is unavailable to dealers.
Several of Tacoma's models feature an unusually shaped soundhole, called a paisley soundhole, on the left side of the upper bout. The purpose of this was to move the soundhole to a relatively low-stress part of the top, thereby increasing the strength of the top, reducing the amount of bracing needed, thereby making the top more resonant.