It’s no surprise to any guitarist, that an instrument’s strap is important. Utility most likely comes in as a first priority, but its visual appeal is a close second. A musician’s strap provides an insight to their personal style and individuality; however, it must also be comfortable to wear. No other brand can combine these two needs seamlessly quite like strap mogul, Capturing Couture. On behalf of Guitar Girl Magazine, I had the opportunity to talk with co-founder, Erika Koorndyk, and discuss the fashion, function, and history behind the company’s amazing guitar straps.
Capturing Couture is based on the obsessive creative passion and spirited ambition of two working moms. Longtime childhood friends, Erika and Lisa, merged their backgrounds of fashion merchandising, sales, and marketing to formulate a brilliant combination that celebrates their unique vision. After not being able to find an ideal camera strap, Erika decided to make her own. The minute the first strap was made, the duo knew they had to deliver this product to the masses and go for it wholeheartedly. This wasn’t just about crafting straps, it was about fulfilling a niche that they knew wasn’t being satisfied.
Capturing Couture originally launched their designs in the camera industry, growing it to international status. However, customers were so intrigued by their products that daily emails began pouring in for guitar straps in similar colors and patterns. As a new venture, Capturing Couture crossed over into the music industry, debuting their collection at the National Association of Music Merchants 2013 trade show (NAMM). Not only did Erika and Lisa reveal guitar straps for adults, they also introduced a line of straps specially created for kids.
“We were so excited to show the guitar straps not only for adults, but also our collection for children. The music industry is so energetic, fun, and encouraging. We wanted to make sure we kept the same quality and durability found in our camera straps and carry it over to our guitars straps. We found that there was a huge demand for children who wanted to play the guitar but found it difficult to find a strap that fit. Plus, now more than ever, young female guitar players in the industry have sparked a growth in girls who are interested in playing.”
So where does the inspiration come from for these designer straps? Erika and Lisa design pieces based on what speaks to them. Both women have a style that comes from either side of the fashion spectrum. Erika leans towards bohemian chic, while Lisa is more sparkle and glam. Between the two of them, they pull a tasteful, clean, and fun collection that’s an expression of themselves and their customer. For the kids’ straps, both mothers actually went to their own children, allowing them to select the fabrics and patterns to be used in the latest line. Most importantly, Capturing Couture’s products are always fashion based, encouraging guitarists to celebrate and flaunt their inner style.
When it comes to construction, this brand uses only the finest materials, custom made trims, and highly functional hardware – all intended to be the ultimate in comfort and quality. All products are made right here in the United States, in California’s Orange county. Capturing Couture actually started as a small boutique company, where each item was hand sewn. As popularity grew, the business utilized production machines locally to produce orders. Even now, Erika and Lisa still hand make all prototypes. Erika describes how “it’s fun to be a part of the manufacturing process. It’s hard to keep our products USA made but it’s very worth it. We are proud to support working moms and local community members. Capturing Couture has always been present in education and we are a family business. We started the brand at home, and that’s how we want to keep it.”
These self-made guitar straps are anything but ordinary. During the conceptualization stage, the duo didn’t want anything to be standard; they wanted it interesting and unique. The guitar straps still follow the original vision of couture and glamour. Each piece of material is carefully thought out; from the shiny nickel hardware, to the luxurious velvet lining.
Capturing Couture is constantly on the lookout for new products to add to their repertoire. However, the brand wants to make sure they expand when it feels right, organically. Their next major focus? Cool gig bags. Exactly what any female guitarist needs, right after a killer new guitar strap. Visit Capturing Couture’s website to browse their current selection and find one that speaks to you.
CREDITS: Erika Koorndyk for Capturing Couture
We had a chance to meet the owners of Capturing Couture at the Winter NAMM 2013 convention. A prototype for their new gig bag can be seen in this video.