Every guitar player knows how important a great fitting guitar strap is. Nevertheless, beyond comfort, a strap with killer style is even more desirable. Guitar Girl Magazine has found the perfect brand that combines both functionality and aesthetic appeal. Enter: Souldier. This Chicago based manufacturer is actually inspired by musicians, therefore dishing out custom made guitar straps that are sure to please.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Souldier’s mastermind, Jen Tabor, at the Summer NAMM show in Nashville where she talked about how her company began, what makes her straps so special, and the future of the Souldier brand.
Jen originally began crafting handmade straps as personalized Christmas gifts for local guitarists. After an enthusiastic response, she took her products to the masses, showing at trade shows and even traveling store-to-store. Jen began her stint in music as a teacher, but her passion for design and custom straps overcame as the popularity of Souldier grew. The public was hooked, and soon the brand expanded, offering straps for not just guitars and other instruments like banjos, saxophones, mandolins, and ukuleles, but also cameras, belts, and pet collars.
The success of Souldier lies in the company’s initial mission and values, which still hold true today. Jen began with an idea to make the best customizable strap available, while still keeping production local and within the US.
“At Souldier, all of our products are handmade in Chicago. We do not outsource to other agents and pride ourselves on the craftsmanship of our product. Our straps and hand cut leather ends carry a lifetime warranty that we are proud to standby.”
Customizing your own Souldier strap is easier than ever, the only problem might be deciding which of their brilliant prints to choose from. The user-friendly online store allows you select a strap that works for your needs. The rest is up to your imagination. Shoppers first choose a base strap, like guitar, and then begin selecting fabric. Browse through the hundreds of patterns and find one that speaks to your personal style. Then select the color for the recycled seatbelt backing and tab accents. Shades range from rich burgundy to bright blue or smoky taupe. Finally select silver or brass hardware and watch as the strap changes before your eyes. Magically, you are able to see the result of your creative handiwork. Souldier also includes modifications, including strap locks or extra length. What’s the best part? There’s no up-charge to customize and everything is always made-to-order.
I asked Jen why she thought having customizable straps was important to musicians. She explained, “As a musician, your guitar strap says a lot about you. It’s important to have something that no one else has. It’s a way to express your individuality and reflects how you feel.”
Jen prides herself on always listening to her customers. She takes suggestions and comments to heart, continuously making adjustments and working to perfect every strap.
What does the future hold for Souldier? The sky is the limit. Jen is focused on new design ventures and ultimately making Souldier an enduring lifestyle brand, encompassing a multitude of unique and fresh customizable products.
CREDITS: Jen Tabor for Souldier