Made in Michiana: Souldier Straps
BUCHANAN, Mich.—This week’s Made in Michiana takes us to Souldier Straps in Buchanan.
Souldier Straps started with one Michiana native’s passion for music and her desire to infuse that passion into her guitar straps, which have been worn by some of the world’s most famous rock stars, including Shania Twain, Sheryl Crow, Brothers Osbourne, Aerosmith, The Black Keys, and more.
Musician and current owner and president of Souldier Straps, Jen Tabor, started making custom straps for her band-mates in 2004.
“I made one for each of their birthdays, and then when we played shows, would bring guitar straps to the shows, and sell them with our t-shirts and our CDs and things like that,” Tabor said.
A few short years later, Jen’s small side business exploded.
“The Chicago band 'Wilco,' everything they do is so inspired and so amazing. And Jeff Tweedy, who is the front-man for the band, he wore our guitar strap, probably in 2006 or 2007, on Saturday Night Live. And immediately, the phone started ringing, ‘are you the company? Is this how I get Jeff’s strap?'" Tabor said.
Today, Tabor and her staff stitch together unique straps using fabrics from the 60s, 70s, and 80s for guitarists around the globe.
“On the back of all of our products are recycled seat belts. The front is just beautiful, existing vintage fabric that we’ve pulled out of warehouses across the country,” Tabor said.
The sustainable straps are also made with materials from the United States.
“We have international distribution, most territories, most countries carry Souldier. And it has kind of a cult following worldwide. So we just keep growing that,” Tabor said.
Souldier Straps also offers an accessory line with headbands, dog collars, kids straps and wallets.