Producer Robert Deaton knows better than anyone how challenging, complex and exhilarating it can be to capture the best of CMA Music Festival and trim it down to three hours of killer television. The results...Read full article... »
CUSTOM GUITAR STRAPS: ON THE SHOULDERS OF COUNTRY’S GIANTS
In the Feb/March 2014 issue of CMA Close Up, three top designers of guitar straps shared the secrets of their work for Country Music artists. Here’s a little background on how they got into the business – plus a display of their beautiful work.
Jeri Hart, jeri designs (www.jeridesigns.com)
Jeri Hart launched her business with belts, a pursuit she developed after seeing a “fabulous” women’s belt online. The $250 was too expensive for her pocketbook, so she decided to make her own. Other belts followed. When a musician friend suggesting making guitar straps, Hart thought that sounded like fun. So she did – and she loved it. “It was like making a belt,” she said. “But the canvas is so much bigger.”
Jodi Head (www.JodiHead.com)
Before getting into guitar straps design, Jodi Head built a reputation in New York City’s East Village for her bustiers. Her high-end custom beaded bras, hot in the late 1980s and early ’90s, sold in Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel, among other upscale retailers. They were also featured in Vogue and other fashion magazines and made their way into movies. But that trendy niche didn’t last, so when a guitarist friend asked her to make him a beaded strap, “it was kind of a natural profession,” she said. “I could hand-bead. It was just figuring out how to make that product become a guitar strap and what to do with it at that point.”
Terry Misner, Action Guitar Straps (www.ActionCustomStraps.com)
Misner, working out of a mom-and-pop space in Indianapolis, also worked his way into the guitar strap business. First, he and his wife Dena focused on camera straps, after they’d made a soft cabretta leather strap for his own camera. People began noticing it, so in the 1980s the Misners founded Action Custom Straps. They suspended the business in 1986 but decided to restart it in 1999. Their guitar-collecting son Levi, dissatisfied with the straps he was finding, helped nudge them toward that new endeavor.