So you say you’ve got a musician in your life and you need a special gift. Something that he doesn’t have, something that she’ll treasure forever. A gift that is as unique and as beautiful as the music she plays, and that will outlast and survive his changing style.
Well, I have an idea. How about I make a guitar strap for you (also works with bass, banjo or dobro) for you, and I will personalize it with up to 1100 characters of your choosing. You can write a love song, you can collect quotes, you can write a poem, or a short story. Anything you possibly want, as long as it is 1100 characters or fewer, and I can put it on the strap for you.
This is the Smokey guitar strap, and I think I made my very first one in either late 2008 or early 2009 (even though the Smokey pattern was one of my first patterns and made its debut in 2004, it didn’t make it onto a strap for a few years), and I have since made over 200 of them (in several different colors).
The wonderful thing about this piece is that even though I’ve made 200+ of the “Smokey” strap, every single one has been different. We all find meaning in different songs, words of wisdom, scripture, or messages, and all have something entirely different that we want to communicate to those that we love. The Smokey line is a great way to do that. Whether it is a wallet, a guitar strap, a belt, or a purse, you can give someone a gift with your sentiment right there on it. Your personal message for them to carry with them always.
I’ve most often seen the ee cummings poem “i carry your heart” requested on various pieces (though oddly I don’t think I’ve seen it on the same thing twice – wallets, guitar straps, etc.) and in my mind this one is totally suited for an inscription for a loved one. There was a slightly… dirtier? ee cummings poem that someone asked me to put on a wallet for her husband. I can’t find the response, but he absolutely treasured the wallet, and wanted to show all his friends. I think it’s so sweet that you can give a gift with a sentimental message that your loved one will be proud to show off.
We a Smokey wallet to my mother’s boyfriend, my daughter’s fourth grandfather, with a message from his kids on it a few years ago, and were taking bets in the car on whether or not he’d cry when he opened it. He did.
And truthfully, a lot of people do when they open this gift. Here are some of my most recent feedbacks about it:
“I got my guitar strap last week, but wanted my husband to see it before I wrote you. It's awesome. He loved it, he kept telling me that the present he got for me was so lame compared to the guitar strap (I also showed it to my mom and she cried). Anyway, the strap is well made and beautiful and you got it to me so fast! Thank you so much. If I ever need something like this again, I'll definitely go to you.”
“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for your beautiful products! They arrived over the weekend, and I am stunned! They are all incredible, and so, so special. You are a genius! Thank you so much!
Now I just have to wait to give them to my husband and my Dad!
Thank you so much, Caitlin! I'm sure I'll be back!”
And now it is time for bed.