Company founder returns to create jobs, spark manufacturing and build community
BUCHANAN, MI (Michigan), Sept. 30, 2020 – Jen Tabor returns to Souldier guitar straps, to focus on enhancing US manufacturing operations, after eighteen months serving as Brand Director and designer for Levy’s Leathers.
Tabor founded Souldier guitar straps in 2005 and quickly grew an international following with the concept of rethinking guitar straps and music accessories using vintage materials and recycled seatbelt. A pioneer of the early-2000 craft movement, Tabor built dealer and direct-to-consumer relationships to develop Souldier into a rock n’ roll lifestyle brand with a catalog of instrument straps, dog collars, camera straps, and everything from headbands to stick bags.
“When customers asked for a product or made suggestions, I listened. Nothing has been off limits, and we aim to continue to respond to our customer’s needs and requests,” shared Tabor.
Tabor took an opportunity in August 2018 to lead the rebrand of the Levy’s Leathers entity after it’s purchase by Gator Cases. “It has been a gift to work with the talented staff at both Gator and Levy’s,” stated Tabor. “I thoroughly enjoyed participating in and leading the growth of the Levy’s brand, helping define their identity, create meaningful product, engage customers, and position Levy’s for the next generation.”
Returning to Souldier during the pandemic, Tabor’s first focus was to use the brand for job creation. In 2017, Souldier moved their manufacturing operation from Chicago, IL to the small town of Buchanan, MI where it now resides. “We chose this location for proximity to MI manufacturers in Elkhart, IN and Detroit, MI and for the robust sewing resources of the local motor vehicles industry. Since the onset of the Covid pandemic, there has been an increased need for US sewing operations and a renewed interest in US manufactured goods. Souldier responded this need by tapping into local skilled labor for help with everything from PPE to increasing strap production capacity. The goal is to keep people gainfully employed and use the gift of the brand to bring positivity and light to our community,” added Tabor.
Since April, Souldier has built relationships with a not-for-profit women’s center, displaced workers from the automobile industries and local manufacturing partners to increase production capacity. “The joy of US manufacturing through Souldier is that we are teaching individuals skills they will have for life, supporting the livelihoods of their families and creating compelling product to support the mission,” shared Tabor.
This year marks Souldier’s 15th year in business, and they are focused on moving forward with the mission that launched the brand, to create sustainable goods for the music and fashion industries, build a community and be good stewards of the opportunities and generous support the music industry has afforded Souldier.
For more information visit www.souldier.us or contact email@example.com.