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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Sept. 19, 2014

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Lindsay loves Trophy Strap's boho look.
Lindsay loves Trophy Strap's boho look.

Catching up with Trophy Straps

Wisconsin has bred some of music’s most creative innovators, from bands like The Violent Femmes with their unmistakable sound to Les Paul, inventor of the solid body electric guitar.

Included in this group is Greendale’s Glenn Boren, proprietor and designer of Trophy Straps, a company that locally manufactures instrument straps. These straps are so strongly tied to Wisco that their flagship straps have ends made from the same leather used in Harley motorcycle seats.

Trophy was founded in 2011 primarily making guitar straps, but Boren is excited to announce that "just this year we have expanded to include Cotton Mandolin and Ukulele straps, as well as a line of adapters that will retrofit any strap for banjo, mandolin, ukulele and acoustic guitar, as well as a buckle adapter that will extend the length of any strap to fit any player, no matter the size, as well as those who like to wear a strap really, really low."

All Trophy items are available through its web store, eBay and Amazon.

Boren’s designs include original and custom motifs and also reissues of historical guitar strap patterns, like his wildly successful Lennon "Rooftop" and "Peace" tribute straps.

Boren adds: "These two straps have gone on to become the de-facto go-to straps for the worlds finest Beatles tribute acts, including Let It Be London, Let It Be Broadway, (hitting the stage this July,) Rain, American English, The Fab Four, Legends In Concert, Them Beatles, The Beatlez and many more."

Insistence on local production, unique, original designs, integrity of materials and details like being the only strap manufacturer to use natural cotton web for strap backing sets Trophy apart and is an integral part of its success that boasts a thriving Ebay store with a 100 percent feedback score from 22655 reviewers. 

Now, Boren has his sights on bringing the same quality, "Made-in-Milwaukee" philosophy and patterned straps to the fashion world.

He is currently test marketing "Purse Straps" in his eBay Store. These clever accessories add a hippie/boho/retro/rock n’ roll feeling to even the most benign of carryalls. The straps boast rich colors and gorgeous textile designs like Trophy’s Celtic Knot, Wildflower and Copenhagen. Current favorites are the Palmetto and Berkeley for customizing a regular ol' purse into a retro-feel shoulder bag with an unmistakable, authentic boho feel.

In the future, Boren envisions expanding this fashion accessory line. "Ideally, purses, purse straps, fringe and other fashion accessories would provide access to that whole part of the market that is not playing an instrument, but still enjoys the fashion and coolness of the boho, hippie, rock star image. It seems the market and number of ideas for items is limitless."

Boren has created prototypes of purses and clip-on fringe, but these items currently remain in development. Expect a release of the fringe – complete with "swivel-clips" for versatility around June 15 on Trophy’s online store, Amazon and eBay.

Music-loving fashionistas will have to wait with baited breath and anxious shoulders until Boren starts test marketing these new items. Be sure to follow Trophy Straps on Facebook, Twitter and check their retail sites regularly to be the first to rock this Milwaukee-born trend.

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