Jen Tabor is returning to guitar strap manufacturer Souldier with an emphasis on enhancing the company’s U.S. operations. After a year and a half as the brand director for Levy’s Leathers, Tabor will shift focus to Souldier’s job creation and community outreach in the Midwest.

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 seat belt. A pioneer of the early 2000s 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,” Tabor said. “Nothing has been off limits, and we aim to continue to respond to our customer’s needs and requests.”

Tabor took an opportunity in August 2018 to lead the rebrand of the Levy’s Leathers entity after it was purchase by Gator Cases. Returning to Souldier during the pandemic, Tabor’s first focus was to use the brand for job creation. In 2017, Souldier moved its manufacturing operation from Chicago, Ill., to the small town of Buchanan, Mich., where it now resides.

“We chose this location for proximity to MI manufacturers in Elkhart, Ind. and Detroit, Mich., 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 U.S. sewing operations and a renewed interest in U.S.-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,” Tabor explained.

This year marks Souldier’s 15th year in business, and the company is 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.

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