North Perth company the Guitar Strap Co. made plenty of noise at the world’s biggest music trade fair in California earlier this year with a custom-made guitar strap worth $1.2 million.

Designed by local jeweller Colin Burn, the Show Stopper used a kilo of 18 carat gold plus 40 carats of diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies.

“It’s a one-off piece of contemporary art,” Burn told AAA.

The unique guitar strap came about after Burn, who also makes erotic jewellery art including a sex toy valued at $1.8m, met Guitar Strap Co. owners Tony Croce and Mike Nayar at Northbridge gentlemen’s club the High Roller Room.

The $1.2m Show Stopper guitar strap used a kilo of 18 carat gold plus 40 carats of diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies. Picture: Iain Gillespie

Former musicians Nayar and Croce, who is a co-owner of the Voodoo Lounge and High Roller Room, were looking for a way to stand out from the pack at the National Association of Music Merchants’ annual trade show, which attracted more than 100,000 buyers to Anaheim, California in January.

The $1.2 million piece of rock’n’roll bling featuring bejewelled stars and guitars turned heads at NAMM, catapulting the Guitar Strap Co. into the top 30 companies out of the 4500 at the fair.

“NAMM is such a big show,” Burn said. “There’s so many people trying to get in front of the world’s media and this got the job done.”

“It opened up a lot of doors for us,” Croce added. “It was received, like, ‘You guys are absolutely crazy’.

“There’s only five guitar strap companies that we compete with on a world level, and we said ‘What are we going to do to take out the competition’.”

Since launching three years ago, the Guitar Strap Co. has become one of the biggest specialist manufacturers in the world.

They appeared on television’s Shark Tank in 2017, when Boost Juice founder Janine Allis invested $100,000 and agreed to mentor the company.

“It was received, like, ‘You guys are absolutely crazy’.”
Tony Croce

Metallica bassist Rob Trujillo, Green Day frontman Bill Joe Armstrong and Australian rock guitarist Orianthi are among the high profile axe wielders to endorse the company, which is poised to increase production tenfold to meet overseas demand.

While Guitar Strap Co. products are stocked in around 150 stores around Australia, there are orders from close to 1000 stores in the US, Europe and the United Arab Emirates.

Croce said that they were also negotiating for retail giants Target and Walmart to sell their guitar straps online.

The Guitar Strap Co.’s Tony Croce, left, and Mike Nayar, right, teamed with local jeweller Colin Burn to make a big splash at an American trade fair. Picture: Iain Gillespie

He hoped that potential endorsement deals with Ed Sheeran and U2 guitarist The Edge would lead their push into the European market.

Not bad for a couple of Perth rockers who decided to make their own guitar straps after a frustrating night of mishaps due to poorly made gear.

The trio behind the Show Stopper said that the likes of Keith Urban or Dolly Parton might use the golden guitar strap for a special awards night performance, but expected the expensive piece to end up in a rock’n’roll museum.