Carbonear resident gives more play to used guitar strings
Strung Out’s Cody Green makes jewelry with old music gear
Throwing away used guitar strings feels like such a waste, when those strings could be used as a fashion statement.
Cody Green of Carbonear has been busy doing just that — and has been turning it into a business along the way.
Green operates Strung Out, an up and coming jewelry company that recycles used guitar strings to create rings, earrings, and other wearable ornaments. The business has been in operation since mid-May, and Green says things couldn’t be better.
Green, 15, says the idea came about when he was changing the strings on his own guitar, and happened to come across a post online showcasing the same kind of jewelry.
“I thought it looked pretty cool, and figured it was better than just getting rid of them,” said Green.
Green went on to create his first rings, and gifted his girlfriend with a ring using the strings of his first guitar – an instrument he himself is quite fond of, and has been playing since around the age of 12.
Not long after, Green said the idea caught on, and people were requesting he do the same for them, and that’s where the hobby became a business.
Guitar strings aren’t cheap. A pack of six strings will run you about $10, and so Green needed to find a less expensive way to get strings, or the business would never get off its feet.
A trip to St. John’s landed Green with his first business deal, where he made an agreement with music shop Long & McQuade to come by once or twice a month, and they would donate bags of used strings to him. Now, Green’s workshop in his garage is home to hundreds of recycled strings, ranging from guitar, bass, and even some mandolin strings.
However, the business deals didn’t stop there. When Long & McQuade had no strings to donate during one trip, Green decided to head to O’Brien’s Music in St. John’s, who not only donated strings, but also made a deal with Green to sell his jewelry in the shop – the first major step for Green’s business.
Now, Strung Out sells jewelry in Ocean View Art Gallery in Carbonear as well. Along with donations of jewelry boxes, ring holders, and neck busts from Bogart’s Jewellers, Green says his business is going great.
Youth Ventures, an organization dedicated to helping young entrpeneurs get off their feet, is another group that Green says played a major role in his business thus far. With the help of Youth Ventures, Green was able to make posters, business cards, and all the essentials when it comes to growing a business.
“I’m still a little surprised at how well things are going,” Green said. “But I know I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am without all the donations and help from other people. I think that’s really important for me to remember – at $10 for a pack of strings, this business would get nowhere. So every little thing helped a lot.”
Expanding product line
Right now, Green mostly makes rings and earrings – a craft he’s got down to a science. However, he’s currently working on expanding his product further, focusing on bracelets at the moment.
He also noted that safety is an important factor behind the jewelry. Strings can be sharp, but Green makes sure that the strings are dulled, and wrapped so that the ends will not stick out of any part of the jewelry.
“I don’t just use the donated strings,” explained Green.
“Sometimes people will bring me strings from, maybe an old guitar, or something like that. They’ll ask me to make a ring or some kind of jewelry out of it, and I think that goes a long way. Then, it’s not just a ring, it’s something special to you, and it’s got a lot of sentimental value.”
Green says that the originality of his products is likely a big factor to his success. He noted that he’s certain he isn’t the only person to create jewelry from strings, but that he himself doesn’t know anyone close by doing anything similar.
“It’s different, you know? I feel like that’s a driving factor behind it,” Green told The Compass in his workshop, where various tools and used strings were scattered across a table. “Take something that’s really popular these days, like fidget spinners. Everyone is making those to try and ride the popularity. But this jewelry is unique, and you won’t find it anywhere else. Not around here, at least.”
Cody Green operates Strung Out, a business that focuses on recycling used guitar strings to make rings, earrings, and other jewelry.