Carbonear res­i­dent gives more play to used guitar strings

Strung Out’s Cody Green makes jew­elry with old mu­sic gear

The Compass - - Front Page - BY CHRIS LEWIS

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.

Do­nated sup­plies

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.”

CHRIS LEWIS/THE COM­PASS

Cody Green op­er­ates Strung Out, a busi­ness that fo­cuses on re­cy­cling used guitar strings to make rings, ear­rings, and other jew­elry.

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