***Use Code: BELLE12 for 10% off your purchase!***
Hey loves! I have a great etsy shop to introduce you to, it's called: Strong Point Enterprises. This is one of the most unique shops I've every worked with. At first glance, you might think this shop is just another jewelry shop that specializes in bracelets (or what we like to call "Arm Candy"). However, Strong Point Enterprises is so much more. Their bracelets are made out of Paracord (the stuff that holds people to parachutes when they jump out of air planes), AND this shop donates a portion of their profits to numerous charities. I love a shop that gives back! Check out the interview I did below with one of the members of the Strong Point team.
Q&A w/ Strong Point Enterprises:
1.) Tell us a little about the StrongPoint etsy shop.
The Strong Point Etsy shop sells bracelets, key chains, dog collars, and other things that are made out of military spec type III 550 Paracord (the stuff that holds people to parachutes when they jump out of air planes). It’s extremely handy stuff to have around. It’s made of nylon, is rot resistant, washable, soft, small, easy to pack and can hold 550 pounds of weight.
We decided to start our shop after having some beers with friends. We all come from a variety of active backgrounds (cops, soldiers, triathletes, adventure racers, travelers, etc.) and we were complaining about how hard it was to find a quality piece of outdoor gear that you could rely on when your butt was on the line. So after a few rounds, we got this bright idea to make our own gear. I thought, what better way to start a new company than with what we always packed first, and never left home without: Paracord. We started planning and working the next morning and now here we are!
2.) How did you come up with the name "StrongPoint?" Is there special meaning behind it?
A “strong point” is a position of strength or tactical importance that is well-protected and safe from harm. The heart of our business is making gear that keeps people safe.
While we make our bracelets look as amazing and fashionable as possible, when it comes down to it, if you needed some rope in an emergency, you have 10 feet of it right there on your wrist. So it seemed fitting that we call ourselves Strong Point since what we try to do at the end of the day is keep people safe. Thankfully, most of the “emergencies” that our customers have had to fix with their bracelets have been things like broken bathing suit tops, torn purse straps and broken running shoe laces or staying visible with the reflective bracelets at night.
3.) How long have you been creating your paracord bracelets?
For about seven months.
4.) Bracelets and arm candy of all kinds is extremely on trend right now. What separates your bracelets from others out there?
Other fashionable bracelets are probably just that, fashionable. We try to blend fashion with function. We want our bracelets to look hot, but also be really useful. I just got an email from a lady today who broke a strap on her re-usable grocery bag while walking through a bad neighborhood and she still had four blocks to walk with her groceries. She unraveled her bracelet, used the cord to rig a temporary strap and was able to make it home with her groceries without incident. I don’t think she could have done that with any other kind of arm candy. Our bracelets also stand out because of the outstanding quality of our craftsmanship. Because we also use the bracelets in our daily activities and jobs, if we didn’t put 100% of our abilities into the item, we don’t use it or sell it.
5.) What type of guy or girl do you envision wearing your bracelets?
Everyone! Although our store seems very outdoorsy and athletic, the items are simply awesome looking survival gear. Whether you use it just as arm candy, during your commute to work to fix a broken strap or shoelace or while you’re climbing a mountain or traveling, it works the same for everyone. We also have a variety of bracelets that are made with different colored ribbons in the middle to raise awareness for different issues that affect our society today. For example, we have a bracelet with a pink ribbon in the middle for breast cancer awareness.
6.) I love how StrongPoint gives a portion of the profits to charities. Why do you think it's so important to give back, and what charitable causes has StrongPoint already contributed to?
The most important philosophy that we have, the one that governs every decision that we make as a business, is always doing the right thing no matter what the cost.
It’s a principle that I feel a lot of American businesses have lost these days, but it’s one that really made America great once upon a time. I think that’s something we need to get back.
When the economy went south in 2008, a lot of charities suffered because people couldn’t give as much as they were able to before. A lot of charities that were doing amazing things had to close because they couldn’t get the money they needed to keep going. This doesn’t just mean that there’s one less charity. It means there are real people affected, homeless people who can’t get food or shelter, dogs that starve or women who get abused and now have no where to escape.
From day one we started giving a portion of our profits to charity, even if it meant that we had to work harder and sell more to make money ourselves. Since we opened shop we’ve worked with dog rescues, cancer foundations, and groups that give free care to families with special needs. One of my favorite charities that we’ve worked with was a charity called Coups for Troops (www.coupsfortroops.com) who collects expired coupons and then raises money to ship them to needy military families serving overseas who can use coupons for up to six months past their expiration. They were one of my favorites because they were so innovative.
7.) Which item is your current fave in the shop right now?
My favorite item right now is the one that I’m wearing as I type. It’s our black reflective bracelet. It’s dark out and as soon as I finish working I have to go for a long run and it keeps me safe.
8.) StrongPoint has branched out into key chains and belts. Are there any other designs that StrongPoint is currently working on?
We’re working on dog collars and leashes. Two years ago my girlfriend and I saved a border collie puppy that was on death row at the local pound. Her name is Justice. She’s amazing and we call her the four-legged love of our lives. I really want to start making stuff that she can wear, especially our reflective paracord for when we go for walks.
9.) What are your top three fave etsy shops at the moment?
elizaBcrafts. I ordered some stuff for my mom for Christmas from this shop and their work is outstanding.
GreatBottlesofFire. Epic Name.
Spademan Pottery Who could start their day off on the wrong foot when a hippo looks up at you after you finish your coffee?
10.) Any tips on accessorizing with your bracelets?
My sister and girlfriend offer up this advice, because they are much more fashionable than I am:
Stack a few different colored bracelets at once. The more arm candy the better! Also, bright colors and neons are very hot right now, so our brightly colored bracelets will provide a casual outfit with an awesome POC (Pop of Color, as Brad Goreski would say – any Brad fans out there?). If your outfit is dressier, our bracelets and key fobs are small and will fit into even the tiniest clutch. The extra paracord is really handy to have and you never know when you’ll need it! And we always accessorize our workout gear with reflective bracelets on each wrist to stay safe at night!
Some of my faves from the shop:
Blue and Yellow Paracord Survival Bracelet With Black Slide Release Clip
Red Paracord Survival Bracelet With Contoured Black Slide Release Clip
Yellow Paracord Survival Bracelet With Black Contoured Slide Release Clip
Green Paracord Bracelet With Grey/Green Thin Line and Contoured Brown Slide Release Clip
Black Paracord Survival Bracelet with Thin Blue Line and Contoured Black Slide Release Clip (Law Enforcement Support)
Orange and Pink Paracord Survival Bracelet with Contoured Black Slide Release Clip*My Fave!
Black and Pink "Sawtooth" Weave Paracord Survival Bracelet with Contoured Black Slide Release Clip (Breast Cancer Awareness)
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
[leave only one comment for 1-3]
1.) Visit the Strong Point Enterprises etsy shop, and leave a comment telling us your favorite item in the shop!
2.) Follow Belle de Couture via Google -or- Blog Lovin'
3.) Like Strong Point Enterprises on Facebook!
[Leave a separate comment for each additional entry]
1.) Follow Belle de Couture via Google AND Blog Lovin'
2.) Add Strong Point Enterprises etsy shop to your favorites if you have an etsy account.
3.) Like Belle de Couture on facebook
4.) Follow Belle de Couture on twitter
5.) Share this giveaway on your blog, facebook, or twitter (leave a link to your tweet/post)
6.) Follow belledecouture via Instagram
7.) Stalk Belle de Couture via Currently Obsessed
8.) Vote for Belle de Couture in the Refinery29 Blogger Contest
Giveaway ends February 17, 2012 at 7:00 PM EST. The winner will be chosen at random via random.org. Good luck everyone! :)