today’s maker weekly features daniel perkins of couch guitar straps. i first found daniel and couch through my writer friend arrissia who always knows all the cool people and stuff to do in southern california. i was overjoyed to have couch as a vendor at our patchwork indie art & craft festival show in long beach. there are five guitars in my house and one was lucky enough to get pimped out with this rad couch strap in december. thanks to daniel for making the coolest guitar straps, wallets and camera straps and for taking the time to share a bit about himself. enjoy!
my name is daniel perkins (couch guitar straps), i live in long beach california. i’ve been a musician my whole life, and currently play guitar and sing our band: california lions.
what do you make or do?
i love to create guitar straps, camera straps, and men’s and women’s wallets out of vintage and new automotive and furniture vinyl upholstery fabric. i’m really lucky to have a 1600 square foot creative space which i’ve spent years collecting my dream combination of vintage and state of the art machinery like sewing machines, heatstamps, rivets machines, die cutters etc. i also have a huge supply of highly rare vintage vinyls mostly from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, and most importantly, a small group of good friends who work with me every day to make and ship the stuff we create at couch.
where can we find your creations?
we sell mainly off our website and etsy and at craft fairs like patchwork and renegade craft fair. our wallets and camera straps are sold exclusively by us online and through these craft fairs. our guitar straps are also sold in over 100 music stores in the us and distrubuted in germany, japan and france.
how long have you been creating and is it your full-time job?
i’ve been doing couch for over ten years, i made if my full time job about 3 years ago.
when you’re not making things, what do you do?
i’ve always been a musician and am always gigging practicing and writing songs. songs i’ve written have been licensed on abc, nbc, fuel tv, the food network, mtv etc. i also love to surf!
is creativity a luxury or a necessity for you?
being creative is what i do and who i am. i feel really lucky that i’ve made it the center of my life!
what obstacles have you had to overcome to lead
a creative life?
putting in the time to make being creative the thing that pays the bills is hard. you always want to doubt yourself, and it took years to make it happen so doubts and impatience were the hardest. i bartended a lot years to make end meet.
where do you find inspiration?
i find inspiration in the functional world- what do i need that doesn’t exist in the way i want it? i also find inspiration in the materials i use, i love vintage vinyl colors and textures and the way thread stitches into it.
if money wasn’t an issue, how would your life change with regards to your art?
right now there is little i would change! just do it more and better, both music and craft.
what would be your perfect day off?
surfing a cool sunny winter’s morning up and down the california coast,
and then a great gig with my band:-)
what inspiring advice would you give to other creatives whether they are established or just starting out?
be willing to invest the time and money you need to make you vision happen. also, make sure you have a vision first, what are you doing that no one else is exactly doing… what makes you unique?