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A Duo in Dogged Pursuit of a Strapping Business

May 14, 1999|BOOTH MOORE

Virginia Castro and Rania Olayan are two rockin' chicks--and they don't even play any instruments. But they do make fake fur, leopard print and sequin guitar straps for some of the hottest names in pop music.

Traditionally, guitar players haven't had many straps to choose from. Most styles resembled seat belts and came in understated black or brown (think James Taylor). But Get'm Get'm Wear straps, with their sparkly sequins, rainbow shag fur and patent leather, are showpieces in and of themselves.

The company's logo is a running dog, which makes sense when you know how the straps came about. Castro and Olayan own a glam doggy boutique and salon called Catts and Doggs on Hyperion Avenue in Silver Lake. After selling dog toys, collars and beds in faux fur and leopard prints for years, the women got the idea to use the same funky fabrics on guitar straps for their musician friends.

When Terence Trent D'Arby asked them to custom make a few straps for him, the Get'm Get'm girls figured they were onto something. They took a small selection of their wares to a buyer for Guitar Center in Hollywood, who snatched up the whole lot. Within a few months, the flashy straps became top sellers at Guitar Centers nationwide. Marilyn Manson, Alanis Morissette, the Go-Go's and Sting have all bought Get'm Get'm straps, so look for them on a stage near you.

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