By Steve Guntli
Patrick Corcorran and his wife, Holly, were born and raised in Blaine and graduated from Blaine High School in 2001. Since then, they’ve gone on to be successful businesspeople and entrepreneurs. The couple now lives in Seattle.
Holly has worked in design for major outerwear retailers, including Perry Ellis, Eddie Bauer, K2 and Planet Earth. Patrick spent time in the finance sector, working for Morgan Stanley and orchestrating multi-million dollar business acquisitions.
In 2014, Holly was working for Black Rapid, a Seattle-based company that specialized in making camera straps.
“They have this really cool, really revolutionary design, and Holly was so excited to dive into that kind of design work,” Patrick said.
Patrick, a lifelong musician, saw an opportunity to put Holly’s newfound design skills to use.
“As a guitar player, it can be really difficult to find a truly comfortable guitar strap,” he said. “We started playing around with the idea and came up with some really cool ideas.”
The two began tinkering with design ideas. The end product of that is the ESO Strap. The strap uses a patent-pending, contoured S-shaped design that avoids pressure points and prevents chafing on the guitarist’s neck. As an added feature, the Corcorrans incorporated their “fluid motion pick pocket,” a small pocket near the base of the strap that stores extra guitar picks. The straps are manufactured in south Seattle.
In May of this year, Patrick decided to quit his job in finance to focus on building the new company. ESO Straps officially launched on August 11, and already the orders have been pouring in from around the world.
Part of the reason for the early success is glowing reviews from the music and business media. ESO Straps have already been covered by more than a dozen trade publications, including Guitar World Magazine, the most widely read guitar publication in the U.S.
“We’re both passionate about music, design and entrepreneurship, and with ESO Straps we’ve found a way to combine all three,” Patrick said.
At the moment, ESO Straps are only available through the company’s website, esostrap.com, and on reverb.com. Patrick said he considered going through larger companies such as Amazon, but ultimately decided he wanted to retain the company’s identity.
“We wanted to control our brand,” he said. “We’re trying to create an experience for our customers, and that can’t really be created when you have another company’s logo all over your box.”
Going forward, Patrick said he would consider expanding into some brick-and-mortar music stores, but for now he’s happy with the online business model.
“I know there are a lot of kids in Blaine wondering about their future,” he said. “I just want them to know that if you take a chance and work hard, you never know what kind of success you’ll have.”