He doesn’t have to become the Bill Gates of the guitar world, but Rick van Hoorn is serious about his business Rock ’n Soul. It is also precisely for those reasons that he has registered his trademark: “If your business is important to you, and your brand is dear to you, then you register it.”
Rick makes vegan guitar straps. They are straps with ‘soul’ that tell a story. It’s a good story – they are made from vegetable and recyclable materials such as cork and pineapple leaf fibre. That way, they not only help the world be more beautiful, they also help make it better – and that makes Rick feel happy from the bottom of his heart.
Zest for Life
“I taught myself to play bass guitar when I was fourteen, just by listening to cassette tapes, and within two months I was playing in a band. We stood on the stage, opened our mouths and just kept on playing”, tells Rick about his first years on the music scene. He played two or three times a week and he also sold instruments in a music shop. His passion for music stayed with him, but a mortgage came along, a job in marketing and sales, and a lease car. In 2019, Rick handed back the car keys, registered Rock ’n Soul with the Chamber of Commerce and found his zest for life again.
The name of Rick’s business is all about his journey to fulfilment. His guitar straps tell a story, a story about making conscious decisions regarding the limited quantity of raw materials the earth has to offer. Rick wants to tell that story himself: “My brand is dear to me. That's why I registered it. I didn’t want my guitar straps to end up as freebies in a music shop, but it wasn’t easy finding customers through my own online shop. So, I decided to sell my guitar straps through Bol.com and Amazon. You can only do that if you've registered your trademark.”
Music + environment = vegan guitar straps
It was the combination of music and environment that led to Rick’s decision to sell vegan guitar straps. “My guitar straps are made from cork and pineapple leaves. The leaves used to be a waste product from the production of pineapples and were burned. Now the fibres are extracted from the leaves and transformed into pineapple leather – piñatex. It’s a nice, soft, light material. What I think is really important is that no raw materials are lost in the production. Anything that’s left goes back to the fields as fertilizer. On top of that, piñatex sales also provide the pineapple farmers with 15% extra income”, Rick explains. The guitar straps also contain locally recycled plastic, and metal that is produced sustainably.
Guitar straps with a story
No doubt there are people who ask themselves to what extent guitar straps can really contribute to a better environment. Is it not just a drop in the ocean? Rick has a simple answer: “The more people there are who contribute a drop, the greater the impact will be of all those drops. If you wear one of my guitar straps, you can show you’re a musician who’s conscious about the environment, and not just someone with a strap hanging around his neck. What's more, because each guitar strap is unique, you can also tell your own story with it. Who you are, what kind of music you make, what albums you’ve released - everything’s possible. The straps are personal statements that just tell a good story.”
Register your trademark in four steps
Registration protects the value of your brand. Be aware: There is a lot to consider when applying for trademark registration. And there are costs involved. Use thesefour steps to check what opportunities and possibilities are open to you.
Start the four steps