Music to our ears: St. George woman fashions family business out of guitar picks – St George News

ST. GEORGE —Have a love for music and want to show it in a harmonious way? Don’t fret – this business is hitting all the right notes with its wild variety of guitar pick earrings. 

(L-R) Brooklyn Callahan, Mary Love and Amber Foster pose for a photo inside the Groupie Love shop, St. George, Utah, Oct. 26, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News
(L-R) Brooklyn Callahan, Mary Love and Amber Foster pose for a photo inside the Groupie Love shop, St. George, Utah, Oct. 26, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

“It seems like it’s been forever, but it’s just kind of the beginning,” Mary Love, owner and founder of Groupie Love, told St. George News. “All along the way, we’re just learning. And I’m dreaming big.”

With her husband as a guitar player and her as his groupie, Love said she often attended his live shows. One day, she decided to create a pair of guitar pick earrings from his Fender and Gibson guitar picks. As she continued to rock her designs, friends, family and concert-goers raved about them. She set up shop in her home kitchen and began making them as a hobby, taking racks of earnings to sell at music shows.

“Music is a global language,” Love said. “It’s crazy how recognizable they are. Not a day goes by even now that we don’t get compliments for wearing them and comments like, ‘Oh wow, are those guitar picks? Where did you get them?’”

After researching the manufacturer behind the Fender guitar pick, Love found D’Andrea USA, a company that originally invented the first plastic guitar pick in 1922. She’s bought their guitar picks in bulk ever since. 

Mary Love's husband Jerry performs on stage, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Amber Foster, St. George News
Mary Love’s husband Jerry performs on stage, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Amber Foster, St. George News

With the picks in hand, she established her core earring designs: the single, the triple, the major, the minor and the feather. As the earrings grew from a hobby to an official business, Groupie Love began popping up at local markets and festivals. Love’s two daughters began running the business with her, which she said is the best part. 

Other family members also have stepped in to help.

“My sweet little grandma loves to assemble,” Love’s daughter Amber Foster said about the signature earrings. “So we pay her to sit at home and assemble some stuff. It truly is a family business through and through.”

As word got out about the unique business, Love said local stores picked up her earrings, which led her to the wholesale side of the business. At this point, she said the family decided they were ready to open their own storefront and found the Ancestor Square location at the end of 2019. Groupie Love officially opened its doors to the public in February 2020. 

Groupie Love earrings hang inside the "Love Shack" in St. George, Utah, Oct. 26, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News
Groupie Love earrings hang inside the “Love Shack” in St. George, Utah, Oct. 26, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

Groupie Love focuses primarily on items you would wear to a music festival or concert and has since added music records, cassette tapes and tone nobs to their line. The store also offers puffer jackets, crop hoodies, sunglasses, wrist cuffs and more. 

With a desire to offer official band earrings such as Nirvana and The Rolling Stones, Love said she quickly learned the process wasn’t that easy. Unlike band T-shirts and official sports apparel, she was unable to print directly on the earrings due to copyright restrictions. While the company does offer sports earrings, the picks are bought directly from the source with royalties included, then turned into various earring designs. 

As she continually sees earrings missing from band and sports apparel, Love hopes to fill that gap by working toward licensing for the NFL, which averages $100,000 a year, along with navigating royalties to create band-specific earrings.

Mary Love and Amber Foster put their signature earrings together in St. George, Utah, Oct. 26, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News
Mary Love and Amber Foster put their signature earrings together in St. George, Utah, Oct. 26, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

The company currently prints its own designs on guitar picks while also offering custom logo printing for businesses.

“We say, get your business in people’s ears,” Foster said about logo earrings. “If you get them custom-made you can use them for marketing, employee gifts or swag items for your company.”

Along with Groupie Love, the family owns Ink Lovers, which offers a variety of beauty aesthetics such as microblading and injections. They also run the Ink Lovers academy, which offers certifications and apprenticeship programs.

“It’s a great business and I’m really good at it, but this really is my heart and where my heart is,” Love said about Groupie Love. 

Groupie Love sign and apparel are shown outside the shop in Ancestor Square, St. George, Utah, Oct. 26, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News
Groupie Love sign and apparel are shown outside the shop in Ancestor Square, St. George, Utah, Oct. 26, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

Recently, Buckle picked up their Groupie Love earring line and is currently testing out its earrings at 10 of its stores, which the family hopes will turn into a long-term partnership.

She said they plan to have a booth at the upcoming MAGIC wholesaler convention in Las Vegas in February, which brings together a global audience of retail buyers – from big-box to boutique – looking for wholesale items to sell in their fashion stores.

“I’m excited to be a part of the Groupie Love dream team and watch the business get to the highest potential,” Love’s daughter Brooklyn Callahan said. “We have a lot of new things coming and we’re super excited.”

For more information on Groupie Love, visit their website or find them on Instagram. Shop the downtown Groupie Love “Love Shack” inside ancestor square at 2 W. St. George Blvd., next to Spiritual Parlor.

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