Monarch Strap Profile
It’s 2018 and almost everyone from kids, teen, adults, parents and grandparents have some form of high quality camera whether it’s digital or film. In a world where everyone already owns a camera, UNM students Kyle Laktasic and Eric Pino have developed a much-needed camera accessory. The Monarch Strap looks really cool and provides the camera support for pro and armature photographers.
These two guys are exceptional. It’s hard to imagine full time college students doing anything but completing their coursework. Students only have a month in the winter and a few months in the summer to do anything but work and study. Kyle, a UNM phycology major, and Eric, a LA IS Theory major have managed to start a more than successful business while keeping up in school.
Monarch Strap was started in 2015 when Eric, then wearing an early design of their now iconic strap and got multiple comments from other photographers and was asked where he had bought the camera strap. After being inspired by people’s interest in the strap, Eric and Kyle set out to make a business of selling this unique product.
When most people start businesses or small startups their first customers are family members and close friends, but not Monarch Straps. Their first customer was the lead singer of the rock band Incubus, Brandon Boyd. Admittedly, Monarch Straps first order didn’t go as smoothly as hoped but Brandon was a kind first customer and was patient as Kyle and Eric worked out the kinks.
Since their first order Kyle and Eric have smoothed out any problems and now look to expand their business through partnerships, new products, and new retailers. Monarch Straps sales are the largest in Germany, Indonesia, New York and California. The New Mexico company has pushed for more local attention by making their products available in The Camera Shop of Santa Fe. The Camera Shop of Santa Fe is located right across from the La Fonda, it’s a hot spot for locals and tourist.
The thoughtfully crafted shoulder straps come in a variety of colors such as green, white, blue and gold. They are made with nylon cord or leather straps. Other new products include sturdy and reliable wrist straps. Both Eric and Kyle started their venture off with the shoulder strap they have recently partnered with Shutter Bomb to expand their business even farther.
Shutter bombs are small pods that launch colored smoke into the air which created a wild flurry of color that livens up even the most dual moments. Shutter bombs are available in a rainbow of colors, personal favorites include black and green. Even though the Shutter Bomb partnership is recent smoke bomb sales have quickly surpassed strap sales as many young photographers are looking to try new ways at catching people’s attention with their photography.
It’s clear that Kyle and Eric have left themselves room to grow once they leave UNM. It’s rumored that more camera accessories are soon to come, although no specifics were given it’s more than likely to be a hit amongst photographers from all over the world.