For this episode of Stylin Strings Lax County Choppers, the team at Stylin Strings got a call from the manufacturer Harrow with an idea that could make custom dyeing history. Dye 100 heads in 3 weeks! Stylin’ Strings and Harrow had worked together years before on a big pocket order but this request was a volcano in proportion.
Harrow sent Stylin Strings 8 blank heads to do some rough outlined concepts. After the two sides hammered out the creative approach and color options, the mission’s details were laid out with 40 inside only checker dyes, 40 true Argyle lip, and 20 Colorado license plate replicas since Harrow’s corporate headquarters is based in Colorado.
The box of heads showed up at the Stylin Strings Lacrosse Store in York, PA, and the guys unwrapped them out of the packaging and realized the first task at hand was to remove all of the ball stops.
Once the heads were cleaned it was time for stickers. The Colorado mountains were placed on the white lips of 20 heads making sure they ran off the bottom of the lip by Shannon Skaggs SS dye team member and sister of store manager Justin Skaggs. That’s right, SS is a family of stringers and dye artists. Once the mountains were on the middle, highlights were cut out so the heads could be dyed light grey like the highlights in the actual license plate. After they were dyed, the highlights had to be covered in glue. This made sure they could not be touched when the heads were dyed the SS custom shade of green.
The full checker insides were going to be the most time consuming. And with 40 blank heads, the task at hand got super real and went uphill quickly. As 5 or 10 were completed by strategically hand placing over 200 hundred squares with an exacto knife they were then sent to the slicing phase. You will see in the photo the difference between stages. The stickers had to wrap all edges to keep the pattern. The most difficult process was keeping the pattern down the head with the areas cut out of the plastic. Then each stick had to have all the overlapping checkers sliced so the entire outside of the head was the true color and the inside only with white checkers.
The entire upstairs of Stylin Strings was covered in sticker shavings. Dustin sliced about 30 of them and felt the need to show the amount of shavings he kept on these white sheets of paper from about 15 heads. Hours and hours with each sliver of sticker piling up, sticking to clothing, carpet, eyelids (that’s right going out in public with sticker shavings hidden on us), furniture….you get the idea! Lindsey Chambers, Dustin’s fiancée’ and sticker pro in the making stickered 37 of the checker sticks. Keeping the SS family alive, her pops, Greg, helped slice about ten for Dustin in exchange for a new Stylin Strings t-shirt collection. Johnny R still works 1 day a week on production heads. He popped in to slice two checker heads since it was an intense 3 weeks of around-the-clock production between the SS dye team. For those three weeks especially – all hands were on deck.
As Lindsey and Shannon were busy, Dustin took on the Argyle project. None of these were ever done before the one demo Dustin did for Harrow in the original eight. Again this pattern comes down to strategically placing each sticker with an exacto knife. Dustin did the first round of stickers while the heads were white on all 40. After the first round were ready they were split in 10’s and dyed a light mix of yellow, baby blue, Kelly green, & grey. They were then stickered again in the negative space by hand keeping the appropriate space. Finally, they were dyed the full color.
After the first round of Argyle was complete, Dustin finished slicing groups of ten with the checkers so they were ready to dip. 10 were dyed red, 10 royal blue, 10 orange, & 10 black. This was about the time Shannon finished up the Colorado License Plate sticks by peeling the stickers and glue from the lip.
After three rounds of checkers were dipped it was Justin Skaggs off store hours mission to peal the stickers off the head to reveal the finished product. This may sound like the easy part but that’s not true. It still took a considerable amount of time to remove over 200 stickers from each head. Dustin & Lindsey pitched in to clean the last 20 heads.
Justin, store manager, production manager, Sr. Stringer, online video man (as seen on e-lacrosse for 2 years), SS YouTube channel, tournament/camp booth personality, and wearer of all hats team member also pealed all the Argyle heads Dustin had finished.
In closing, this was an amazing, stressful, rewarding, & successful job. Everyone at SS hopes you enjoy the journey Dustin captured with his photography.