As collector of firearms and an avid shooter, a natural progression was to provide my own leather gun holsters and accessories. This hobby was originally started to fill my needs for custom leather holsters that were either not commercially produced by leather holster makers or were unobtainable by custom leather holster makers in lieu of a 16 month wait. Although my beginning was the result of a singular need, I have been asked to do many different things in the short time I've been at this. What began as a labor of necessity has grown into a labor of love and enjoyment.
As an owner of other start up businesses, there is passion behind everything I do. Building a business takes hard work and dedication to a degree that most people are unaware. This business has offered it's own unique challenges. Tending to the "Nuts and Bolts" one would think obvious for any business, but also required is something special. Never before did I need to rely on my own creativity in the sense I do now. I have discovered an artistic side that had gone dormant for many years. Every day I learn something new and my work is ever changing....evolving. This is not only exciting but also frustrating as I am always striving for something better. A new design, new materials, a different way to build it, tweak this, change that, constantly improving.
I have never used a "pattern" developed by anyone else. Everything I do is brought to life from an idea, to paper, to my hands. Sometimes those "ideas" go from my bench to the trash with only my dog to see the disappointment on my face. Other times, the build may warrant a pattern although I find myself constantly altering or redesigning them. The thought of mass production is foreign to me because I can never imagine any piece being the best that I can do. I will always strive for something better even if trying to improve the best.
I am committed to providing you with a high level of support. I approach every build with a focus on understanding how you intend to use the leather and how best to build the item within your specifications. You can sleep well knowing you are in good hands.
The problem with this business is that it's often difficult for the consumer to compare the difference between the materials used. Most people think that "leather" is leather. There are many differences under the blanket terminology of leather.
Basically, leather types are broken up into 3 levels, genuine leather, top grain and full grain. Genuine leather is made with leather parts. That could be the split or even leather dust mixed with glue and pressure to form a sheet for use in low end products like a Walmart belt, cheap bags, etc. Top grain leather can be the hide but is often altered and brushed to hide imperfections. The best, what I use, is full grain leather, the unaltered, tanned hide.
Within the various levels, the quality of the finished product will vary from place to place. To cut costs, some producers will ship American hides to Mexico for tanning and vice versa. There are also imports from Asia that are inexpensive for obvious reasons.
I deal with US tanneries, Wickett and Craig in Pennsylvania for vegetable tanned leather and Horween in Chicago for vegetable and combination tanned hides.
Another thing that keeps my cost higher is that I hand cut everything. I don't do production work so there is no clicker and die cutting. My work is custom and everything I do is a one off that is guaranteed for life.