Crow Holsters Story
I started making holsters because I could not find one that fit me and looked good. I searched all the box stores with disappointment. I looked for people making kydex holster in the area but did not find any. I searched online but was skeptical of how it would fit. I was concerned that I would be throwing away money and I did a couple of times. I wanted something that was comfortable and easy to take on and off. It needed to fit on my hip like a good worn pair of boots fit my feet. I wanted something that was personal to me and not the ordinary. I also found that customer service is not very personal.
Not finding what I was looking for I started searching how people were making kydex holsters. My though was “I design complex products at work every day. I should be able to make what I wanted.” So, I bought some kydex and foam pads. I made a foam press out of scrap wood in the shop. Heated up the kydex with an old heat gun and started making holsters.
Well not exactly functional holsters. They were not very comfortable either. Ok, they looked and functioned like crap. Back to the research and designing. Three things needed to be addressed. 1. My hip is curved why can’t my holster be curved as well. 2. Retention needs to be fixed. 3. Needs to have an audible ‘pop’ when re-holstered. I bought more kydex and in a few weeks had a design that I really liked. It fit good and snapped in to place. I curved it by hand to fit my hip. I found some clips that allowed me to pull the holster on and off without taking off my belt. I also found a place that would print what ever I wanted on the kydex using a process called dye sublimation. The ink is infused into the top layers of plastic. I had found everything I was looking for in a holster. Now to put it all together.
I made several and posted my work on Facebook. People started asking me to make them one. So, I did. Customer feed back is very important. I am very blessed to have people tell me what was wrong with the holster and what needed to be corrected. I would tell them to go break it then tell me what needs to be fixed and don’t worry about hurting my feelings. Critical feed back is the most important thing one can get when developing a product.
I started refining the design. I developed a system to standardize the manufacturing process. This allowed me to speed up the process and provide a better product to my customers. The foam press was replaced with a vacuum press. The hand curving was replaced by a curved form. The heat gun was replaced with an oven. The oven was then replaced with a heat press. The scroll saw was replaced with a band saw for more accurate cuts. I still use the same old belt sander and I am not ashamed to admit it cost $20.
I have made holsters for a lot of people. I have enjoyed visiting with each one of you. I hope I made buying one of my holsters personal. I hope that if you buy one of my holsters and have a problem with it you let me know. I would love to figure out what is wrong and how I can make it better for you because that’s why I started making holsters.