Biz Buzz: Man’s custom holsters a huge draw for gun owners
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Local company aims to make carrying concealed guns more comfortable
SUGAR CITY – For Bryce Johnson, gun ownership is not just a right — it’s a lifestyle.
The 30-year-old Sugar City man is an avid hunter and concealed carry permit holder, and he’s spent years working to make the concealed carry process more comfortable for gun owners.
That’s how Teton Custom Holsters was born. Johnson makes holsters from his garage out of Kydex, a type of thermal plastic. A variety of colors, shapes and sizes are available, and the manufacturing process takes about 30 minutes. See how it works in the video above.
He and his partners, Jared Chalmers and Kelton Brough, formed the company two years ago. Johnson tells EastIdahoNews.com it’s a major draw for customers.
“I started it as a hobby (making holsters) for friends and family doing about 12 to 20 a year for about four years,” Johnson says. “Since I turned it into a business two years ago. … I now do about that much in a week’s time. We’ve had 300 to 400 customers in the last two years, and it’s all been by word of mouth.”
One of his biggest customers is the Pocatello Police Department.
The type of material, combined with the customization and the variety of colors, is what sets Johnson’s product apart from other brands, he says.
Though Johnson came up with the idea many years ago, it was the purchase of a Smith & Wesson handgun in 2016 that triggered (pun intended) him to do something about it.
“I got a holster for it, and it was a generic nylon holster. It didn’t seem safe. It didn’t seem to hold the gun well. So I bought one that was more (suited) for it, but I still wasn’t happy with it,” Johnson recalls.
He had a friend who had made holsters out of Kydex in the past, and the friend taught him how to do it. Johnson hasn’t looked back since.
But his manufacturing process has been refined over the years. It requires heat to make the plastic pliable. In the beginning, he used the oven in his kitchen.
“The plastic smell went all throughout the house. My wife wasn’t very happy about that. It was a lot of mess, and it was rudimentary,” Johnson says.
Today, he uses a heat gun.
Though he’s pleased with the company’s growth, he isn’t planning to open a storefront. But he would eventually like to have another location that’s separate from his home.