The transcribed version is below if you would rather read it…

**This is computer transcribed, so we apologize for grammar / errors**

Welcome to episode one of the Muddy River Tactical podcast. We work for Muddy River Tactical in Platte City Missouri and in our opinion,  we make some of the best holsters on earth. We make kydex and leather holsters inside the waistband and outside the waistband. Conceal and carry, tactical range duty holsters. If you’ve got a firearm and you need a holster for it we can pretty much make it. 


We decided to start this podcast, as a way to kind of give people a behind the scenes look of the gun industry the holster industry. Kind of what we do and answer questions you might have, review gear,  talk about the outdoors, concealed carry. You know things guys and gals like to do and what they might like a little bit more knowledge on. 


So, to kinda introduce everybody going around the table. Across from me we’ve got my brother, the president owner, Headman of Money River Tactical. We’ve got Kevin Mason. I’m the head babysitter in charge here in most days. Yeah. So tell us a little bit about you you know I know we’ll have a whole episode later on about how you started Muddy River and where it came from but just a little bit of background on you. So I started Muddy River back in 2014. At the time, I was I don’t know twenty…Three twenty four. Somewhere in that range, had young kids at home.  I had a very good job. I worked for a medical oxygen place which my brother Kyle I got him a job there too so we both worked together. I drove a DOT truck with oxygen…all over the country pretty much We went Arkansas Colorado, Oklahoma from Kansas City, so it was long days, day and night stuff like that. 12 hour days getting up or in the morning, fair minimum may or may not be over DOT hours at some point. So this is kind of when the concealed carry boom per se kind of happened 2011, somewhere in there. We grew up around guns, grew up around all of that type of stuff, but never up until that point, never really were too much in handguns. I mean I don’t remember us as kids ever really, no I don’t know if dad ever had a handgun growing up. I mean he may have but he was more deer riffles and shotguns and he really didn’t shoot a lot. I mean he was a really good shot but like to go to the range and train was not his thing. He was going fishing, I mean would he bird hunt a lot I remember that. And you know deer hunt during season you know a little bit of coyote hunting but not not all the time and not definitely not training with handguns and stuff like that. Yeah he they did the normal hunting type stuff. 


And I think it’s 2010 maybe it’s 2011 our cousin and aunt everybody remember they’re all doing the concealed carry classes. Yeah and this sounds terrible owning a holster company and even a gun shop now, but at the time I’m like uh you know the world was maybe not as crazy as what it’s turned into. I still didn’t necessarily see the need for it at that time so I don’t did you ever go to the class with them. No I actually ended up taking the class as part of going to college. I went to college because I thought at the time I wanted to be in law enforcement so I was taking administration of justice classes, working armed security and  doing a lot of training with the guy that ran the Kansas City swat team at the time and various other trainers. So that was my real introduction into handguns and you know tactics with handguns was through working my armed security background But before then I’d never really owned you know a pistol you know up until that point. They did all those classes and they tried to get me to go to them and I didn’t It was probably two years after that by 2013 where I did and started going into it and I I still remember buying my first pistol which was a Smith and Western shield, the original single stack shield was kind of started the whole concealed carry single stack game per se. And I actually went over there to buy a coyote rifle to go coyote hunting and ended up with two guns and came home to a wife with two guns that she wasn’t necessarily thrilled about. And you know how that works, better to ask for permission than forgiveness or Just one of those things that kinda worked out. Which one is it Brett? It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission. Well see and that’s where I went wrong a few times I guess I think I’d have a few more guns if I went the other way maybe. Very good So now I give her shit all the time because she gave me so much crap about that pistol. Well, I used that pistol to mold the first holsters that were ever quote / unquote made for muddy river tactical.


So in 2014, and what a lot of people don’t realize is I never started this to do a business. We had paid health insurance, we made good money, could work all the hours we wanted. At the time the company we worked for was amazing. And I mean they’re still in business and still a great company but they’ve had to change you know with the market and everything. The benefits we had then aren’t the same as what they are now just because of how everything’s changed. Yeah, Kevin and I have both worked for a couple medical oxygen companies but the most recent one we both worked for yeah they started off as a small company you know, ten drivers you know whatever, not many and they grew into a monster where they’ve got a hundred drivers now and kinda got more corporate and stuff. And you know it’s good and bad and you know there’s growth is good but you know you gotta grow with it. And, so at the time when you started this I was technically kinda your boss and now the roles have flipped and you know. So when I was seventeen I got hired into the medical oxygen industry and I was never even supposed to be hired into there. Greg Cook and Jeff Anthony hired me and said don’t say nothing until you turn eighteen. And our buddy Bret worked there and got us a job there. And then I got Kyle a job there and that was from seventeen on, so that’s all we ever knew. But a long story short we had a great job.


I started making the holsters just for myself. No intention of leaving at all. At the time, you know I was working getting home at 7:00-8:00 at night had young kids so it’s hard. Spent half the night in the garage jacking with the oven and making my own Kydex just for me still without the purpose of anything else. I bought a few holsters on the market and they were either just not what I wanted or I thought they could be better or I bought a couple that had problems. I tried to reach out to the people and it you get a big screw you more or less and never get a response or yeah sorry you know won’t even let you return it. So I just made my own and after about six months I got to the point where I’m like okay yeah they’re decent enough for what I want, cool. So the guys at work, Thus yeah was one of the first ones I made him a holster. He had the shield too. Then his buddy wanted one, then his buddy wanted one I just started making them for a multitude of things. And back then I was still learning guns. Like now you know we’re in it every day so I can tell you the new guns what this model is everything. At that time people would ask me like hey do you have a mold or can you make one for this and I’d literally have to Google that pistol to even find out what it was because I had no idea, they’re speaking Chinese to me.


Well and at that time too for people that don’t know, you’re having to buy a mold for every gun. So if you’ve got a right handed sig p365, you’re buying a mold for it. You’re buying a mold for the left handed. So when we started we used blue gun which is the first thing everybody starts with. So I’m not talking crap on blue guns at all but they’re not made for that purpose. So you gotta tape them you gotta adjust them, um Kydex, when the mold is hot, it will shrink that blue gun. So when Kydex started it’s got this huge terrible name of, as far as fitment and tearing up your gun and blah blah blah all that stuff. It was because nobody knew how to properly make them so they are either molding them off the actual gun, which has the same problems as a blue gun because you gotta tape off the ejection port, you gotta tape off the trigger guard, you gotta tape off all of that, take the tape off after you do it to make sure it fits well how are you ever gonna tape one the same? Now you’ve got a sticky piece of hard plastic that may or may not be the same as it should be. It takes an hour to prep a gun to do it and it’s still not the right way. So we did it and then we went to there’s some different companies that make them but they’re for holster making. I won’t go into the companies that make them but they block the ejection ports off and different things like that. But these companies were still just 3D scanning them and printing them. They weren’t making holsters off of them so the tolerances were never the same You’d have to put layers of tape on it to make the slide wide enough not to drag. You’d have to do a lot of things. Well and even if it is exactly perfect, there’s still a little bit of extra drag that you get just from the kydex mold into it where they don’t slide in as smooth and it kinda drags going down the holster. And when you’re doing them that style, they’re in what we call taco presses, which will depend on how much pressure it had on that press. How the condition of the foam was, they never pressed the same. They just weren’t. So what you ended up seeing was, we were one of the few that weren’t this way because we kind of modified our molds to work that way for a while. So there’s no molds that were exactly like ours because we went and spent a hundred dollars on these molds and then spent three days modifying it to how we wanted it. Which it works but it’s still not exact. I’ve only been here the last six months so I can speak more to the new way we’re doing stuff. So questioning the old way it seems to me that you ended up buying not only one of every mold, you bought two. So you have one that was taped up and then one to try and do fitment until the point where you got all the firearms to actually test them off the firearms. So your expense was out the roof. The crazy part is if you go to our shop right now which we don’t use any of them anymore but we’ll never get rid of them. We’ll just keep them as kind of the history of muddy river per se, but we got probably a quarter million dollars in molds. So if somebody called at the time and said we never had a growth plan after we started to grow into , we didn’t want to offer the twenty guns at you know the glock / etc and we wanted to hit a broader market and be a bigger company than that. So we never turned anybody down, but we may have to spend $250 on a mold to get a $50 holster order.


So you’re doing this and I think the big misconception I’ve heard and I’ve heard it a hundred times and we’ll get Julie on here one day and she’ll speak to it. But like anybody that knows you, the common misconception is people driving through Platte City or that see you on the internet is Kevin Mason, he must have had a great starter. His dad gave him this money to start the company or grandpa. It’s like can you talk a little bit of like how you started this driving a truck using your own money to buy molds making zero profit for a long time. A hundred percent and in business it don’t matter here but you know we’re in Platte City, it’s a smaller town It’s whatever. That is the normal you know people coming to the gun shop and Brett can attest to this that you know if you hear all sorts of things trust fund whatever. Well I don’t care if it’s our business or what it is. All the money in the world doesn’t build a business. All that does is throw money away at something. We grew up I won’t say in poverty but we grew up on the poorer side of things. We didn’t have anything luxurious. You know our parents were split. I mean our stepdad had four kids of his own, I mean there is a whole lot going on there where we never went without but we never had anything. And mom to her credit, you know a lot of people do it but the stuff we did have was credit cards and stuff like that. And you know they made long term sacrifices to get us you know a basketball jersey once in a while or a live character you know. You’re saying that she’s probably still paying on credit cards that she would never tell us about. Yeah I mean she did it as a pure act of sacrifice, but like the misconception that there’s a gobble of money and it’s like, that was not the case at all.


So 2015 when I started selling to other people and like the first one for Thuce and the guys at work I gave them to them. I wasn’t doing it to make money and at that time I still didn’t. The craziest part about this story and it’s still funny today and I tell people this and they they’re like in amazement and I get it because it sounds the same way to me. But Judd Ward, his daughter Brooklyn at the time was I don’t even know, she’s married now I think but yeah I believe so. She was maybe 12 or 13 and she’s just an innocent girl and she’s like, why don’t you sell them on Etsy? And I’m like what in the hell is Etsy. So you know I go to a Google machine here and type in Etsy and it’s a bunch of girls crafts and shirts and I’m like there is not a chance in hell. So anyways I’m like okay and I just kind of blew it off. About three months later she goes oh are you selling on Etsy and I’m like I don’t think that’s gonna work She’s like well just give me one I’ll put it on there. They put one on there I think Judd helped her. They put one on Etsy and that is where we sold our first holsters, and we ended up selling probably at the at the time it was a huge amount of holsters compared to what we do now it’s nothing but we’re selling 50 holsters a month through Etsy. So you’re making 12 holsters a week after you’re working. I know you’re working 60 plus hours a week . Yes and with my wife and you guys both know my wife which I also refer to as Brett’s boss, but that’s a whole different story. But, she called me every name but a white boy as far as being an idiot because she’s like why are you doing this? I would get home at 7 or 8, hang out with our kids until they went to bed. They were young at that time, 10:00. I had to be back up at what 4:30. Well you were at work at 4. So I was going to bed at like 2 or 2:30 and she goes you’re a moron. Well and granted I probably was because at the time it wasn’t for business and I’m sitting there at the time I’m like Kevin you know because my fear in the whole deal is you know the kids are only little once and you’ve only got so much time I know there’s multiple times of like look, I’m your brother here and I’m saying this I love you, but make sure you got time for your family because building the biggest business in the world is great. So you were able to juggle having kids having a wife working 60 hours. I did that until what was it 2018? So yeah you had went down part time to kinda 2017? Yeah in 2017, and actually I will give a shout out to Rick on this. I love Rick to death but as far as work stuff we didn’t see eye to eye sometimes because we’ve both been in the business forever you know and so it’s nothing personal. You guys would work together at health care together I knew him from when I started at 17, but the best thing he ever did is he came to me and he’s like hey, like in a nice way, kind of pushed me out which is what I needed.


The first of 2016 is when I hired our first employee, which is Matt and he still works with us. He’s up at the shop working right now. He is our first employee. He was working all day. You know I think I took a couple days off or something trained him on the weekend or whatever. He was working during the day and then I would come home and check his stuff, ship his stuff and then do my own stuff. So he would help me. So you’re running two shifts out of your garage, yes out of my garage, which you know at the time is like Kydex, a little bake oven, taco presses and stuff like that. And Julie can’t park in her own garage which I’m sure she was thrilled about all in her life. She got kicked out her own garage which you know, that is a whole different story. We’re just gonna have to get her on an episode and let her and Brett talk for a while.


I think it was maybe later that year or the first of 2017, I hired another guy, well in between there are actually two other guys, but they just didn’t work out. One guy while I was at work was shipping holsters to his buddies and not charging people and just the stuff that happens when you’re not there to manage people. So our second, I’d say real employee because the other ones didn’t make it three weeks was actually my father-in-law Bob, Julie’s dad which still works with us today and he’s great. He had a plumbing business his whole life owned a plumbing company. He was tired of dealing with people, tired of dealing with the business stuff  and he just wanted to work 6:00-3:00 or whatever and go home. So he’s still with us today. So then I had both of the and I think I actually had one other guy which is no longer with us. So I had three guys working full time at the end of 2016 or first of 2017 when Bob wanted to stop the plumbing, he had the plumbing building that he didn’t know what he was gonna do with it and I’m like well we really need room and remember Julie ran the day care. Yep and we use part of a commercial building for the three employees and myself to do holsters and then my wife did daycare in half and then that went on for about a year and I’m like you gotta get out of daycare, not because of the daycare because we need more room had nowhere to go. You’re getting booted out of your own house. We had places to go and she is kinda ready to get out of the daycare scene anyway so it kinda worked out.


So finally 2018, if it wasn’t for Rick I probably wouldn’t even have done it that year I probably would have waited another year because up until then so we’re talking three or four years, I’ve made zero. I’ve taken personal money from our normal job to put back in here so the company’s still running negative because everything we’re putting is to keep growing, get better and buy new molds. I mean when you figure out quarter million dollars of molds sitting there and we get people to this day you know we help out people and you know everybody wants a discount and stuff. But you know what people don’t realize is that holsters, it may look like plastic and screws but you’ve got a lot of overhead when it comes into just your parts. You know you gotta pay the guy to put it together, you know and I mean fast forward till today we’ve got I don’t know what 10 or 11 employees and getting ready to try to hire another guy. It’s just always growing but growing at a pace where you can manage it. You know when we started we’d get holsters out in a day or two because we didn’t have the order volume. We’ve been lucky and blessed and got the volume we have now so I mean it’s five or six days for a Kydex holster, but in the market I mean that’s still there’s companies smaller than us that are three and four weeks. Yeah that’s super fast . Like I said I’m new to this industry but I’m not new to the compliance manufacturing industry. Yeah that three to four day turnaround time’s huge. You know we are a little bit longer in our light bearing stuff but we’re getting all those combinations we’ve got on light bearing is incredible. You can never have every combination available. But we never want to turn away a customer to go somewhere else when they don’t want to you know. There’s a lot of good options on the market. I’m not downplaying any other holster companies, there’s some other good ones out there but as far as customer service and just overall quality and what we offer, there’s not many that can compete in the price range.


Another good thing you do and now would probably be a good time to talk about it is you do YouTube videos. You review guns. None of them are paid, Glocks not paying you, Sig’s not paying you Walter, nobody is. We are taking guns the new guns, you were shooting them doing thousand round reviews and doing honest, just breakdowns of the gun what you like what you don’t. And again they’re all straightforward which I think is a really cool thing that you do.


It worked out good because I kinda go into a little bit of a tirade on that but so in 2019 Brett worked for the other gunshot in town, which I think the other gunshot owner kinda knew I wanted to have guns at some point. So the other gunshot owner which we’ll get into him in another day, he’s a peach. But anyways, he called me one day and he goes I’m done with this shit and hung up. And if you don’t know this guy, you’d be like what in the world so was he mad at you? No, that’s just his personality. He thinks you’re gonna read through the lines so I didn’t say anything, I’m didn’t have a chance he hung up on me. I’m like okay well I knew him enough where I’m like yeah whatever. So like a week later this guy or somebody in town goes so when are you opening your gunshop? I’m like what are you talking about because well the other gunshop owner told me that. He’s done and he told you could open another gunshop. I’m like well no he actually told me he’s done with this shit hung up. So what was it like two weeks later maybe you came in and yeah I knew Brett from just walking in the gun shop. I didn’t know him personally. I walked into that gun shop and it was a smoky gun shop. It was just an old school gun shop kinda what do you want get out of here. Not welcoming just kinda the local hangout more than it was a gunshop. And a lot of gunshots across the country are like that. So he came to me two, maybe three weeks later and was like hey do you need help from a quote? Actually and for people that know me and Brett can laugh at this, I don’t say no too many times I’ll say yes and then figure out how to do it. I made a career doing that a little bit. So I was so busy with the holsters, I couldn’t run a gunshop but I wasn’t gonna let somebody else come in town that we’re trying to build a business in an open one. Oh no and it’s not even a gun shop to us and Brett can even attest to this it’s a great local service. It’s never gonna be the majority of Muddy River Tactical. That’s not what we want it to be but it’s a huge local service and we’ve got a ton of people that have bought holsters from us for years I mean how many people have come into the gunshot Brett and go I got your holsters I didn’t know you’re here? Absolutely Everyday. I mean it’s everyday, it’s absolutely crazy in a town like Platte City, how that happens but that is what happens. So that’s where the gun shop has really benefited us.


But back to the YouTube I started the YouTube because we get all these guns in and now you know when we started making molds for all these which now we make all of our own molds which is where you come in Kyle on all that. As far as scanning and CNC machining our new molds and all that stuff, we have to get these guns anyways to make sure they fit. You know there’s so many companies on the market that by the $50 blue gun, make a holster the blue gun fits so they assume it fits. Well that’s where they go wrong because I can tell you we got two hundred fifty thousand dollars of actual good molds up there and probably another fifty thousand dollars of blue guns and there ain’t a blue gun one that fits like with the real gun. And I will tell you without a doubt we have done some of those and you know we’re 3D scanning these guns putting them in and it was one of the Ruger revolvers we just did. I scanned the actual gun; perfect. Made a mold for it, test fit it; perfect. You came in with the blue gun too and you’re like this thing don’t fit. And I said go get the actual gun and it’s a whole different deal, yep. So that’s another thing where Kydex holster companies in general including myself when I started because I didn’t know, but there’s some that are still doing it and just don’t realize why their stuff’s not fitting the same. Well and I don’t know that they’re doing or not doing. Most people don’t have a gun shop so they don’t have access and they can’t afford and let’s be real when a gun costs $600 people aren’t gonna stock $200,000 in pistols around to have every gun. It’s not feasible. And the bad thing about that is we got this inventory in the gun shop which is a whole different thing. But I hate to even know what we got in actual guns because now the way we do everything we test it off actual guns.  So we have a whole bunch of guns that are never there to shoot, they’re a business expense.


So when you talk about building a company and a lot of these guys that didn’t start the way we did, I look back and if I didn’t work full time and work twenty hours a week, or twenty hours a day between the two jobs, you can’t start a business unless you’re gonna go millions of dollars in debt and risk everything you got. Which I didn’t do. I cashed it myself by making nothing. You can’t build up to that so like people all the time, there’s plenty of room in the holster market, you know there’s more. We could never as one company do all the holsters in the market. So I’ve never wanted to downplay anybody but the reality of the situation is especially with today’s economy, it would be very hard and even in our situation I think we made some mistakes. We did a lot of things right along the way with the economy difference now, I don’t think I could start over now if I had waited. And, you know the other good thing you know back to the gunshop and you know having it is, we get to see these pistols and we get them while other companies may be waiting for, you know x y z company to make a mold of it. We get that gun as soon as we can get it. We can 3D scan it in. Normally it’s by the time the gun releases, we’ve got a holster ready for it on the market. And that’s where the YouTube comes in because I feel like it benefits both sides of the business.


I’ve never started YouTube to monetize it like what a lot of YouTube channels do. I just, wanted we have the guns anyways and we’re already spending the money so it’s not like I’m spending money on guns that we’re not using. It’s stuff we have to have so there’s a lot of these guns, I mean the Walter PD 380 that we just did the review on this week that’s on YouTube now. I’m a Walter fan almost a fan boy as far as PDP goes. Yeah you carried that gun for a long time didn’t you. Yeah it’s in my desk at the shop. I mean it’s my favorite if I’m going to the range that’s why I’m shooting if it’s not that. But for a lot of people they don’t get the option to you know whether it’s finances or whatever to go buy multiple guns a year. They may go buy one gun a year and that’s all they’re gonna get for maybe ever or two years or whatever. So for these people to go out and buy something, I felt like we owed people an honest opinion of stuff because if you look at YouTube in general, not that there’s not some good ones out there because there is. But a lot of them because of how they are monetized and getting free stuff from people, they may not lie to you but you get a unbiased or you get a bias side of it. You’re not gonna say oh the trigger sucks on this gun and the mag release is terrible. Where as us? We don’t rely on them. As far as our relationship with gun manufacturing companies go, it is a straight marketing department. It’s the only people we deal with. And the only reason we deal with them is to buy the guns not give us the guns, but to buy the guns early so that we can have holsters ready for everybody when the guns come out. So every gun that we have done a review on we have bought and paid for, signed, sealed, and delivered. You can go through our YouTube channel now and I mean I’ve been doing it I think a year. And it’s disturbing to look back on it because it’s no matter what whether it’s a podcast or whatever when you first do something. If you look at the videos now I’m like geez that sucked. But you know and they probably still suck because I ain’t a video guy you know I just wanted to be a honest thing. So that’s why we started that and it’s worked great. And I think we’re up to like 9k subscribers now which in the big picture isn’t much but  we’re not doing it for any of that purpose. If it helps one person, that’s all that matters to us you know and especially our local customers.


How many local customers come in the gunshop and go oh I bought this gun or didn’t by this gun because of your videos? It’s getting more every day and that could be bad like that PDP? Yeah we’ve got two of them I think. No I’m down to one. But you know so why what I say is kinda hurting that side of the business but it’s not that’s not the point you know it’s the being real with people and people appreciate that more than not. If you’re on there especially when you own a gunshop, part of it too is they think you’re there just a BS on through the whole thing and we’re never gonna BS.


No different than holsters. People call and say Hey, why should we pick you over everybody else I get that email almost daily Well I’m not gonna sit there bash some other company I’m just not gonna do it No. I’ll tell them why, what’s good about our products, but there’s people that compare us and be like how’s your holster different than theirs? Are theirs better than yours or why your yours better? Well I’ll tell you why ours are good If you want ours great but I’m not gonna bash them in the sake of earning one customer. I’m just not gonna do it. So the nice thing you know about the the YouTube video or this podcast, it’s not a sales pitch. We’re genuinely trying to give our customers and just the general public a service that we can offer them. We’ve been sitting here for half hour and you know I haven’t went on the sales pitch about you know the holsters or the hats or the t shirts. It’s there and we have it, it’s what we do. It’s how we make our money and we appreciate our customers but you know this whole podcast like we talked about when we started it. If we get ten people a week that listen to this thing and somebody gets something out of it, you know that’s more power to us.


I mean at this point, we’ve been blessed. We’ve done very well in this business. We’re continuing to grow. But we’re doing it in the right way you know. There’s some newer companies out there that maybe grew faster, but because they’re throwing a bunch of money at marketing and stuff. The problem with that is every day we’re gaining customers from them, for whatever reason whether it be customer service, the holster, we have something they don’t offer, but the customers that we do have, there’s very few of them that we don’t talk to personally. I mean how many people come in the gunshop? They were like I ain’t gonna buy it anywhere else. But just being real with people is the thing and we’re not here to sell any of my stuff. We’re here to offer them what we like and what work. There’s no company or nobody that wants to listen to a sales pitch all the time. This is just to help the few people that it will help then there’ll be some people like oh that’s stupid and that’s fine. I’m sure we’re gonna get some weeks on here where we’re gonna have some great stories and you know we may not get any. We may sound like idiots and ramble on a whole bunch of stuff that don’t even matter. I guarantee you that’s gonna happen for sure I mean it’s probably already happening. 


So just real quick I’m gonna interject because I should’ve done this ten minutes ago. So the people who don’t know us and wanna find us or wanna see our holsters we’ve got They can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or X or whatever it’s going by now. But we post you know quite frequently on all those platforms. Please subscribe to YouTube too. Yeah YouTube helps us a bunch just for reaching new people and not even for the holster sales but I get people that call and just want a real opinion on a gun. If we can help people I don’t care if they’re buying our holsters or not I’ll give them an opinion. So if you go check out our YouTube we greatly appreciate it for sure. So YouTube, these podcasts we’re gonna post videos of us on here so if you’re driving down the road in the semi and you know trucking across Colorado and listening and you wanna see what’s going on here Uh please you know look up the YouTube video of this podcast and of Kevin shooting videos.


Brett do you wanna tell us a little bit about your background or you wanna save that for another day? No we’ll go in a little bit. Gonna be hard to follow Kevin after that story. That’s a pretty good one. True I’ve got stories for days buddy. True American story there. That’s why I’m waiting to go last. Gonna look really good when you’re done. My story is not near as intriguing as Kevin’s but I started off in the world of maintenance. I came I worked for a company down in Kansas City downtown. Like Kevin said I worked at a previous gun shop here locally. I was part time for that gunshop. I was there for years like on and off. 10-12 years with a 3 year break. I moved away for a job in the middle. When I went to Texas and don’t get me started on Texas. Well that’s another day and that’s another story. But when I came to Kevin and asked him about the gunshop at first it was we’ll talk about it when we open. And then I think he said he doesn’t have time or necessarily wanna mess with it. I started working for him part time and we did that two years. Yeah I think 2021 because it sucked at the timing of a gun shop because we got our FFL and everything and that’s right when the COVID crap started.


Well, any gunshop in the industry knows during COVID, the way you got guns was how good of sales rep you had because if you logged into any of the distributors that they deal with, there’s nothing in stock. You can’t get anything. So us being a new FFL in a small town they’re like these guys. We didn’t get offered crap. So I mean there’s a time we had what 15 guns in the shop? We had 5 handguns at one time and they weren’t guns that anybody wanted. I mean we were bringing in personal guns just to have inventory there at one point. I mean it was that bad and we’ve made it through and then after that, we just we weren’t growing like we thought we should and we were out of room frankly that’s what it came down to. We were just a room in our old location. Yeah The location there the old plumbing shop was. Anybody familiar with Platte City knows but it’s down in the commercial area. There’s a tow truck company across the road. It’s not somewhere where people are gonna unless they get lost. They’re not finding you I was just saying for sure. I didn’t come up that much because it yeah it’s about twenty minutes from my house and I had to look for it every time I came up here. I’m like well what is the third street, fourth street?


So Yeah And a little bit more about me personally, I’m from around here I grew up in Weston graduated from Weston. I live here in Platte City now close to the shop. I think just coming in hanging out with Kevin, working for what two years part time, we decided one day that we’re out of room. The holster shop’s growing. And gun shop is just we’re just busting at the seams. We found a local property here in town. It took a lot of convincing and you know at the time, he tried to get me to buy this building for like a year. And it sat on the market that long is a whole different story. Well it’s a really well known building in town. It’s got a lot of history too. The problem with the building is in Platte City it’s just not a place that has a lot of new businesses in it. It’s a normal small town. It’s got what every small town has in it. When people come through here and this isn’t tooting our own horn but there’s not muddy river tacticals in this town. They’re like oh there’s Casey’s, Mexican restaurants we got three in case everybody wants to know. And bars and boutiques that’s what we have. Yeah so it’s kind of something different. But the whole reason the building stayed for sale that long because the price wasn’t bad, but it’s kind of an issue we’re dealing with now. There’s a long a major road that goes through the town and the retaining wall which the city guys were trying to get us to fix when we were getting the permit. This was after we already bought this. When you say a retaining wall for the people who can’t visualize this this isn’t a two foot mortar block retaining wall This is like a fifty sixty yard long and ten foot tall retaining wall. That’s a monster. Yeah the corner of it was separating at the time. I didn’t think it was that bad at the time and I honestly didn’t realize it wasn’t on our property which it ends up being good.


So when we bought it in what 2021. Yeah it’s like January, December, we had the guys come in totally gut the place. It’s an old building, totally gut the place. And it worked out because there’s some cool beams in it above that nobody knew it had because of old drop ceilings in it Yeah those beams are great. Just looked terrible and then they’re tearing it because they’re just gonna put a sheet rock ceiling in it. They’re like well you may wanna come look at this and there’s cool beams up there. So it’s super gun shop oriented and looked cool. But long story short, we built that moved in there then we were going to build the holster building behind it because a lot’s big enough to have another building and we’re actually gonna put another building on there at some point. But the city guy’s like oh you need to get an inspection first or not in inspection, a survey. So we go through all this well he’s trying to find out that retaining wall was on us to try to get us to fix it. So once after we got that survey we never heard anything about it again so I knew it wasn’t on us and then they made us put in a sidewalk that goes to nothing. Which is a whole different story. I’m sure that was cheap wasn’t it? Yeah So whatever but at that point we just needed it done. Well now there’s walls falling but there’s been what five or six people that have come into the gunshop when we are remodeling it thinking that we’re selling it or renting it or whatever, want to buy it because they found out the wall, it wasn’t on there. That’s why nobody bought that lot because they don’t wanna fix the wall which we’re gonna find out now who fixes it but it’s not on us.


Sort of recap a little bit where I was leaving off with leading with that is in two years time we went from starting a gun shop and a little bitty hole in the wall building let’s just say it that way Great building. Perfect, nothing wrong with the building, just small. It’s outgrowing. We open up, we get to buy the new property. We’re doing all this stuff and then in the same conversation Kevin’s got to figure out who’s gonna run this this gunshop. Well, I was just part time Kevin, it basically wasn’t Kevin He wasn’t gonna do it. The holster business is just exploding which is fantastic. He said Brett you gotta take this on. So we finally got that worked out. We started on that and that’s been what two over two years ago. Two going on two and a half years right now. It’s just been crazy. So now we have this gunshop her and I know they keep saying that we’re buying all these guns but if anybody wants to sponsor us you know now maybe the time I’m just saying. Yeah but no for real it’s phenomenal and I’ve loved every minute of it so far. And I know that’s not a great story like Kevin has but that’s my story. Well the cool thing about it is it all worked out because like that if he didn’ come, I would end up looking for him or somebody like him anyways. Right I’m the only one. But there’s only one Brett that has worked out.


And the issue with the gun shop is and this goes back to like you said people wanting and expecting stuff. In some ways I can be an asshole too but in some ways I’m too nice sometimes. So like Brett can attest to this,  if I’m in the gunshop, they will not talk to Brett , they will talk to me but the reason is they want a deal on something. Yes every time. And the thing I didn’t know until I came here, I was always under the impression that guns you made a fortune on There’s almost no markup on guns. No. There’s no money in guns. By the time you pay somebody that’s capable like Brett to run a gunshop, the market on guns alone will not, you gotta sell something else. Like for us the holsters is a saving grace. If we didn’t sell holsters in the gunshop, it would be a break even proposition. Yeah. But no for real like because I’ve had people since I’ve started here, Hey can you give me a deal on a gun and I’m like, hey I would love to. I would love to help you out but it’s just not there. And the reality of the situation is in what a lot of you going back to the perception of any business and it don’t matter if here or there, what they don’t realize is all the cost with any businesses. You know you start getting ten employees and 401K and everything to take care of them, you know you got a big expense every two weeks just in payroll, plus the buildings plus everything, especially on the gunshop side. We can’t support ourselves giving stuff away. So what you’re trying to say is I’m expensive. You are expensive. He’s worth it though. I talk a lot of shit on Brett but he’s worth it for sure. He knows I don’t wanna be in the gunshop. I will say I was never as boogie as I am now. I will say in the last two years, you’ve rubbed off. No. I’m still out on that. I got him some fancy boots finally though. Yeah fancy boots finally came in.

Alright I’ll give you the quick version of me and we’ll go over a shot show real quick. That sounds great .So like I said, Kevin and I grew up in North Kansas City Missouri, didn’t come from a lot of money. Our parents had expectations of us to do the best we could no matter what. And I will give them that both our parents, you know they never let us be halfway at anything. And growing up you’re like man they’re an asshole or whatever but looking back on it, you  decided you were gonna play football. You played the season. You signed up for the baseball team, you’re gonna finish it out. You had to get good grades There was no doubt about that. You didn’t get away with pulling anything over you know, pulling anything over on either one of them. Mom and she’s gonna kill us for talking about this and we’re gonna have to get her on here, but she used to carry a wooden spoon in her purse. She used to beat our ass with that wooden spoon. But now our kids could go do anything they wanted to and get away with it. She’s got selective amnesia on the wooden spoon sticks. We’re gonna make her a holster for the wooden spoon because she had that thing on quick draw. She’s an old lady trying to get to heaven when grandkids. That’s all I’m saying. That’s all I’m gonna say about that. But so yeah I’m glad she. But I will say mom one hundred percent put us first all the time no matter what. We love you and we hope you think this is as funny as we do.


But anyway, grew up there, went to high school in North Kansas City. Our grandpa was captain for North Kansas Police Department. I thought I wanted to be in law enforcement so I started taking college classes, worked in armed security. And the more I worked arm security and was dealing with that sector of society on a nightly basis, in the two years I was doing it, I was kinda getting jaded already just by doing it and dealing with the same people every night and that’s about the time Kevin was down at the oxygen company. That’s working overnight’s, making no money and you know risking my life and just dealing with bad stuff every night. Kevin’s like hey come down here fill oxygen bottles. You know it pays more than what you’re making and you know it’s 4 in the morning till noon. So I went down there I didn’t give a crap about filling oxygen bottles but it was a good job. I was off by noon, deer hunting in the afternoons, fishing you know whatever. So, I had my afternoons off basically and did that for years. You went to pure air first. Right I went to pure air first I got you on at Hilget. Yeah you got me on at Hilget and then you got me on at Pure Air. I started filling bottles on the rack and it’s never ending because by the time you fill all the bottles that are over there here come trucks with more empty bottles. So there’s never a sense of accomplishment like you did anything. Are you the guy that can throw the bottle up in the air and stack them? No but I can spin too like a circus. Oh yeah that’s a good trick.


So my boss at the time had me doing delivery Because I was one of the only guys there that if you sent you out and pick up I would go do the delivery and come back and not go sit at Casey’s for 45 minutes. You know I’d go get my shit done and come back. So that turned in to be in a driver. Like my goal is to be the best guy no matter what I’m doing So if I’m working in the gun shop, I’m gonna say Brett’s the best guy in the gun shop What does Brett do that makes him successful and I’m gonna emulate that and I’m gonna try and figure out how I can be even better. That’s easy yeah Kevin doesn’t wanna do it. Well there you go. It’s pretty simple. So you can’t put Brett on your standards list here. So I kinda took that mentality and I was like alright this driver’s been here forever, what does he do well?  What does this guy do well? And got to the point where our driver manager’s left and they’re like hey do you wanna be the driver manager? You know again did really well with that and filled in on routes. Did stuff nobody else wanted to do. And there’s times where Kevin’s like look you’re getting taken advantage of and I was like yeah that may be so but I wanna keep moving up in the company and that’s the only way to do it. So I was ops manager there at a Helget for a while and our boss Jeff had left to go over to pure air. So it just got bad at Helget and he’d been trying to get me a leave for about a year. So, went over to pure air and when they had started seven years before that Mike Carr. And it’s funny because we had lunch with him and Rick not too long ago. But Mike Carr I remember call he called me before you ever went because Rick told him that I could fill oxygen and they needed somebody. So I had just started at Helget and Michelle, I think was out of work at the time, and I’d only been at Helget like three months and it was paying steady. And you know we had a house and everything. And Mike Carr opened up pure air and he’s like hey come have lunch with us. Come work over here. I’m like Kevin, you know I don’t know that I can go work for a startup company. With Michelle not working right now, I need something stable. This is stable and I don’t know if I can take the risks. So we completely blew off lunch. Didn’t think anything about them. So seven years later pure air’s growing. And I’m having to call the owner every day. Hey pure air took another one of our accounts and you know, so finally ended up leaving going over pure air and when I interviewed there, all they had was a driving spot open. And the vice president it’s like you were gonna leave being an ops manager to come be a driver. He’s like yeah you guys are growing I wanna work my way up and I’ll be one of your managers one day. And he’s like yeah whatever. So fast forward essentially did the same thing  and went was best driver there. He was like oh you’re just trying to make us look bad. I’m like man I don’t really care about you I’m doing my job and I’m gonna do it the best I can and I’m gonna go home. Um, so went through was in charge of FDA DOT OSHA, FEMSA, Missouri Board of pharmacy all these compliance. And if any of you have dealt with compliance it changes all the time and you’ve got all these different agencies and it’s always your. It’s a super, super high stress deal because you have to deal with audits from every one of these companies. And you know if to my knowledge and like just all the stuff that went into it and during that course I had a heart attack. So I wonder why, super stressed.


At the time I had my heart attack Kevin was like look I’m a figure out a way to get you here. And I was like you know that’s when you guys are doing your shop getting through everything. It’s like look, I never wanna come over and make it weaken the company. Well the thing is and this isn’t to downplay anybody but there’s certain people that can do be in the holster shop production stuff. And there’s certain people that can’t. Brett for one could not be a holster guy. No I would kill him as a holster guy and he would kill me let’s be honest. We’d be wrestling like beavis and butt head. Yeah he’s just gotta stay over in the gun shop. But for like you Kyle, you just had a different skill set and in all reality, you made enough money doing what you want that I could never, it had to be a skilled position to ever make it make sense. I couldn’t be like hey I’ll give you twenty bucks an hour and come make holsters you know that you weren’t in that situation. Right and it actually worked out because when I came over, we got the CNC machines and know it’s kind of like a god thing you know and I don’t attribute a lot to the god thing all the time but it is weird how stuff lines up.

So our mom worked for Butler Manufacturing and they did buildings and she was always talking about drafting and auto cad and you know all that kind of stuff. So when I got in high school the electives AutoCAD and drafting was elective classes that you can take. So I was like okay well mom talks about this and whatever and I would always good at art. I could always draw and always have that creative visual stuff.  So, freshman year I started taking Autocad as an elective. The teacher was an old baseball coach who taught drafting on the drafting boards and knew nothing about computer drafting, So he’s trying to teach us as he’s learning the system. Well I just naturally picked it up started doing it and you know like, the end of your first year you’re supposed to be able to draw a screw with the threads at the right pitch and you know all the bevels and everything. Well I figured it out in like a week and he’s like look, don’t tell the other kids but I will give you an A if you can draw whatever you want just turn in something every week help the other kids with their problems and you can take this class. So I took it I think it was three years or whatever as long as they would let me take that class and I signed up for it every year. Because I had on a Discman at the time you know we didn’t have the iPads. It was a CD player. I had my CD player and listed in the metallic or whatever. Well at the time you had no idea that you’d be making money off of this later. Well I am literally drawing like A-10 Warthogs and I love military planes. So I was taken to combat of these planes and figuring out the curves. You’re over there making Harry Potter’s wands and shit. Like I I’ve still got the print out and you know anyway but that was my introduction to cad. I took a little bit more in college just because I wasn’t quite sure but I needed to burn some elective classes.


So fast forward to Kevin calls me it’s like hey I’m getting these CNC machines. Well here’s the funniest part about this. Me and Brett ordered the CNC machines. We ordered the CNC machines 3D scanner, all of that shit, I had you in the back of my mind. I don’t know how one of us was gonna do it if it didn’t work. One of us were gonna figure it out. So I messed with this 3D scanner that we use now and I could jack with it but I don’t have the time first of all even if I had the brainpower, I don’t have the time. Between this normal business stuff, the YouTube, the marketing, employees I mean, I couldn’t devote the time to do it and that became a reality real quick. So we were already a hundred grand into CNC machines. We’re like well I should have leveraged for more salary with what I’m hearing right now. I think I’m gonna call my brother and Brett’s like well, I don’t know but I’m sure we can figure it out but it’s probably gonna take a while. I’m like yeah I’m gonna call my brother. So Kevin calls me and it’s on a Saturday. And you know I I’ve been looking to leave for a while and pure air was great. Mike and Rick those guys are great. But in all honesty, wasn’t Michelle a little bit hesitant? She was. And you know again because I’ve worked there for ten years and I knew that too at the end of the day plus with it being family.


That’s the question I get more than anything, how’s it working for your brother? I’m like it’s great. I think we get along good. I was his boss before and like he’s my boss now. The cool thing about us and no different than Brett and me. Brett and I are our friends outside the shop and we’re brothers outside the shop. Brett was maintenancing the skid steer at the house last night. I mean we hang out other than that. You just have to have clear boundaries of I never have to say anything to Brett because Brett knows what has to be done and expectations. It’s just the expectation thing. He knows if hey this does not work. If this does not make money, he knows it can’t go. So I don’t have a babysitter. Right. So it’s one of those things you get what you pay for in some employee as far as accountability goes. You’re no different. You know you know what has to be done. You know as roles change as far as like day to day employees, I’ve already backed out to a certain extent. You do all the hiring, all the stuff is now on you. Not completely. Not not quite I haven’t turned you over to him yet. Oh boy. That’s Julie’s. Yeah I wanna stick the wolf on you so you got accountability because you know at the end of the day, I’m not the person that’s never gonna show up. You guys all know that. Whether I need to be here or not I’m gonna be here. But the day to day stuff is your responsibility.


Like what Mike Carr always said and back then it didn’t make sense but it’s true. It’s like the closer you get to me the more I expect from you. So what we expect from a guy in the shop buffing holsters is different than expect from you or Brett. But everybody is on that same page It’s not a thing of oh just here. And I think that a lot of what we learned, especially at pure air you know Rick and Mike and those guys, they would be out there. Mike owned a multi million dollar oxygen company and he’d be out there fixing concentrators, he is out there scraping labels off the tanks. Yeah whatever it takes. Same thing with Rick. They are out running routes, doing stuff, fixing pumps you know all that stuff. And you know when we have guys now they see me you know I’m out there running machines, I’m out there folding, pressing heat and you know not all the time because they don’t need it all the time but you know not being afraid to go out there kinda show them that you’re there to help. Yeah and that’s a good thing and we’ve got a lot of young guys in the holster shop side that will take over some of that stuff as we go. Bob my father-in-law and Joe are the two older employees that are not on their way out you know but they’re not a career guys. They may be done having fun one of these days. I mean Bob may work till he’s dead. You know what I mean but they’re not a guy that’s gonna be here twenty years from now. So we got some young guys that can turn into that and that’s where it’s kinda cool to see is turning stuff over to him like Instagram and stuff.


One of the younger guys turned Instagram over to him like here you know more than this than we do Have fun And he’s killing it because you know but he’s got accountability too which is kinda how it starts like we said you and Brett when they have some accountability towards it they take it differently. And they get pride in what they’re doing and they can you know show their friends and be proud of it. Like I was talking to the guy that’s running our Instagram now it’s like, you realized this is a pretty good sized company and you know for what it is and you were in charge of one of the major social medias. That’s a huge deal and you should be proud of yourself. And he’s done good you know and being able to mentor the guys up and help him out like you talk about you know giving stuff to the customer making it for our employees where it’s not just a job but they can feel good about it. If they ever decide to leave and I hope none of them leave, but hopefully we can do the same thing that our mentors did. And you know they can go dominate and do whatever.Yeah I mean you’re  never gonna keep everybody for the life but I think we’ve got an environment that can induce that very easily as far as we have very little turnover in the picture. Yeah definitely.


So we are about an hour in do we wanna go over shot show real quick or wanna save that for next week? We can do a brief overview real quick. Okay so you guys went at the shot show in Vegas. So First trip out there I’ve never been to shot show and this goes back to kind of the discussion of up until this point you know we’ve gone from I think maybe a year or two years ago we had maybe what four or five employees. We have probably doubled employees over the last year or two. So before then, not that we didn’t wanna go to the shot show we just never could justify the time away because at the end of the day, we’re here for our customers. You know there’s some companies and even holster companies that are just four gun shops. You know they do wholesale stuff. Were more direct to consumer. So we figure if we leave them, they’re behind. So we never did. Well this year, and we even canceled the trip. We’re gonna go and then we’re like nope we’re not gonna go. And then finally it’s a Friday before shot show starts but the show itself starts Tuesday. Friday I’m like hey Brett tell your wife we’re going because I was gonna have you go too and I looked up tickets there’s only two tickets. On there and back. So I just booked them I’m like tell your wife we’re going. Well long story short. we left Monday night we left we flew and our flight is supposed to leave at 7 pm from Kansas City. You got delayed till like 11 something. We’re like well shit, we’re gonna get to Vegas at like 3 in the morning. Well, when that happened a bunch of flights cancelled so that’s when Julie got her ticket. So Julie ended up going with us. So we went out there and it was what I expected in some forms but not in others. Would you agree with that? Yes. It’s also my first time going. It’s really big. Really really big. I mean as far as you think going into details about it may be good for another the next one. So we can go into details on the next one. Okay so one tip you’re gonna have to give him is on rental cars and maybe what you should like plan to pay for rental cars. So this is where when I booked a rental car, I thought it was just me and Brett. So it’s the Friday before the shot show. And let’s mention rooms that should be $80 a night are $600-$700 a night. Can you imagine what they are for the Super Bowl this weekend? Yes even worse. So everything’s inflated. So then I get to a rental car, Go chiefs! Ideally if you’re going to Shot Show you wanna stay in the hotel that it’s in so you could walk up and down and be done. If we go back that’s what we’re doing, oh for sure, yeah convenience. I wasn’t paying $1200 a night. No way and for the rooms that were left was with one king bed so I ain’t getting in one bed with Bret.


Alright so we’ll fast forward here so rental car, they either had a luxury SUV which is like $300-$400 a day. So they have the economy compact. It’s supposed to be a Nissan Sentra. So I get on the this little app and they’re like oh yeah Nissan Sentra confirmed blah blah blah. So we get to Vegas and it ended up being like 11:00 pm in Vegas or something because our flight ended up getting back to a decent time. We get to the counter and the lady’s like okay yeah I got your car and I said yeah Nissan Sentra. She’s like…mini Cooper. So you went from Nissan Sentra to essentially the Erkel car It’s Mini Cooper Convertible. So it’s not the full size mini Cooper, it’s a little full on Austin powers one. So if this was just me and Brett it wouldn’t be so bad but Julie’s with us. We have three bags, we go to the trunk of this thing and there is no trunk. It’s about a six inch tall thing that flips over and our bag won’t even fit through it. So we’re like we’re gonna have to put the convertible down to get our damn bag in the back. It was it was epic. And you guys didn’t take big bags. You you carried on? Yeah we carried on.


So I will try to put a picture of me and Brett in this thing. We ended up going to the Hoover dam. We got pictures of me and Brett at the Hoover dam holding hands next to it because it was just that kind of car. So we’re at this and we’re going from the Airbnb that we ended up getting. Okay. Is like fifteen miles outside of Vegas because it was cheaper. So we’re driving and there’s somebody next to us with a nail in the tire. So he’s hanging out the mini Cooper, trying to tell this lady that there’s a nail in the tire, it’s big lifted truck. So anyways, I’m half laughing at him. In this mini Cooper I gotta bend down to see the stoplight. Oh my god so I’m bending down trying to see what going on. I ran the damn curve over. How we didn’t get high centered in this thing I mean literally ran it over and you’re grabbing the curve. The people behind us were sitting there dying laughing. Yeah it was I don’t know if they’re laughing at the skateboard size of the mini Cooper or me and Brett sitting in the mini Cooper because they can’t see Julie in the back. So we just look like a couple in the front of this thing. So the first picture I get of this is Julie sitting behind Brett and my driver seat was against the back seat. Oh yeah it was pushed all the way back. Our arms we’re touching, our shoulders were touching. We could hold hands without trying to hold hands There’s there’s no room anywhere in this car Which we’re not small guys anyways so it doesn’t make it any better. You guys look like you hit the gym pretty frequently. Hey this this is audio well except for the video, so I’m gonna edit a clip of this. He’s gonna get gym memberships out of the sponsorships guys. Well what is this the fitness place up the road probably like we need to sponsor them guys. Oh boy if I could only eat subway for lunch everyday it would be a lot better.


Well,  guys I think this has been a really good start to the podcast. I hope the people at home have enjoyed this hour. We’ve got a bunch of stuff we’re really excited to talk to you guys about. Anybody that’s made it this far, we just genuinely want to say thank you for listening. We’re gonna record these every week. It’s free. We’re gonna put them up on the our website under blog post and then we’re gonna put it on I think what Apple and Spotify. Any place we can post it. So we’re shooting for Apple,  Spotify Audible all the big ones. Post them up there weekly, if you have questions email us um, hit us up on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, we are gonna find a way to somehow give some merchandise stuff away whether it be these hats here or shirts or something. So we can figure out a way to do that. And you know if you see one of these hoodies or hats something you’d like to have, want to support the podcast, we’d love to have it. We’re getting some custom shirts made. You can see a few of our holsters on the table If you wanna know more about them you can check them out on the website. But guys great first episode. I look forward to doing more with you and for everybody tuning in, we will see you guys next week. Check us out, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and enjoy our intro and outro music by Quentin Cox’s Local Musician so if you like our music check him out too. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you guys next week. Thank you everybody. See you then!