Stay in the handgun game long enough and you will eventually accumulate a bunch of holsters you no longer use. It happens to all of us. But where you may see a drawer full of used holsters, Kris Garren and her adult daughter Gabrielle (Gabby) Garren of Powell, Ohio, saw a business opportunity.
NRA Family: Please describe your business.
Kris: “We offer pre-owned, gently used holsters, as well as new overstock and discontinued holsters at a value price to the consumer. We also offer a holster buy-back service for customers who want a little extra cash for their seldom-used holsters.”
Gabby: “Our online business is a website where you can buy, sell or donate holsters. We try to make these processes as simple as possible, but we definitely need feedback from our customers on how to improve. We also enjoy answering questions that people have about our website, our holsters or any other concerns. Talking to people in the concealed-carry community is something we really enjoy.”
NRA Family: How did you both become interested in the shooting sports, especially hand-gunning?
Kris: “I was influenced primarily by my husband, Jeff Garren. He has a handgun history in both the military and law enforcement, and is a strong Second Amendment advocate. After I obtained my concealed-carry permit seven years ago, Jeff and I (both NRA members) began attending firearms training opportunities on a yearly basis, as Jeff has a passion for keeping his self-defense skills sharp. That training then progressed into participation in various handgun competition sports such as IDPA and USPSA.”
Gabby: “I was influenced by my parents. As a teenager, they signed me up for a couple of shooting classes and I always knew that my dad carried concealed. As far as competitive shooting sports, that isn’t necessarily my thing. But I do have an interest in being able to defend myself and my friends or family in a crisis situation and being self-reliant when it comes to my safety. I’ve also become a range safety officer for my mom’s Well Armed Woman local chapter, of which she’s president.”
NRA Family: How did you get the idea for your new business?
Kris: “Years ago I had kids in sports and I also love to snow ski so we would frequent a local business called Play It Again Sports that sells used sporting equipment as well as new equipment of previous years’ models. In addition, we shopped at clothing resale stores. I began noticing that most everyone in the handgun sports talked about their ‘drawer full of holsters’ and it occurred to me that there weren’t any resale outlets for holsters as there are for other sporting equipment. So I saw this as a great business opportunity and was eager to give it a go. As Gabby and I began discussing the idea for our business we both became very excited because it seemed that it had so much potential to succeed, as well as provide a service to the Second Amendment community.”
Gabby: “I had just recently graduated from college with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, and had a dream of owning/running my own business someday. I always knew I wanted to create something and be my own boss; however, before my mother came to me with this idea I had no clue what I would do. After Mom explained her business idea to me, I thought it was simple enough to succeed, yet didn’t require a large capital investment up front. So I agreed to become her business partner and started working on designing our website the very next week.”
NRA Family: How do you obtain your handgun holsters?
Kris/Gabby: “We work with local gun shops to identify opportunities for buying overstock or discontinued models. We also hold holster buy-back days at local gun stores, such as Black Wing Shooting Center in Delaware, Ohio, to obtain pre-owned holsters. In addition, our website provides instructions for customers to send us their used holsters to be considered for cash reimbursement.”
NRA Family: What brands of holsters do you carry?
Kris/Gabby: “Our stock changes frequently, but presently we carry brands such as Blackhawk, Crossbreed, Tagua, Desantis, Gun Tote’n Mamas, Safariland, Galco, Raven and Remora.”
NRA Family: What amount do most of your holsters sell for?
Kris: “We have a pretty large price range, which starts at just seven dollars for an inexpensive nylon holster and can go up to just over $100 for a GTM purse or shoulder holster. But our average price is in the 30- to 40-dollar range for new holsters. Used holsters are priced even lower than that, about 20 to 30 dollars.”
Gabby: “We try to set our prices as low as possible. How low we go varies widely, depending on how we acquired the holster. Holsters we obtained from businesses tend to result in a higher price than those we obtain from individuals. However, we set our prices as low as we can in order to give our customers good value yet still make our business profitable.”
NRA Family: How can someone sell you a holster?
Kris/Gabby: “There is a page on our website that provides instructions concerning that. If someone is interested, we will send them a shipping label and they can mail their holster(s) to us so we can evaluate the item and determine its reimbursement value.”
NRA Family: Does your business cater to both men and women?
Kris/Gabby: “We are a female-owned company, but yes, we cater to both men and women.”
NRA Family: What is the most-asked question(s) about your business?
Kris: “We are usually asked questions related to our stock of holsters and specific items a customer might be in the market for. The nature of our business is such that our stock continually varies, so customers should check our website often to see what’s new.”
Gabby: “Questions concerning our holsters are definitely the most asked. However, it’s not only the type of holsters we have, but also questions about how a certain holster fits a specific handgun. Our family owns a sizeable number of firearms, so we can usually take the holster in question and see how a particular firearm fits it.”
NRA Family: What future plans do you have for your business?
Kris: “In addition to holsters, we would love to expand into other products within the shooting sports and CCW community such as belts, clothing, competition shooting gear, eye and ear protection and tactical bags.”
Gabby: “My hope is that we are able to greatly expand in the future into a much bigger enterprise. I would love to be able to have a very large selection of holsters for our customers to choose from. We also hope to create a loyal client base in which we nurture connections with shooters across the country.”
NRA Family: What has been the most difficult part of beginning your business?
Kris: “Starting any new business has many hidden challenges that you don’t know you’ll encounter, but the biggest issue we’ve faced is getting the word out to the community of folks who would benefit from our products. Also, we are finding that it is relatively easy to acquire holsters by simply contacting businesses in the firearms industry, but it is much more difficult getting traffic to our website to purchase the inventory we have obtained. In other words, appropriate advertising is key, and we are still fine-tuning that part of our business.”
Gabby: “Our next goal is to get a YouTube channel up and running. We also have a social media presence on Instagram, Facebookand Twitter, so please give us a look. We’d love to sell you a new or used holster or buy one or more of yours!”