By Deb Ferns
Navigating through a catalog of concealed-carry holsters is like going into a department store and looking for a pair of women’s shoes — the choices are staggering! Personally, I have over a dozen carry holsters, along with a few purses. Each was chosen for a different reason, usually relating to the model/caliber of the firearm and the type of clothing I wear each day. Two companies highlighted here offer something unique for women, considering these products don’t require a belt or vest.
Mike Christoff, owner of Sticky Holsters, brought his company to the marketplace in 2010 after spending 25 years in law enforcement. He had started to teach several concealed carry classes each month, and according to Mike, “I was looking to fill a niche part of the concealed-carry holster market with something simple, economical and comfortable. The Sticky Holster is made 100% in the USA out of a patented process utilizing rubber and polyurethane.”
Mike shared what makes the Sticky Holster unique for concealed-carry customers.
“Compared to a more traditional carry holster typically made from leather and carried on a belt, a Sticky Holster is specifically designed with no clips or loops.”
A Sticky Holster can be used ambidextrously, enabling your female concealed-carry customers to carry their holster in the back of their yoga pants or in whatever purse they decide to carry. Speaking from personal experience, I pair a Sticky Holster with my S&W M&P Shield for purse carry. While my purse is a hostile environment for a handgun (I admit there are a few pieces of gum and even a Jolly Rancher melted onto the holster), the gun itself is clean!
(In case the same thing happens to your customer: I learned from Mike cleaning a Sticky Holster is a simple process. Use Dawn detergent to wipe it clean, let it dry and the unit reinvigorates itself.)
Sticky Holsters are available in 30 different models and some include modifications for lights/lasers. According to Mike, “75% of the handguns going out of a gun store fit into eight basic models.”
Examining the Sticky Holsters I’ve purchased from dealers, the packaging stood out to me. They’re zip-locked in a plain, clear bag — meaning there’s no plastic clamshell packaging that has to be fought with to try on the product. For the retailer, this also means if a customer wants to open the Sticky Holster to examine the product and try it on, it can always then be resealed and put back on the shelf without an issue.
It’s a minimalist approach to stocking product, and with shelf space at a premium, will likely appeal to dealers. Available at a price under $30 per unit and with the potential for a multitude of uses (mounting inside a vehicle, in a nightstand or for daily carry), the Sticky Holster represents a unique carry option for customers.
Another appealing concealed carry option is the line of products available from UnderTech UnderCover. CEO Tammy Magill and her husband, Lenny, started this company in the late 1990s as a sideline to Lenny’s huge GlockStore presence in San Diego, which he started in 1986. (Side note: In an effort to better serve East Coast customers and conduct business in an industry-friendly state, GlockStore will be opening a second location in Nashville by 2020.)
UnderTech UnderCover began with a woman’s concealed-carry tank top and workout shorts, and it’s been growing ever since. As evidence of this growth, the Magills purchased their own manufacturing factory — enabling them to get quality control stabilized on their concealed-carry patterns, top fabrics and final products.
Tammy has worked in every phase of the concealed carry business, including as a product tester and customer service rep.
“The most important things in creating the ongoing success of UnderTech UnderCover have been quality fabrics, quality design and quality feel and fit,” she shared.
Tammy relayed her company has no concern about whether their products are the cheapest on the market. Rather, she wants UnderTech UnderCover concealed carry products to look fashionable, be extremely comfortable and the number one objective — by offering a wide variety of sizes, enable women to securely hold a concealed carry firearm.
On a personal note, I recently made the mistake of not purchasing the company’s concealed carry executive tank for a trip to Israel and Jordan. It would have been perfect to hold my passport, plus a small wallet, even my backup cellphone. I’ve sinced purchased the longer tank top — it’s a great accessory under a variety of outfits, plus I’ll admit it definitely has a slimming effect and is comfortable to wear as well!
Another one of my favorite picks from the UnderTech UnderCover conceal line are the bootcut leggings. They look a little dressier than regular yoga pants, which has allowed me to wear them to various business meetings and speaking engagements. (On the theme of yoga pants, the zip pocket leggings also made the cut into my shopping basket.) Each of the items that eventually made it home with me boast exceptional workmanship, along with a very comfortable fit for a variety of my concealed carry firearms.
Bottom line for dealers: Always be on the lookout for companies committed to serving their retail partners by developing product with innovation and versatility, as well as delivering on quality.