The Story of JB2 Leather
More often than not, I get asked, "how did you get into leatherworking?" My full-time job for the last 15 years has been a police officer. Though many years ago, I was gifted a single action revolver. When I was younger, the Single Action Army revolvers and percussion 1851 Navy revolvers had been something I had admired. So, a friend's dad gave me a single action Ruger as a wedding gift. Now it was time for a gun-rig. I searched high and low for one that was perfect for ME.
I scoured the internet for weeks and couldn't find the ONE. I knew I would have to have one made. And then something happened. I stumbled across an Al Stohlman book on Amazon. After reading that book, I went off to the nearest hobby store to grab some leather and get started on my new rig.
I decided to practice a little bit before my new tools came in the mail. So, with a fork, two leather needles, and some thread, I sort of made a sleeve for a compact 1911. It was awful. Just, awful. I sent a friend the picture and he was kind enough to lie to me. I tossed it in the trash and went back to researching and reading. I read more books and more websites and watched more videos in the first month of my new hobby. It was then that I found a pattern for a handgun that was pre-made. The confidence raged through my veins. I made a pancake holster for one of my my friends and after showing it off, I got requests to make more. I charged just enough to pay for the leather for the next project. I built the worst 4 foot table that had ever been built and let the orders pile up.
I eventually started taking a good bit of orders and even had a local sporting goods store order 10 of my holsters to put in their store.
The LLC Is Born
Once I had my products in the store, it was time to become a real business. The name, JB Squared comes from my first and last initials, and my wife's first and last initials. Because none of this would happen without her. She's the brains behind the designs. Behind the websites. Behind the custom paint jobs. But most importantly: Behind me. Without her support and encouragement, I would have thrown my tools away a long time ago. And all of this while raising our two children.
I bought a Tippmann Boss Hand Stitcher to complete my sporting goods store orders and as much as I hated that machine, it made my life so much easier. A few years later, I upgraded to the Cobra Class 4 sewing machine from Leather Machine Company. Highly recommended, too, by the way. I have become spoiled with this machine.
After opening up orders to the public, but being a mostly "word of mouth" advertiser, we're branching further out. Not only branching out from holsters and magazine pouches and belts, but now we make bags, notebook covers and padfolios, badge holders, rifle slings, and so much more. "Can you make" has turned more into a challenge than a question.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and getting to know about our little family and operation. Just about everything we make is made to order, made with quality.
Finally, in March 2020, as a late birthday gift to myself... I made that cowboy rig I always wanted.