Thomas Tower

concealed carry, custom, custom holster, firearm, gun holster, holster, kydex -

Thomas Tower

An Interview with Thomas Tower: Owner of Grey Man Solutions

What gave you the idea to start Grey Man Solutions?

Well, that is a funny story, actually. I was going in for a job interview. I had my gun in a $150.00, high-quality leather holster. When I sat down across from the interviewer, the gun somehow came loose. I had to sit with it pressed against the small of my back and the back of the chair. I was trying to answer this guy’s questions, but all I could think was “how am I going to get this thing back in the holster without this guy noticing.” Thankfully, he got asked to step out of the office, and I was able to stick the gun down in my waistband. When I got home, immediately started researching how to make a firearm holster.”

That is wild! So what did you find out?

At the time (2011), companies had just started working with Kydex so there wasn’t a whole lot of information out there. PHLster Holsters was really the top holster company, and the owner, John Hampton, had made a YouTube video with a step-by-step guide on how to make them. I watched the first few minutes of the video, and decided I could do it myself. I ordered the materials from amazon, and made my first holster to fit my conceal carry- a Glock 19.


How did that go?

Well, I got the gun in fine, but then couldn’t get it out. I had to break the holster to retrieve my Glock! Turns out, I needed to watch the rest of John’s video to learn how to not get a gun stuck in the holster. So I watched it all the way through, and the next one was a success.

What did you find to be the most difficult part of the manufacturing process?

When I first started, there were no molds for the Kydex, and no custom hardware for holster assembly. I had to create my own molds using my own firearms, and I had to manufacture my own hardware. I also didn’t have any way to heat the Kydex, so I was using standard kitchen toaster ovens.

Wasn’t it difficult to control the temperature with a toaster oven?

There was definitely a learning curve, but at the time, it was just a hobby, so I was able to learn how to create what I needed efficiently. Eventually, I got a heat press, and that made the process much more efficient.


What did your work day look like after you started making these holsters successfully?

I was making holsters for friends, who told their friends. Word of mouth traveled quickly. It started as a hobby, but it was turning into something much bigger. In 2017, I launched the website, I built it myself on Shopify, not realizing how quickly it would take off. Before I knew it, 2018 had me working my full-time job as an electrician during the day, then coming home and working into the early hours of the morning to fulfill orders.

When did you decide to transition from your day job to your business?

In 2019, Covid hit, which meant my schedule at work eased up. I was able to get to jobs quickly because there was no one on the roads, and I had Fridays completely off. But I was still working all day and night to get orders out. I also did my first trade show and made about $700. I was approached by two large gun stores about selling the holsters in-store. But I knew I couldn’t fulfill large orders (they each wanted about 200 holsters) while I was working full time and running the shop. So I sat down with my wife in May of 2022, and we made the decision I would leave my day job, and take the business full time. I spent the summer of 2022 traveling to stores to pitch them my holster.

Did you see results from that summer?

Within the first two months, I had five stores selling the holsters. The crazy thing is, in June, my old company announced that it was shutting down in November. I would have been out of a job anyway, and would have been scrambling to get the business going full time right before the holidays.

That is really incredible. So what does your future look like?

Right now, I plan to continue to grow. I actually just finished building a warehouse on my property in October of 2023. I had outgrown the garage, where I previously built the holsters. The larger space means a more streamlined process. I want to continue to seek out retailers that have a desire to sell quality holsters and to grow my online business. Right now, I am enjoying the flexibility of working at home and being able to spend time with my family. I still work crazy hours, but I don’t have to squeeze them in between working as an electrician, being with my family, and sleep!

Thomas Tower started his business as a passion and grew his passion into a business. He has no plans to slow down. Order your custom holster now.

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