Custom Leather Holsters: Clover Rinehart’s Work of Heart

I know that I’m not the only one who can sit for hours, sifting through decorating ideas on Pinterest and homemade crafts on Etsy. There are so many amazing, clever, exceptional, and handcrafted gems to be discovered on these websites. These social pinboard and commerce sites are overwhelming and fascinating, all at the same time. They are also the first places I went when I was on the hunt for a creative and unique holster for my “wish-list splurge:” my Kimber Blue Sapphire Pro II.

Love it or hate it—and classify the Blue Sapphire as the dreaded “girl gun,” if you want—this personal defense pistol is a piece of art in and of itself, with its strikingly shiny, grooved, metallic silver and blue form. So I knew I wanted a holster that was made for this gun: something soft, so as not to scratch the finish, and something one of a kind, so as not to do this handgun a disservice. (That’s my story, anyway!)

During one of my late-night, online searches, I was lucky enough to stumble upon not just amazing, handcrafted designs, but amazing handcrafted designs by a fellow female who loves firearms! From painstakingly detailed zombie holsters that seem to have just lurched out of an episode of The Walking Dead to intricately designed monograms, floral patterns, and filigree, I was captivated by the variety of images and by the talent of Clover Rinehart, owner and designer with Pink Pistol Holsters. Offering specially designed leather holsters, belts, bags, bracelets, knife sheaths, and wallets, all of the products are handmade, from cutting the leather to putting on the final details, and each one, as Clover so aptly put it, is “a unique piece of heart.”

When I first contacted Clover about my holster wish, she asked me to share whatever ideas I had in mind, “as I like to incorporate things that make it special and personal for my customers,” she said. Looking back at the reply I sent, I can only laugh. It’s amazing that she created what she did from my weirdly basic and random thoughts.

Overall, I think this whole creative process is enthralling, so I just had to share, especially with those ladies (or guys) who are looking for something special for their firearms. Here is a little Q&A between Clover and me…and a little peek into the world of a fabulous—and fabulously armed—woman.

Q: How long have you been making holsters? A: It’s been about three years.

Q: Why did you get started? A:  I am always excited to encourage woman to get excited about personal protection.

Q: How many holsters do you make a year (approximately)? A: 200.

Q: Do you have more male or female clients? A: It’s about 80% female, then 15% men buying for their wives and 5% men buying for themselves.

Q: Why do you think people seek out custom, leather holsters? A: Everyone wants to show a little bit of personality. Gun lovers are no exception!

Q: What steps are involved in crafting a custom holster? A: It’s typically: set up a consultation with client, figure out the design, select leather piece, then cut, sew, shape, and dye/paint.

Q: How long does it typically take you, from start to finish? A: Approximately 2 weeks.

Q: What is your favorite part of the creation process? A: The design and the dye/paint. Both allow me to bring my clients’ thoughts to reality. I want them to be wowed!

Q: What’s the most unusual, fun, or interesting holster you’ve made? A: Your poppy holster and a recent steam-punk-themed holster. Both let me be free with my creativity and run with my ideas. I think the holsters that turn out best are the ones where the client gives me the idea…and then lets me take the reins.