Guns are a big part of life for many in the Tri-State area. They are a hobby, a useful hunting tool, protection and for Harrogate resident Josh Russell, they are a source of inspiration.
Russell has been working with the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office for nearly two decades. A few years ago, he was issued a new handgun that was not yet out on the market for regular citizens. He had no way to carry it comfortably, so he decided to make a leather holster for it.
“I cut it out of some scrap leather, sat on it for a while and started to like what I’d made once it got broken in a little bit. That’s really how I got started. I started carrying one and some of the guys noticed it, bought themselves one and it kind of went on from there,” said Russell.
He has practiced and perfected his art, even expanding to make guitar straps, rifle slings, knife sheaths and belts. He gives credit for his handiwork to his father.
“I had a dad that would build custom kitchen cabinets and I was always under his feet. I’m thankful, looking back now, that a lot of what he showed me are things I still use. I take pride in what I do because everything’s got my name on it,” said Russell.
He has a shop at his house where he works on his holsters. There, he spends a lot of time working hard, praying and thinking.
“It’s nice because I’m down there working and you’ve got a lot of time by yourself. You get to talk to the Lord a lot and, well, if you don’t keep busy and keep doing something, time will keep going,” said Russell.
Russell has also learned a lot while working for the CCSO as a detective for the past four years. He enjoys always doing something new and recently has been working several cold cases in the area which have led him to different locations in Tennessee, doing different things daily.
He has been married to his wife, Donna, for 19 years. Together they have a child named Katelyn.
His handmade leather goods can be purchased through his Facebook page, RussellMade Holsters, and he has expanded his business to sell at eight local shops and stores.
Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.