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In 2010, Jon Hauptman began broadcasting out of the spare room of his South Philadelphia row home for his experimental YouTube channel, PhillyEDC, working with Kydex materials. Hauptman filmed his experiments, talking through his failures and successes as he explored the capabilities of the material. Over time, PhillyEDC became the favored resource for aspiring Kydex holster makers with millions of views and subscribers. As Jon expanded his knowledge and created newer, better, and more reliable holsters, viewers took notice and subscribers, friends, and family started requesting custom-made holsters from the channel.

Eventually, the demand for custom, quality holsters surpassed the production capabilities of Jon’s spare bedroom and prompted the founding of PHLster in a basement workshop in Kensington, Philadelphia. While continuing to make tailored, custom holsters on site for walk-in customers, PHLster simultaneously developed a popular line of slim, functional, IWB holsters, made with in-house vacuum forming and CNC processes.

Unable to break free of an ever-growing backlog of orders, PHLster underwent a complete restructuring in 2018, partnering with The Activity Group to streamline inventory management and fulfillment. Additionally, PHLster partnered with Henry Holsters to help manage production at scale.

Since 2018, PHLster has continued to grow exponentially. In 2020, PHLster entered into a strategic partnership with RuncibleWorks—an elite team of concealment gurus with more than a decade of experience in making advanced concealment wear—to develop new, deep-concealing, and customizable holsters and concealment products. Today, PHLster continues to engage in their original mission of firearms education at events such as the Active Self Protection National Conference, A Girl and a Gun National Conference, and more—all while still producing innovative, top-selling quality holsters and accessories.

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