Jim Speidel began making holsters and other weapons-related leather gear in 1975 and was chief belt maker for an internationally known holster manufacturer from 1998 until 2004. Then in early 2004 he decided to strike out on his own and began making and selling gun belts out of his basement in North Carolina, quickly building a loyal customer base who recognized the superior craftsmanship, beauty, and durability of Beltman belts. Over the years, Jim and his crew made tens of thousands of DUAL-LAYER HEAVY-DUTY GUNBELTS for pistol-carrying people in law enforcement, the military, and civilians as well. But eventually Jim decided it was time to pass the torch and start enjoying his retirement years, so he put the business up for sale and began the search for a worthy successor to take the reins.
David and Rachel Giles from Alabama heard that the business was for sale, and first met with Jim in August of 2015. After getting to know Jim and his lovely wife, and after some tough but friendly negotiations, the deal was sealed.
David and Rachel already knew a good bit about belt making, and had a manufacturing background, but they wanted to be certain that they could make a gun belt that would live up to the legendary Beltman standards set by Jim. So David temporarily moved to Apex North Carolina to work as an apprentice in the Beltman shop and learn at the feet of the master. He worked on several hundred belts under Jim’s direct supervision, and by the end of March was able to make a belt that both he AND Jim would be proud to see the Beltman name on. During this period Rachel also made several trips to North Carolina to learn beltcraft, and after the apprenticeship period was over in late March 2016, David and Rachel moved the business to their hometown in Clanton, Alabama.
As the proud new owners of Beltman, David and Rachel are committed to honoring and upholding Jim’s legacy of exceptional craftsmanship and quality, while setting a new standard for customer service. So longtime Beltman customers and fans can rest easy knowing that their next Beltman gun belt will be as great as ever, and will still be handmade with extreme care, right here in America!