Wicked Grips blog
What goes into the making of a custom grip?
Unless you work in the custom field.. cars.. bikes.. guns… its hard to understand all the work, and costs, that can go into the making of something “custom”. Sadly, the first issue that comes up for most is the word “custom”! It gets used often.. but is rarely true. Custom pieces.. parts.. are not mass produced by the thousands in a factory. At best.. real custom parts are made in small batches… or one by one, each one receiving some form of work by real human hands. Factories like to claim the moniker of “custom” in their advertising.. but what they truly are is “Aftermarket”… and there is a world of difference. While they might exhibit acceptable levels of quality, they will not be unique. They will also usually exhibit the cut corners that every mass producer must build into their products to maximize profit over cost.
Custom costs more… because we have to spend more. We have to put more money into higher grade materials… higher levels of fit and finish work… lower levels of production, where the cost of production is no longer spread across thousands of cheaper pieces… but instead absorbed into the cost of 50. Time.. craftsmanship… creativity.. artistry… are all put into a part that is rarely seen coming from a factory, yet, even at a higher price, the profit margin is much lower for the custom shop owner. They have to accept love of their job as part of their payment… instead of simple cash.
The upside of custom work is true individuality. Unique parts that cannot be found elsewhere at the same level of quality. While there will always be knock off versions of custom shop’s work.. it is never the equal. Custom shops have the ability to create.. therefore be on the cutting edge of whats new. Copycats can only wait and see whats popular, then jump on the bandwagon with a cheaper, and usually much less quality version. Funny but true, even I receive emails from factories in China.. Korea.. Thailand.. asking us to buy their knock off versions of my own work! No shame in their game.. but, we win when we continue to create the new… while others scramble to make and sell what we did years ago. Heheh… remember that the next time you are cruising 1911 grips on ebay, and see a half skull face on a set of grips, something we did 5 years ago… only to see other trying to imitate within a year. Flattery I guess. The pic below is our 5th version, as the first 4 series were so popular, even used in feature films.
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