Steamboat Living: TALON gaining traction
While Steamboat’s entrepreneurial spirit is exploding, one local company is setting its sights on products built for such combustion.
TALON Grips, a company based in Copper Ridge Business Park, targets law enforcement officers and other gun users desiring enhanced grip for their firearms. And sales are quickly gaining the traction of its products.
The company got its start when current President Mike Morris’ best friend Derik, a boat sheriff on Lake Powell, noted that sweaty hands made for slippery firearms. Harkening back to his skateboarding days, he decided to improve his gun’s traction by covering it with grip tape. The plan worked, and in June 2010, he filed for patent rights on the single-piece wraparound adhesive design.
After Derik passed away in 2012, Morris and his wife, Gillian, have kept the momentum going. Starting in a guest bedroom as an Internet-retail-only operation, TALON now has six employees and offers 126 different gun model grips in two textures, with 75 U.S. retailers, and three international distributors.
“We never could have imagined it would grow so quickly,” says Morris, adding that the company has expanded its grip-enhancing offerings into the world of iPhones, as well. He adds that they also have several new product ideas but that they’re being careful. “As a coach once told me,” he says, ‘“Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.’ We’ll never forget where we started.”
TALON Grips ships its products across the country and around the world. Its users can install the grips themselves in a matter of minutes, and customers have made hundreds of YouTube videos and thousands of blog posts on firearms forums. The company provides grips for law enforcement and the military, as well as competitive and recreational shooters, all to rave industry and consumer reviews. Morris, who spent six years in the U.S. Army Reserves while finishing school, says he owes it all to his employees and a consultant team consisting of manufacturing, retail and firearms instruction experts as well as members of law enforcement, special forces and even SWAT teams.
And despite moving out of Steamboat once for Gillian’s former job, they’re now here for good. “Steamboat’s our home,” says Morris, whose company donates a portion of profits to various charities. “When we moved, it didn’t take us long to realize we’d rather live in the mountains and visit the city, and have a few hours of vacation every day to mountain bike or ski than live in the city and use our vacation to do these things. The mountain lifestyle, opportunities to raise a family and friends and community are pretty hard to beat.”
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