The owners of Concealment Express LLC began making gun holsters in August 2014 inside a garage at CEO Benedict Jimenez’s Jacksonville home.
Co-founder Pablo Conde said they quickly scaled the business, filling 50 to 60 orders daily and moving to an 8-by-10-foot shed.
The company has grown to a 7,500-square-foot manufacturing facility and offices on 103rd Street near Cecil Commerce Center with 52 employees.
In 2020, Concealment Express filled 4,000 orders on its busiest day.
Conde, chief marketing officer, says when Concealment Express started, its research found a gun accessory industry full of enthusiasts making a specific type of safety lock concealed holsters but no one scaling the product to a mass market.
“So, over some tequila, we decided we’re going to put the pieces in place and turn it into an actual business,” he said.
“We realized this thing was going to grow as big as we could take it.”
Benedict, 39; Conde, 43; and 39-year-old President and CFO Sang Cho own the company.
Cho’s brother, Eun Cho, 41, is managing director of corporate strategy and development.
The four business partners grew up together in Florida.
Sang Cho said Concealment holsters are sold at 1,400 independent stores and 400 big-box retailers, including Academy Sports, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Scheels sporting goods.
Cho said Concealment also fills specification orders for several federal government agencies and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
The company sells its products in all 50 states and in 78 countries with distribution in Bulgaria, South Africa, Thailand, Poland, Belgium, Philippines, Peru and Chile, according to Cho.
Concealment Express is using market research to expand to women’s apparel with integrated concealed carry pockets, field triage kits and coffee, he said.
The company plans to open a Downtown Southbank showroom this year in the 15,694-square-foot former Dimension Design building at 1451 Louisa St.
Cho said it will be a demonstration space for its independent retailers to see better ways to merchandise and display Concealment Express products in their own stores.
“We want to create a showroom where not only we can show off our new products on a mannequin but say here are these prebuilt aisle stands you can take to your place and dazzle it up,” Cho said.