The Strange story…from Ed Strange himself.
Well… the basics of our working have been building something that was not dependent on others. We wanted to create a life for our family that we controlled. We could be true to ourselves and our kids, do what we loved to do, work hard (very very hard) and own what we built.
We started out fairly young.. married at 19. Lisa worked at a small town bakery full time for $150 a week.. and I worked for a brick factory in a small town in Texas. We were happy.. not much money, but we had what we needed.
Fast forward a few years, and we were in Michigan near Lisa’s family, struggling. Factory work didn’t pay, and we had our babies. Lisa had always been an amazing artist.. and she started doing artwork for a local tattoo studio, drawing flash for their walls for cash. Another local artist offered her an apprenticeship, and we took the chance.
Understand, at this time.. 1997… we had two babies, and I worked nights and watched the kids during the day, so Lisa could devote her days to her apprenticeship. She excelled… beyond all expectations. Her career in the Tattoo world took off like a rocket, so we decided I would be the stay at home parent.. taking care of the kids, house, etc.. freeing her to work.
That was the genesis of Wicked Grips. I started WG at my kitchen table between picking up the kids from the school bus stop and making dinner. I started my first website on a hand me down computer on dial up after showing my “hobby” to some friends on a gun forum. Slowly, over time, the business grew.. our reputation grew, and I was able to reinvest all my profits into building Wicked Grips as an actual business.. then a full time career.. then a small company that employed several talented folks.
At the same time, Lisa’s career had grown to the point where she needed her own company… and Strange Daze Tattoos was born. For the last 8 years Lisa had owned an operated one of the most popular Tattoo studios in Flint Michigan. Employing several artists, she continues to grow.
The best part is that our kids are both artists as well… Abbie has finished her tattoo apprenticeship and now is a working artist at Strange Daze. Kade, our oldest, graduated with high honors from art school this last spring, and is currently heading up our video dept as well as being responsible for all of our 3D modeling & new product design in our glock and spring plug lines.
Moving forward, Wicked Grips is adding new products on a continual basis, always trying to push the boundaries. We strive to be the trend setters.. thus why we limit production on everything we make. We CAN create new art and ideas, and so are not beholden to old ideas that we have to run into the ground years after debuting them. This way, we are always new. There is never a time when our product line will grow stagnant. We don’t follow trends.. we tr to create them, thus why some of our art seems to go against the industry norms. For instance.. we are not tactical.. we don’t claim to be.. and we don’t try to be!
By mixing both worlds.. Tattoo and firearms.. we are free and able to be creative on levels that most companies cannot keep up with. That’s our strength.
Thanks for your time..
Amy and Graham Baates check out a few limited-production grips by Wicked Grips on four 1911s. 1776, Cheetah and Asian Bird on a MAC Bobcut, a custom-built Springfield, and two from Rock Island Armory
Get your Wicked Grips at http://wickedgrips.com/
Photo courtesy of the Wichita Observer