Low Ready Origin Story
Low Ready began with a problem.
Actually, Urban Gear Guys, our original company name, began with a problem, but I'll save the story about our early name change for another time.
Well, thinking again, we had three problems. All three needed to be solved and we couldn't find the products that fixed then the way we thought they should be solved.
So, we are creating three products that don't currently exist.
I think most great companies start that way. You experience an annoyance that you think, "surely someone else has had this problem and fixed it." When you go looking, you realize that no one has fixed it - and you decide to do it yourself.
When you can't find the solution, you think, "Am I the only person who has this problem?" You ask around and find out that, no, other people have the same problem and would love to find the product that "scratches that itch."
Now, here is where most business consultants would say you need to do big surveys and find out if your idea is truly needed in the world. I just don't have the patience for that. If I have the problem and I look around me in the world and see that others have it too, that's good enough for me.
Instead of market research, I'd rather spend the money on the development of a minimum viable product (an MVP as I've come to learn), offer it for sale and see how the world reacts.
We'll be finding out soon if that reaction is crowds or crickets.
Problem #1: T-shirts look terrible under uniform shirts
While I was a police officer with LAPD, I was constantly looking for the perfect t-shirt to go under my uniform. In 27 years I purchased no fewer than 30 different brands and types to find one that worked well. None proved worthy of the money I spent for them.
The problem is that most t-shirts these days aren't meant for looking good under a uniform - they are meant to look good worn alone with a pair of jeans and sneakers - often untucked.
The neck holes are too large and the torso length is too short in order to look good untucked - exactly the opposite of what you need if you're wearing it under a police uniform and body armor. Body armor tends to pull the neckline down and can often disappear below the top of the ballistic vest, or at the very least look unkempt. During a foot pursuit, arms and legs are flying everywhere, causing the short t-shirt to come untucked underneath. And finally, the t-shirt sleeves can often poke out below the uniform shirt, looking sloppy.
The Low Ready Uniform T-shirt will have a tighter neckhole, a longer torso and shorter sleeves. It will be made specifically to look squared-away under a uniform shirt.
Problem #2: Men's casual button-down shirts aren't designed to conceal a firearm
While I was in search of the perfect uniform shirt (that would also look great under a casual, short-sleeve button-down shirt) I was also on constant lookout for the perfect EDC (Every Day Carry) shirt to conceal my firearm off duty.
I normally wore an outer waistband holster on my hip and have always had a difficult time finding shirts that were sized properly at the shoulders but long enough to conceal my Glock Model 22 (.40 cal). Today's casual shirts typically rise up on the sides - at the exact place you need extra length to conceal your gun.
The Low Ready EDC shirt will have a slightly longer torso, sewn flat across the bottom, and pull-away snaps on the side seams for quick access to the weapon in an emergency.
Problem #3: Straps on laptop bags are always in the way
When we traveled, we occasionally stored my firearm in the holster and placed it inside one of the pockets of my laptop bag. It would inevitably sink to the bottom and be difficult to retrieve. I wanted a laptop bag that had molle on one of the inside pockets so that I could attach a holster to it, keeping the gun upright and easy to retrieve.
While we were designing the bag, we thought - what about getting rid of the shoulder strap when you didn't need it but have it quickly available when you did?
How many times have you put your laptop bag under the seat in front of you on the plane, only to have the shoulder strap come out into the aisle, causing a tripping hazard. I would be constantly kicking the strap back under the seat in front of me.
We've always hated how the strap just dangles under the bag when you're not using it, ready to grab onto something like a chair arm and send you flying backward as you continue walking.
The vertical laptop will have molle inside for attaching anything you desire, including a holster.
It will also have a retractable shoulder strap that conveniently disappears into the bag when not in use.
Low Ready will solve many problems, but we are starting with the three that we want to see solved for ourselves - and we think others will too.