Spotlight: Aker Leather committed to providing LE community with best leather gear
Supporting and supplying officers with gear that makes them feel good in the field is the company's ultimate reward
Company name: Aker Leather
Headquarters: Chula Vista, Calif.
Signature product: Duty gear signature line
1. Where did your company name originate from?
Our brand name is the last name of our family. Since every product bears our name, we make sure each one is made with the utmost attention to detail. We take pride in our legacy of quality craftsmanship, and we stand behind what we make and brand with our family name. Our logo is an adaptation of an original logo from the founder's previous business and was designed by one of his friends in the 1960s.
2. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?
Kamuran Aker, our founder, moved to the USA in the late 1970s after having run a successful leather goods manufacturing business in his homeland, focusing on women's fashion accessories. Upon moving to America with his family and selling his previous business, he started a leather belt manufacturing company. As our reputation for product quality grew, our company started to design western gear and eventually law enforcement gear. He found his passion in law enforcement duty gear and started winning large multinational contracts, which prompted him to commit to providing the law enforcement community with the best leather gear possible.
3. What is your signature product and how does it work?
Our signature line is our duty gear, specifically handcuff cases, Sam Browne belts, etc. Although you may think a handcuff case is just a handcuff case, we focus on details such as sanding and polishing the edges to craft a more finished appearance, so every product looks like a professional's best piece.
Our holsters, best exemplified by the 168 FlatSider XR12, are renowned for their incredible molding detail since each holster is gone over by hand to ensure perfection. The depth of our molding technique adds both security and aesthetic appeal. One of our mottos is "consistency is quality," because our goal is to focus on innovation but also to deliver the right product at the right price in the right amount of time.
4. Why do you believe your products are essential to the law enforcment community?
Officers need to count on their gear to perform and last throughout their career. It is frustrating to see officers use foreign made products that break down after less than a year or gear that simply looks unprofessional. Commanding presence includes having the best duty gear possible. Our average duty belt set up lasts 10-15 years, and we have customers who send us pictures of belts and holsters that they have used for 20+ years and are still in regular use. This is the kind of quality we feel good about putting our family name behind. More importantly, supporting and supplying these officers with gear that makes them feel good in the field is our ultimate reward
5. What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?
The advent of nylon gear and kydex holsters has made leather products seem "old school" to many people. However, leather tanneries and manufacturers are often using the most modern techniques, elevating a long-standing tradition into the modern age. We look at it this way: everyone has Nike's, but they also have a pair of leather dress shoes. It is not a question of modern, it is a question of style, function and professionalism.
6. What makes your company unique?
We are craftspeople first. We have perfected the art of manufacturing leather duty gear consistently for over 40 years and make regular incremental improvements to our existing products. Innovation for the sake of innovation is often overrated, sometimes your gear just needs to work. Even if a small adjustment to the curve of a holster to better cover the trigger guard is all the improvement needed, we take pride in those details. This may sound boring, but we strive to make boring sexy.
7. What do your customers like best about you and your products?
We have a well-earned reputation for quality, consistency and customer service. When we promise, we deliver, and our word means everything. This is why we have customers for life.
8. What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?
Supporting our nation's first responders is a responsibility we do not take lightly. Theirs is such a challenging profession and that we can make their work easier by providing them with exemplary equipment is an honor. We hear from so many officers about how much they appreciate what we do and the feeling is more than mutual.
9. Do you support any charitable organizations within public safety?
We support our local organizations such as the Chula Vista Police Foundation, San Diego Police Foundation, and LA Police Foundation, among others.
10. Is there any fun fact or trivia that you'd like to share with our users about you or your company?
Our products have been in your favorite TV show or movie featuring police officers, detectives, etc.