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Bristol Custom Solutions poised for growth

December 27th, 2011 5:26 pm by Staff Report

Bristol Custom Solutions poised for growth

BRISTOL, Tenn. - Bristol Custom Solutions is poised for "explosive" growth in 2012 with the introduction of a new product line, according to general manager Brandon Cantrell.

In February, the company is set to roll out a new line unlike any other available in the United States and, perhaps, the world. The product, Bristol Ballistic, is a custom-designed gun bag that is "bullet-proof, cut-resistant and fireproof" and also offers an interlocking safety mechanism.

Bristol Ballistic was created in partnership with an OEM client that had a request from the federal government.

"They (federal government) needed a way to secure firearms, and they also needed a way to ensure that during an accidental discharge that it didn’t cause personal injury," Cantrell said.

The gun bag designed for a pistol looks like a normal messenger or laptop bag. "When you are transporting the bag, you can lock and carry it discreetly," Cantrell added. "It looks like a normal bag, but you are carrying a pistol."

Founded in 1989 as Bristol Bags, a name it kept up until two years ago, the company was primarily a vendor to the banking industry for secure, locking bags used to transport money or valuables. The downturn in the banking industry had a huge impact on Bristol Bags, and the company’s CEO, Greg Carlson, realized the company needed to diversify.

Along with Bristol Ballistic, the company is also developing a dedicated line of medical bags. "We are working on a lot of new products, and we have great news to share with our employees and the community," Cantrell said.

With a current staff of 58 employees, Cantrell said, it has been the skill and dedication of the employees that has enabled Bristol Custom Solutions to move forward in diversifying their products.

"We take pride that we are a U.S. manufacturing facility," he said. "The amount of skill, labor and quality that goes into our products is unmatched in the industry. We have a great staff... a staff that is willing do whatever it takes to get the job done even if it means working long hours."

In addition to custom cut-and-sew and the company’s legacy line of bags, Bristol Custom Solutions offers screen printing and embroidery, custom signage, name plates and badges, and even offers import sourcing and oversees the entire customs brokerage.

Bristol Custom Solutions is a division of Block Inc., a family-owned company based in Wheeling, Ill. Since 1934, Block Inc. and its subsidiaries have focused on the banking, security and office supplies industry. Up until two years ago, all products produced by the former Bristol Bags were marketed and sold through a Block Inc. company.

With Bristol Ballistic and other new product lines, Bristol Custom Solutions will now market directly to the public through its website,, which is scheduled to be up and running Jan. 1, 2012, and other online sites like Amazon. The company is additionally doing direct marketing and sales to local businesses.

"Two years ago, we did not have a direct outlet. This has opened up the ability for us to expand and grow in the local community, and let people know what we do," he said. "Really when you think about it, everybody, everyday uses some sort of bag in some way, and we want that to be a bag manufactured in the USA by Bristol Custom Solutions."

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