Have you ever heard of Moldova? It is one of Europe's poorest countries and formerly part of the Soviet Union. Back in 2002 Brig Taylor went to Moldova to teach English and while doing so he made friends with some of the folks in the country's small but unified military including an older gentleman by the name of Oleg. Oleg took a few English classes from Brig and would always tell amazing stories from World War II.
-One day after class Oleg approached Brig and said "I have a gift for you"-
Oleg recounted some stories from his "glory days" including a detailed description of his military uniform and then out of nowhere he pulled up his shirt and began to unbuckle his belt. Brig was shocked to see him whip off the belt --until he realized that Oleg was graciously giving him the very belt off his waist, which was a ratchet belt without holes.
After parting ways with the beloved people of Moldova Brig began to think that with a few alterations and modifications, the ratchet belt he received from Oleg could become quite popular. So, Brig tried to source the belt and test it with family and friends. Although everyone loved the belt that Brig had designed, there were two problems that needed to be addressed:
(1) The mechanism would still "catch" on the leather, sometimes causing frustration for customers; and
(2) There were foreign patents for this buckle and I did not want to run into legal problems.
So, Brig had to improve the design, both for his loyal customers and to create a product that he could call his own. From 2007-2009 he worked hard at redesigning the concept from the ground up while preserving the simple idea: a leather belt that you could fully adjust. The product qualities would be the mantra for my company: SIMPLE. STYLISH. SLIDING.
With the help of college professors many improvements were made to the original concept, specifically the buckle mechanism. The buckle would now be of a stronger grade metal, spring-driven instead of magnet, plus he made the buckle removable from the leather so the buckle would be interchangeable with different color leathers and buckle types. These changes allowed Brig to grow the product and the company to almost limitless possibilities.
Brig and his wife Michelle spent a summer traveling to Armenia, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Italy, and other locations until they found a manufacturer who could produce a quality product. After a few failed prototypes, delayed productions and belts that just weren't up to Brig's high standards, Brig finally received a product he was proud to stand behind and to call a SlideBelt. SlideBelts was officially formed as a Utah LLC in 2007 and today SlidBelts, Inc. is a California corporation headquartered in El Dorado Hills, California.
As of September 2013 SlideBelts is awaiting patent approval on their proprietary buckle design, which is what sets SlideBelts apart from any other belt on the market today.
Variations of similar belts exist all throughout the world--ratchet belts, hole-less belts, clickbelts, and others--but in they are inferior in every way to SlideBelts.
(Brig and Michelle during a summer 2013 order; 2008 newspaper article showcasing Brig pitching SlideBelts at BYU's Business Plan Competition)
OK, but what is a SlideBelt?
What is this "SlideBelt" I hear so much about? It is a leather belt that lets you freely adjust the size without the limitation of holes in the leather. It is an Eastern European style belt that has no holes, but uses an automatic buckle instead--making it fully adjustable. This type of belt is called a Slidebelt; simple, slick, and stylish. A SlideBelt is a leather belt without holes. Instead of holes, we have a row of notches or teeth, sewn into the back of the leather. When you put a SlideBelt on you slide the leather through the buckle and the buckle catches on these individual notches.
Traditional belts have only five holes, giving you only five sizes – unless, of course you start poking your own holes. But with a SlideBelt, the notches give you over thirty sizes. To release the buckle and adjust or remove the belt, simply lift the frame. After going through several versions of buckles and improving the mechanism we finally created a belt we were proud of. Other adjustable belts have awkward release levers that just get in the way and ruin the overall look of the belt. But we decided to make the release mechanism part of the buckle face – creating a sleeker and simpler design that is much easier to use. We also know everyone loves variety so we made the buckles interchangeable – simply push the leather in and out of the buckle to swap out different leather colors or buckle styles. Why poke holes in a perfectly good piece of leather? Use a sleek sliding one.
SlideBelts Customer Support: 888-SLIDE-11
SlideBelts Fax: +1 (916) 527-0822