We are thrilled to team with the Wyoming Business Council to feature a Wyoming First business every week on our blog! Wyoming First is a program that promotes Wyoming member businesses. Visit their website (click here) to learn more about this service — and if you are a Wyoming business who’s not a member, be sure to inquire about membership! There are many benefits!
This week we are featuring Tom Balding Bits & Spurs of Sheridan, WY
After leaving the fast-paced life in California, Tom Balding moved to Sheridan, Wyoming. Being an avid outdoorsman he was drawn to the area after a visit to Sheridan. Tom admired the breathtaking scenery and limitless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. He takes pleasure in supporting his community and his days are full running the business, spending time with family and being involved in the community; however, he also takes time to enjoy the beautiful outdoors that captured him in the beginning.
Tom has always been drawn to working with metal. In 1984, a neighbor asked Tom to repair a broken bit — and that began his journey to Tom Balding Bits and Spurs. The business began with Tom putting together scrap sailboat parts to create the first bit design. He quickly learned through trial and error what was required of the bits in order to perform at the level his clients required. Tom decided to pursue bit and spur crafting full time and the process was refined into the high quality craftsmanship that Tom Balding Bits and Spurs is known for today.
For 15 years Tom ran the company as a one man operation. In 1998, a multiple winner of American Quarter Horse Association World Championships began using Tom’s bits. Word got around the western horse circuit; Tom sold his house and built his shop and began hiring his team, which he calls a small family.
Tom works closely with professional riders during the development of new products to make certain of their performance, and feedback is considered for the final designs. It can take up to a year before the final product is offered to the general public.
Almost all bits and spur orders are custom orders. They have a list of parts, finishes, and extras for their bits and spurs and people choose exactly what they want. People can order products via the website (www.tombalding.com), phone (307-672-8459), or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The base price on bits is $125 and on spurs $240. They can become as elaborate, and in turn more expensive, as the customer desires.
Along with the famous Tom Balding Bits and Spurs, customers can find belt buckles, bracelets, earrings, scarf slides, key rings and money clips on the web site and at the store. Tom and his team pay just as much attention to detail for these items that they do with the bits and spurs.
They were recently featured on three segments of Discovery Channels “How It’s Made” — one segment on spurs, the second on bits, and the third on belt buckles. Their reputation and customer base is worldwide.
Tom Balding Bits & Spurs offers tours Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm MST, which includes a walk through of each product’s process.