The New Owners
Diamond Blaze and Howlin Wolf started in SASS in 2012, shortly followed by Ivy Wild. Diamond was in her junior year of high school. As a high school student her and Howlin Wolf needed to find some common ground so they had decided they wanted to try shooting. Now, Howlin Wolf has been in the military for 22 years and was a Federal Police Officer at the time so he wasn’t too fond of the idea of doing tactical shooting or anything of that sorts. We did some digging around and stumbled across Cowboy Action Shooting and learned that there was club only 30 min from us, the Colorado Cowboys in Lake George Colorado. So we went out and watched, which isn’t really possible as most of you know. By the end of the match Diamond had new guns and we were both hooked. Two months later Howlin Wolf made a bet with Diamond on wining her category at their first state shoot in Colorado. The bet was if she won junior girl he would buy her a new custom rig. After Howlin Wolf experienced the cost of buying a new holster (Diamond had a blinged out rig), he with Ivy’s help, decided to take up leather work to build his and later Ivy’s rig as well as many more. Shortly after this Ivy Began shooting as well and it truly became a family sport for us.
Over the years we really wanted to be more involved in SASS so, Howlin Wolf became the match director at the Colorado Cowboys but only for a few months. As we know, life gets in the way and Ivy Wild and Howlin Wolf eventually moved to Morgan, Utah after Howlin Wolf got a new job. This is where the leather business really took off and the level of carving and intricate work increased. Diamond would contribute to the designs as well as hand painting most of the designs that were created. So many cowboys and leather workers were always willing to give advice and share experience such as Slickbald, Colt Faro and of course Bob Mernickle. We began building rigs for fellow shooters as well as cowboy cuffs, seat covers, ladies full face dressy belts, and so much more. We truly started Howlin Wolf Leather as a small business. During this time Howlin Wolf was also the match director for the Wasatch Desperados in Kaysville, Utah. He went on to host their annual shoot two years in a row known as “Rampage”. Howlin Wolf turned this shoot from a one day event to a 4 day thriller. We had tons of old time stages and this shoot also became known for the famous train robbery where we all boarded the golden spike train (complete with a robbery and a gunfight) on the night of a banquet. It transformed these old shooters into little kids again. He also started the Devil’s Gate Gang in Morgan, Utah and was the club president while Diamond was the match director before we started a new adventure here in Fernley, NV (this club is still going strong and has grown to host a new Cowboy Fast Draw Club, The Promontory Point Posse, as well).
As many have heard the purchase of Mernickle Holsters was conceptualized during drinks at the bar during EOT 2018. Howlin Wolf was showing Bob some of his work and bob said “ I really love your work do you wanna buy a leather company?”. Well after many meetings the deal was done. Ivy, Howlin, and Diamond headed to Fernley, NV to start their new grand adventure. Bob and Wolf work hand in hand while he has been mentoring Wolf to help expand his skill set and learn the ropes the mernickle way. But most importantly shooters can expect the same quality and service they have received for so many years.
Diamond at the time was working as a registered behavior technician when all of this came about. Howlin Wolf and Ivy Wild presented the idea of joining them to her and she decided to take the leap of faith. Diamond took over the marketing department and sponsorship side of the company. She also applied her art degree to the company by contributing her artistic mindset to help build and create elaborate and intricately designed rigs. She has helped to contribute with the pattern design while learning from Bob and bringing her own new ideas into the works. One of the pieces depicted in this article of the hummingbird in a field of sunflowers was painted by her.