Behind the winning formula of the Houston Douglas epaulettes



Ryan Huntsman gives KHOU 11 News a behind-the-scenes look at how his epaulettes are made and what he believes sets Douglas apart from the competition.

HOUSTON – Before the pads cracked, it was the manufacture of shoulder pads by Douglas Pads & Sports, a small company in Houston, with a big stake in the game.

“To the best of our knowledge, we are currently the No. 1 pad in the NFL,” said Ryan Huntsman, COO of Douglas Pads & Sports.

Huntsman gives KHOU 11 News a behind-the-scenes look at how his epaulettes are made and what he says sets Douglas apart from the competition.

Outside, Douglas Pads is your base building. Inside, however, the lobby is filled with epaulettes used by some of the company’s most famous – and satisfied – customers: 19 Heisman Trophy winners and 10 Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award winners.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff wear Douglas pads.

However, the pads used by Brady do not appear on the lobby wall.

“After his first Super Bowl MVP (award) we reached out to him to see if we could get him in, he said, ‘I think I still have a few left,'” Huntsman explained.

Douglas’s winning formula?

That hasn’t changed much since the Douglas family switched from bulletproof vests in the mid-1980s. It starts with splitting the fabric; sealing and stitching.

So, what sets Douglas epaulettes apart from all the rest?

First of all, it’s something Huntsman calls “air management technology,” which helps disperse the energy of impact throughout the cushion.

The pads are also made in the USA.

But perhaps the most important thing is this: the people.

The company has around thirty employees. He once had the capacity to make five tampons a day; now he can produce 250, in a day, if needed.

Almost all the work is also done by hand, thanks to the experience of the staff, which is combined 350 years.

The next time you see the word “Douglas” during a game, you will now know the name and all the foam, fasteners, plastic, and pride it has in the game.


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