Category Archives: whip makers

“Rhett is hard to Get on the Phone…”

I recently saw a comment on Facebook similar to the title of this post, so I thought I should post a quick note about why that seems to be the case…Sunset_2007-1

During my career with Walmart Logistics, we had what was known as the “Sundown Rule,” meaning we were supposed to follow up with every request or question before the sun went down that business day. Now as a small business owner, I still try to hold to that rule, though sometimes I am unable to do so. With that, let me just say that if you’ve ever attempted to contact me and not received a timely reply, I apologize. Rest assured, such cases are the exception and not the rule.

Even friends and family members who have my cell number will tell you I’m hard to get on the phone. That’s normally because I’ve left my cell phone in the truck, it’s turned off, or the battery is dead.  For some reason, the last place they think to call me is the house phone, even though that’s where I am 95% of the time these days.

Some whipmakers don’t have a phone number listed for customers to call, but I have a business number that has been listed on my website for a long time. I want to be accessible. If you call during my normal business hours, I may or may not be able to pick up the phone depending on what’s going on. I could be in town getting supplies, or I may be outside turning something on the lathe. My answering machine is an el’ cheapo and it will simply pick up and say “please leave a message,” if you do and I can understand your number, I’ll do my level best to call you back as soon as possible.

Also, please understand that my business line gets a lot of  junk solicitation calls, so I don’t always answer it even if I’m here simply because I don’t want to deal with the scammers trying to get money out of me for some made-up charity for which they allege to be working.

It’s not as if I’m some recluse who doesn’t like to talk to strangers. Trust me, those who do get me on the phone will tell you that I’ll talk your arm off! In fact, I probably spend too much time on the phone. I’d probably increase my productivity by 20% if I didn’t allow phone calls.

What are the best ways to contact me?

  1. The absolute best way to contact me is to fill out the form on the Contact Page of That will “automagically” send me an email with your request and I am normally very prompt in replying to these. I prefer this method.
  2. Phone: Calling during normal business hours. You may or may not get me, but I will return your call as soon as possible.

What are the not-so-best ways to contact me?

  1. Facebook is the worst! Though I spend too much time on Facebook, if you are not already “friends” with me on Facebook andsend a message to my personal account, I may or may not see it if Facebook sticks it in the “other” folder. Even on my Rhett Kelley Whipmaker page, it’s easy for me to miss it. Please avoid this method if at all possible.
  2. My Rhettswhips at Yahoo dot com email account: Though I’ve had it for over a decade, Yahoo still has a bad habit of thinking initial order inquiries are spam, and it sends them to the junk folder. I’ve found customer emails in that folder that were several weeks old. So at least for the initial attempt to reach me by email, this is not the best option.
  3. Snail Mail: Sometimes I go for a week or two without checking my PO box, so this is the really, really bad way to contact me.

I hope this somewhat helps to clear the air on why I am sometimes difficult to reach. I assure you that I’m not really trying to hide from my customers. This is basically a one man operation and I can’t afford to hire a secretary at this time.

[Late edit: I recently got a message from a customer asking me to fix a whip after he tried in vain for weeks to get a response from the whipmaker who originally made the whip. Yet, believe it or not, the whipmaker’s phone number and contact info is listed on his website. I’m doing my best to see that such is never said of me.]

[Another, even later edit: Another not-so-great way to contact me is by leaving a comment on my blog or on my Youtube videos. Please try one of the better methods listed above before posting a comment to get in touch with me as I may not see the blog comment right away]

Watch a Master Make a Bullwhip

Whipmaking master, Bernie Wojcicki of Em Brand Whips, has recently made his whipmaking DVD footage available for everyone to see on Youtube.

Bernie works with leather, but lots of the basic plaiting and construction techniques can be used with nylon. I purchased his DVDs a number of years ago and gleaned many things that helped me improve my nylon bullwhips.

Here is the first of the 3 videos on bullwhip making that Bernie has now made available:

Whipmakers All Around.

A few days ago I was at the feed store looking around. As I started to pull through the parking lot to leave, I saw a man walking toward the store with a traditional looking cow whip in hand. I asked him if he made it and he said he did. His name is Billy, he is originally from Okeechobee, Fl. As you might imagine, we struck up a conversation, introducing ourselves to one another and talking shop. He said he knew of me, but he had no idea I lived so close to him.

What’s ironic is that there are now 3 confirmed Florida-born whipmakers who have moved to this part of Georgia,  living within 35 miles of each other: Billy, and K.J. Smith, and myself. I’ve also recently learned of a lady whipmaker in Nunez, GA (also in my county), but I don’t know any background on her at this time.

So, including my son Cordell, that makes a grand total of 5 whipmakers located in the counties of Emanuel and Candler.

When it comes to whipmakers, this part of Georgia seems to attract us like a magnet.

Whip Maker Meme

Gotta laugh a little.
Whip Maker Meme

Rhett Kelley Whips, LLC. & Thoughts on Liability

On 9 July 2012, the sole proprietorship commonly referred to as “Rhett’s Whips” was organized in the State of Georgia as Rhett Kelley Whips, LLC.

After becoming a full time whipmaker in May, I decided it was about time to further legitimize my whipmaking business. I went with an LLC (Limited Liability Company) because it is somewhat of a hybrid between a corporation and a partnership. It provides simplified management and  the liability protection of a corporation. The impact of this change will be minimal because the LLC won’t really change much about how I’ve already been doing business as a sole proprietor.

I mostly decided to go this route because of business liability. It’s something I’ve had on my mind for a long time. As whipmakers, we make a product that can injure someone. We hope people take our advice to wear safety glasses and protective gear, but I’d bet most don’t.

Sure,  most whipmakers put notices on their website saying their not responsible for any injuries or misuse, but how well will that hold up in court if someone decides to take legal action because Lil’ Johnny put his eye out with his new bullwhip? Probably not very well.

Today all business owners should be looking into ways of protecting themselves from business and product liability. You might look at your whip business as “just a hobby” and think that will protect you, but a personal injury attorney will see it differently. If you’re unprotected, all of your assets are at risk.

With an LLC, the members of the company are not personalty liable for debts or claims against the LLC. That combined with business liability insurance could potentially save lots of headaches in the future. Of the whipmakers I know personally, the only one I know for certain that has an LLC is James Emory of Classic Bullwhips. Ironically, getting protection for your business isn’t as expensive as you might think.

For those who have been thinking of forming an LLC or other corporation, let me suggest using I found their URL on a website where I go for financial advice and saved $330.00 over Legal Zoom! If you’re interested in forming an LLC, click on the ad box. If you want to save even more, enter the code “MNCRF” at check out and you’ll get a 15% discount.

Coming Soon: Whipmaking Kits and Coreless Paracord

I’m very happy to announce that I’m working out the details to be able to offer complete kits to go along with my whipmaking DVDs!

The kits will offer my DVD students the essential tools needed for the project, but without having to shop all over the web to find them. The kits will include: a cow whip handle, sinker cord, lacing needle, hemostats, fid, woodburning tool, and 500ft of coreless nylon paracord in one color.

The whipmaking kits will be available with or without the DVDs.  (The kit and DVDs together will cost $150.00 plus shipping. Separately, the kits are $100 each.)

Selling paracord is something I swore I’d never get into. However, I recently stumbled upon a deal that will allow me to offer my customers and friends coreless paracord at a good price. I will soon have available 500ft spools of coreless paracord in all the usual colors we whipmakers use.

While the coreless cord won’t be quit as cheap as the regular cord, the time a whipmaker saves having to pull out the inner stands will make it worth the extra price.

To keep things simple, I will only offer 500ft spools. I don’t have the time or manpower for getting into making custom cut orders. The spools will cost $35.00 each plus shipping. I am securing the regional flat rate shipping boxes from USPS in order to keep shipping prices as low as possible.

Though I’m going to be selling coreless paracord, I will continue to recommend all my original suppliers for your regular paracord needs as they can provide it at better prices that I can right now.

Until I get everything put together and added to my website, you can order cord and kits directly from me by calling or emailing me (See contact/order page). Stay tuned for more information. Domain Registered

I want to let everyone know that if they look up the domain, they will find themselves landing on my main website As of yesterday, I’m now the owner of the domain. This domain was previously owned by Ron Allen doing business as Loxahatchee Whip Company.

I registered the domain because it had expired and it doesn’t appear that Ron Allen is going to be returning to selling whips online for a while. The name  fits my website even better than because I now make more than just nylon cow whips.

I realize that perhaps some will see this as a case of opportunistic cyber-squatting, but I was able to get in touch with Ron recently and told him my plans. He had no problem with it and I told him that if he ever decided to get back into selling whips online, I would sell him back the domain. Had the domain fallen into the hands of someone else, there would be no guarantee Ron would get it back.

If linking to me, it may still be better just to use or, because until Ron tells me otherwise, I am treating my ownership of as temporary.

Have a great day!

Rhett Kelley

Whip Repair Video

The video below shows the steps I go through in repairing cow whips that people send to me. I don’t know who made the whip originally, but it was sent to me from someone in Georgia and as I was looking through my blog archives and realized this whip was probably made by whoever made the one featured in this article that was sent to me from Oklahoma. Whipmakers normally have their own signature styles and ways of doing things. In this instance, the handles look similar and the bellies were both made by taping cords together and instead of being plaited. This all leads me to believe these whips were made by the same person and I just happened to be the guy selected to fix them up. The one in the video was in much worse shape than its sibling.

The video starts out very blurry, but gets better after a couple of minutes and I am sorry for that. I had the camera on the wrong setting and didn’t know it until it was too late to go back.

If you have a cow whip that looks like this and need it repaired. I typically do these for around $35-45 depending on the damage. I don’t care who originally made it, if I can fix it and make it better, I’d be happy to do it.

Rhett Kelley

Whipmaking DVD Results: Noah’s Whips

I want to show some of pictures of the whips made by Noah A., one of my long time whip customers who recently got a copy of my whip making DVD.

Here’s some of what he had to say:

I thought I would give you a little feed back on your DVD.  I found the detail where to drop certain strands and plaiting in a odd number of strands very useful.  As I had been just waiting for the strands to start to bunch up before dropping two strands at the same time, always ending up with a  lump and gaps in my thong. It was quite frustrating, so your video was a huge help in that regard.

Here’s the Florida  Cow Whip that Noah made:

Now, some people think that because my DVD doesn’t specifically deal with bullwhips, then it is not useful for making bullwhips. That’s not a correct assumption. Most of the techniques I teach in regards to plaiting and dropping strands are exactly what I do with my bullwhips. Using Ron Edwards’ book and some other online tutorials, it’s not too hard to go from cow whips to bullwhips. So far, I have had a number of people to make bullwhips using my DVD combined with a the other resources. (And yes, there is a bullwhip making video in the works, but I do not have a targeted release date yet!)

Here’s Noah’s bullwhip:

Noah tells me he figured out how to make the bullwhip using the DVD and by studying the 6ft bullwhip I sold him last year. It looks to me like he’s done a really nice job.

There was time as a whipmaker that I saw other upstart whipmakers as a threat to my business and I would’ve never thought of giving out as much information as I do on my DVDs. After a decade online, I’ve come to a place where I know I cannot possibly make all the whip orders that come my way and I need other whipmakers to help me out. It actually makes me happy to see people being able to make nice whips using my DVDs.

For many of my DVD customers, they have already been able to sell some whips and pay for the investments they made in the DVD and whip making supplies! These folks didn’t just buy a “how-to video,” they invested in a rewarding hobby that will more than pay for itself in a short period of time.

If you’re interested in making whips for yourself or for profit, I encourage you to get a copy of my Florida Cow Whip Tutorial DVD today!

Email me at for more information.

To order, send $85.00 via Paypal to Rhettswhips @ or you can send a check or money order to me at:

Rhett Kelley
P O Box 261
Stillmore, GA. 30464



DVD Customer’s First Whips!

I have been meaning to share some pics and feedback on my whipmaking DVD, but I just haven’t had time. I’m going to try to get some up as I find the time. I have been getting some great feedback from folks that have bought the DVD.

Here’s a youtube video that one of my DVD customers made showing off the first two whips he made. Over the years I’ve seen lots of “first whips,” but I’ve been very impressed with how well my customers have been doing using my DVDs. Robert here has done a great job applying what I teach and I am very impressed with what he has done using my whipmaking tutorial DVDs.