Our Story

In 1987 Correctional Officer Paul Nigh started his career at the newly opened Kings County State Prison that was almost immediately renamed Avenal State Prison (ASP).

In 1989 the prison conducted a talent search for an employee to design the official belt buckle for the institution. Missing the deadline to enter into the contest, Paul decided one day to pass his ASP design around the institution to see if there would be any interest in it. To Paul's surprise there were 40 officers that day that wanted to purchase his ASP buckle. 12 weeks later when the order came in, Paul took them to work and located 12 officer's that had placed an order with him. By the end of his shift that day he had over 90 more orders placed. Paul's design was a simple one of an oval buckle with a rope like trim with a circle in the middle that housed a three-quarter sized replica of the officer's badge and draped on both the right and left sides were the California Republic Flag and the United States Flag, which is still being used to this day.

But what set Paul's buckle apart from all other company's was, that each buckle was personalized with that officer's individual badge number for no extra charge. A treatment to excellence that we still follow today and will forever. It was also possible to have personal engraving on the buckles back as well. ASP was the first to commission Paul to create a Lapel Pin for the ASP Honor Guard.

Within no time CDC BUCKLES had produced over 350 belt buckles for ASP to staff including Sergeants, Lieutenants, up in rank to the Warden. With a risk of upsetting supervisors that had already purchased a CDC BUCKLE, Paul decided to create a buckle that supported a rank ribbon. The idea was highly embraced and even the employees that had bought the officer's version quickly rushed to be first in line for the Supervisory Buckle as it supported a rank ribbon with their rank. In record time CDC BUCKLES sold 300 more buckles.

Around the same time that ASP was being casted, so was a buckle for the Kern County Sheriff's Department. This buckle also took off in sales. Over the next few years Paul would run the business by word of mouth and as new institutions would open, so would a new buckle for them by CDC BUCKLES. By this time the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and Kern County Fire Department (KCFD) had come on line with their own buckles.

In 1993 CDC BUCKLES was given its first commissioned job to create and sell a design for the 1993 10th Anniversary of the  California Department of Correction's Annual Summer Olympic Games. By then the CDC BUCKLE was either Warden Approved or Official Wear by most all of the CDC Institutions.

In 1997 CDC BUCKLES started an advertising campaign by placing full page color ads in the California Correctional Peace Officer's Association's (CCPOA) magazine entitled the PEACE KEEPER. Later that same month an ad was printed for the first time in the California Highway Patrolman, a magazine put out by the California Highway Patrol.

In 1998 CDC BUCKLES introduced CDC/CHP Custom Watches into the inventory.

CDC BUCKLES continued to rise to the top of its field and quickly became known as California's Number 1 Belt Buckle Company. By the year 2000 Paul's CDC BUCKLES released the very RARE and Collectible YEAR 2000 PEACE OFFICER’S MILLENNIUM BUCKLE. Later that year the California Department of Correction's Transportation buckle was released.

From 2001 to 2011 CDC Buckles maintained the companies "Life-Time Warranty." In 2005 we re-casted the California Department of Correction's Transportation Belt Buckle in a smaller size.

In 2011 Paul changed the companies name from CDC Buckles to CUSTOM PINS AND BUCKLES, and took on the title of Chief Financial Officer (CEO) and Founder along with the addition of our Webmaster Peter Corel, we added a new logo to the company logo and an updated website.

In 2014 Paul added Reba Nigh into the position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Tia Belt took the position of Vice President of Northern California Sales Division.

In 2014, Custom Pins and Buckles added Cooperate and Private America to our line on Clients and Customers. Now creating hundreds of customized items from Challenge Coins to Lapel Pins, Bottle Openers to Key Chains, Custom Jewelry to Accessories, and more. We are the only manufacturer in the world to supply a High-Quality Customized Fidget Spinner to Law Enforcement. With items like Retractable Key Chain Handcuff Bottle Openers to Extendable Baton Writing Pens, “Whatever you can Imagine, We can Manufacture.”

In 2019 Mark Cope took over the position of Lead Webmaster and Director of our Art Department. We also added Lindsey Willis as our lead Customer Care Specialist and Courtney Cope as our Director of Marketing and Social Media. Along with our staff and dedicated customers, Custom Pins and Buckles is proud of our Executive Team, Staff, and Friends.

In 2019 we celebrated our 30th Years in business. With a growth rate like no other, Custom Pins and Buckles plans to take the nation over with the Best Customer Service, Highest Quality Products, Lowest Prices Guaranteed and IN THAT ORDER. Simply put, “WE ARE THE BEST”

In March of 2020, Tia will become our first ever Lead National Sales Representative as she will visit all states speaking to all agencies across our great land.


NOTE: As the years pass, look here for updates as Custom Pins and Buckles becomes the Nations #1 Manufacture of Custom/Personalized Items for Law Enforcement, Fire, Military, Corrections, Cooperate, and Private, America. We also cast products for agencies out of the USA.

WE WERE COPS FIRST: Paul served 14 years in the Kern County Sheriff's Department where he was a Deputy his first year, Senior Deputy his second year, and Sergeant the remaining 12 years. Paul also served in the California Department of Corrections for 24 years as an officer his first 10 years and Sergeant the remaining 14 years. This gives Paul a collective of 38 years in Law Enforcement. Paul understands the needs of all cops. Today we just all call him "DOC."

Although Doc still oversees all major decisions in the company, he spends much of his time showing the DeLorean Time Machine from the movie Back to the Future all over the United States performing over 50 shows a year, mostly for charities.

Doc’s team of experts will oversee your order from the very beginning to the very end and make sure that you are 100% satisfied or your money back. Doc will step in from time to time to design special buckles, coins, pins, and novelty items, for his customers. Along with Doc’s Executive Team, you are assured to have the best experience when working with us on your custom/personalized item(s).

“Found by a Cop, For Cops - We Talk Cop”