By Susan Smith Kline
In 2018 when Dustin Johnson’s daughter, Saphirra wanted to be a Power Ranger for Halloween, he decided that he could make it rather than buy it. Dustin said, “I’ve always been blessed with anything artistic related and hadn’t worked with leather so decided to give it a shot. I always like to go all out, so I ordered some stunt casted helmets and used cheap spandex from the Halloween store, and I made the belts, arm and leg cuffs from leather.”
He then started making a few things for people and since that went really well, he decided to give it a shot as a side business while working in telecommunications or restaurants full-time. Dustin found he had a talent for working with leather and as things started rolling he decided to try it full-time. He even had the rock band ‘LIT’ carry the guitar straps he made on tour. He said that was an awesome feeling.
Just a few months later, Dustin had a bad motorcycle wreck and was unconscious for four days, in the hospital for eight days, and had amnesia for three months. “I recovered, thank God. Started going again, doing well, then bam, testicular cancer….got going again, doing good, then the worst day of our lives happened. We lost our son in the middle of the night, a month shy of his 3rd birthday. We had some good friends here, we came to visit them, fell in love with the area and God pointed us here, with an overabundance of signs. We needed a fresh start. We’ll never move on but we can move forward. Life ain’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep going.”
Dustin said that during his hospitalization, with all the Power Ranger stuff going on in his house, he reverted to a “90’s” mentality and became Power Ranger obsessed again and started looking into his favorite ranger, the green ranger, played by Jason David Frank. Dustin said of Jason, “He was a great man and besides the show, he had many achievements. It was cool to see a childhood hero still worthy of admiration. Also through the following incidents of cancer and losing my son, a lot of Jason’s poetry was stuff I needed to hear, and made me a serious fan. I set off with the goal of making a tribute cosplay to him that would blow his mind and maybe make us friends. I succeeded. Jason gave me his number and we were starting to get pretty close before his passing. That still hurts.” Jason David Frank passed away on November 19, 2022. Dustin has been known to make appearances as the green Power Ranger around town. “It makes people smile, and kind of carries on JDFs legend and memory.”
I asked Dustin how he came up with the name “Silversting”. He replied, “That’s a name that is derived from my zodiac sign. I wore a large silver scorpion necklace for as long as my wife, Kaylee, had known me. I lost it in my wreck, so Kaylee had a custom one made for me like the original and added the kids’ birthstones on the claws. She added my birthstone for the eyes because I’m always watching over them, and her birthstone is on the tail because she always has my back. In starting my home business I can be closer to my family, be there as much as I can, and show my daughter that if you can believe it, you can achieve it. It’s all about family and that piece, the scorpion, symbolizes my family, it’s just kind of sentimental.
Dustin said, “I have lived in just about all walks of life from the beach to the city and prefer the country, back to a place with old school values like I grew up with. Basically, over the last few years, God has pointed me to this profession and this place.”
Dustin can do just about anything in leather. Holsters, sheaths, wallets, purses, cosplay armor, motorcycle seats and accessories, repairs, etc. He can also do airbrushing, fiberglass, and some woodwork. He said, “Pretty much anything artistically inclined.” He recently made new signs for Shepherd Mountain Custom Cabinets and Hardware.
You can contact Dustin at 573-317-7795 or through his Facebook page: www.facebook.com/silverstingcustoms or his website silverstingcustoms.biz