The Liberty First Foundation.
We are very fortunate to have the support of many in the Second Amendment community. Several of which are manufacturers and distributors of products and services that the Second Amendment Community needs and uses on a daily basis. Some of those companies have been gracious enough to supply us with some of their wares in order to “give back” to the community that supports their business efforts. One such company is KnifeMan. This company is fairly unique, and has a back story unlike any other. This is the story of how KnifeMan came to be.
Founder John Atkinson is a homeschooled 11-year-old entrepreneur. Yes…you read that right. Like many kids his age, John has interests in baseball, writing software, music, gymnastics, and making things using Arduino and Raspberry Pi. John’s parents are self-employed, so he has been exposed to business since birth. John frequently travels to trade shows and sales calls with his father Brian, and that is where his interest in business was sparked.
Seizing on the opportunity and motivated by an initiative far beyond his years, John decided to make his dreams a reality. Knowing that it would take more than desire to move forward, John spent two consecutive summers attending ‘Camp Bizsmart’, an entrepreneurship program sponsored by Little Rock’s EricRob&Isac advertising agency. At these events, John learned business plan development, marketing, product and branding development, as well as advertising.
When he began, John could be found on the trade show circuit, putting his hard-earned knowledge to work. At his first event, he sold nearly $600 in LovePop Valentine’s day cards in a 12-hour period to vendors and attendees alike. At another event, he all but took over the product demonstrations and selling from one of the “Shark Tank” booths, drawing large crowds and generating lots of interest in Drop Stop.
John’s first brick-and-mortar business, www.Boxes.com, grew out of those trade show visits. He would go on to meet a vendor that sold college and NFL-branded toolboxes and mailboxes. From there, his father Brian helped him to set up his own website, logo and promotional materials…and with that little investment in time and assistance, he was off and running, handing business cards and talking to anyone that would listen.
His most ambitious sales call was to the Big Man himself…Saint Nick. Upon meeting the Santa, he was asked what he wanted for Christmas. Taking the opportunity to make a deal, he replied “Santa, I’m not here about what I want; I am here to tell you what I can do for you!”. Sadly, after his perfectly executed sales pitch, John did not land the Santa contract. But that did not stop him from handing out flyers to all of Santa’s customers that night.
Undaunted, and in search of his next venture, John borrowed money from his grandfather and bought vending machines to put at dad’s warehouse. The mechanized division taught John about debt and the regularity of payments…even when there wasn’t enough profit to make them.
John entered into the knife and multi-tool business in 2017. His Godfather wanted a particular Gerber center drive multi tool, so John began looking for one while attending a local trade show. Upon finding the item, he was informed that the minimum purchase was a case of 12. Where others would have seen an obstacle, John saw an opportunity. He bought the case of 12, re-selling 11 of them on E-Bay as the “Mississippi-Real-Kinfeman”. The proceeds from those sales covered the cost of the one he gifted his Godfather. After seeing how quickly he was able to move quality merchandise, he re-ordered and re-ordered again, eventually building a sizable inventory.
Things were going well until Gerber’s channel enforcement started cracking down. At the time, John was not an “officially authorized” agent of the Gerber brand, and was forced to cease operations until and unless he became an authorized Gerber distributor.
After the setback of having his listings removed, John was forced to make a choice…quit selling the Gerber line of products, or become a dealer and develop his own website. While the choice was easy, the task was not. Having faith in his own abilities, and with a little business savvy advice from his dad, KnifeMan.com was born.
John has since become a distributor of Kershaw, Zero Tolerance, Leatherman, Swiss Army, SOG, Benchmade, and Gerber. In the coming months, John will also be adding multi-tools and US-Made knives to his growing inventory. Keyword-“Scabbard”
In addition to his business ventures as KnifeMan, John continues to develop his coding skills and has recently had an app approved by Apple’s app store. This year he plans to learn ‘Solid Works’ to help him with his future ideas and projects…and judging by his current success and tireless motivation, we have a feeling that he is going to continue leaving a mark on any industry he decides to tackle. If you can appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit, and want to help this fine young man grow his business, please remember to look to him for your cutlery needs….and remember to use your promo code for a generous discount when ordering. Promo Code THESECONDAMENDMENT
John and Brian reached out to the Liberty First Foundation as they believe in our mission and our message. They wanted to know how they could help promote the Second Amendment and how to encourage others to enter the arena of civil debate so that we can insure the survival of our most fundamental rights. When the idea of doing a Give-Away came up, John was instantly enthusiastic and volunteered to supply us with one of their knives.
Sponsors working together.
When we spoke to our good friend Nathanial Ballew at www.AshlarArms.com, he wanted to help us make the give-away more meaningful. John sent the knife to Ashlar Arms, and they went to work Laser Engraving the L1F website into the blade, giving it a unique and commemorative appeal.
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