It is about fucking time we got a SECDEF with real experience. I mean, who is going to fuck with a guy who has been in the U.S. Military since '69 and goes by the nickname "Mad Dog." Nobody with a brain, that's who! We hope you enjoyed our Little Bag of Violence this month. January's Bag is now available for a few individual sales (while sizes last) and if you want to subscribe for future boxes click the green bar and get signed up if you want...it's ok.
"OK" Guy With A Gun T-Shirt
Modeled after Violent Little's very own Brandon. He's not too happy about this. (He actually wrote that last sentence). Normally it's "Good Guy with a Gun", but have you ever seen Brandon mad? Try pantsing him when he's got his arms full of Violent Little packages when he's loading up the truck to take them to the post office. He becomes just "Ok" instead of his happy old self...
General Mattis Morale Patch
The good General went into the service in 1969. 19-FUCKING-69...Good God. Get ready for those good ole' days. They're here again. This patch is exclusive to the Little Bag of Violence...not available for individual sale.
Not Alcohol Stadium Cup
It's not alcohol. Now you have plausible deniability wherever you go...and that's what this life is ALL ABOUT.
I don't fucking get you...and this is a good thing.
I'm on my second time through this pretty cool book on being creative (like as an artist or a writer) called "Steal Like an Artist" by Austin Kleon. There's a cool section in there where the author recommends writing fan letters to people you admire.
I'm not just one of these assholes that reads something and doesn't try to execute or implement it into my life...gotta switch up the game if you want different results, right? So in that spirit, here are a few words about you, your company, and why I admire it. And perhaps I should start by saying that behind every good man there is a great woman (or another man if you're into that kind of thing). In this case, that woman is Lydia...so this letter is to her too, because I know she carries your ass, as does my woman with mine.
There's much to admire about the way you guys run your shit. Your political opinions on 2A and matters of liberty are pretty spot on with ours. Moreover, you have the ability to express those opinions in a concise, professional, and respectful way that doesn't alienate anybody (unlike us for example). I've always been impressed with your ability to do that...whereas whenever I try to write something thoughtful I'll take 2 hours to write something and then just delete it because I know there's a shitload of holes in any of my arguments. Your shit's always airtight.When Violent Little got into the patch game there were already quite a few established players, Modern Arms being one of them. We were the new kid on the block. I didn't really know who you were or what your company did aside from making patches, but I would see you all over the place as the morale patch Facebook groups, such as Morale Patch Black Market, started to pick up steam. Not that we deserved it at the time (or now for that matter), but for reasons still mysterious to us, you took a liking to what we were doing at Violent Little and we became pretty decent "internet friends" over the past few years. I mean...we were even kind of invited to your wedding.
But most importantly, it's all about the patches. You've got THE most loyal fanbase in the game today, as far as we can tell. This doesn't happen by accident. I thought we had a pretty damn loyal fanbase (and we fucking love our crazy fanbase), but the Modern Arms customers border on insanity, if not certifiable already. This was evidenced by the fact that we sold over 100 patches in less than 2 minutes I think it was, on that special collab we did with you. Faaaaack. I mean, we can move some patches on a drop and we frequently sell out very quickly, but not like this. This was a whole different level.
To this day I still don't understand what the big fucking deal is with Modern Arms or how you've built this legion of Berserkers...but I do recognize that it is a big fucking deal, so let's examine the possible reasons for this phenomenon a little closer, shall we?
Concept and Art: The thinking behind the concepts that MA comes out with is definitely mysterious to me, which is why Violent Little does what we do and MA does what you do. We have two very different styles of playing in the same sandbox. And even though most of your concepts are lost on me, like the Ronins because samurais aren't really my thing, A LOT and A LOT of other people get it and will do whatever it takes to get their hands on them. That's what matters. And that's the ABSOLUTE beauty of the whole patch game. I don't have to get it, but I 100% recognize the uniqueness of what Modern Arms makes. It would be boring if all the companies were like ours. I'll put it this way...there are a lot more companies out there that look like Violent Little than companies that look like Modern Arms. The beauty lies in our differences and uniqueness...and Modern Arms is beautifully different and talented. The stuff that I do get...like the Pirate Flags and the Liberty Quills -I'm fucking crazy for.
Build Quality: The quality of your patches is unmatched. And even though I've tried to get the name of your embroiderer multiple times, I respect that you've held steadfast in your fucking secrecy, which I appreciate. I usually sing like a canary. Their thread count, detail, and overall finish are the best I've ever seen...hands down.
Textures: MA's use of textures, grains, and patterns on their patches sets them apart big time. It adds a touch of class to each patch that just screams "EXTRA MILE". Nobody else is doing that. Or when they do try to do it...they fucking suck at it.
Presentation: Building a rabid fanbase is VERY HARD to do. It took us a long time and a lot of grinding to build our customer base, so when I see how crazy MA's base is, I tip my hat to you and give a nice little curtsy. And how do you build a loyal following? Well...you do what you and Lydia painstakingly do. You include an art card with the patch in a nice cellophane sleeve. You throw in a handwritten letter into every single order, of which you've personally inspected and trimmed each patch to make sure it passes your rigorous QC standards. We do that with all of our leather stuff because we produce them in house, but with all of our other stuff we usually just quickly inspect it as we're picking orders. I'm not going to lie, with the sheer volume of our operation, subpar product sometimes, yet very rarely, slips through the cracks (which we take care of immediately). Not so with MA...if it leaves your place, it's good to go and your customers know this!
All that said, I still don't fucking get it, but I admire it, respect it, and am thankful to know you. Thanks for giving us a wink and a smile at the very beginning...you were a big help and influence in building Violent Little and a great role model in the way that you comport yourself and your business. And that's my fan letter. You can pull your pants up now and pass the kleenex.
P. S. Remember that time that cry baby "artist", who shant be mentioned by name, picked an Instagram fight with me...and you came to our defense and squashed it immediately in one fell swoop. Well that was chill of you, especially since I was on shrooms at the time (I don't do that stuff anymore). I got your back, bro.
I sit here at my desk and ponder "what it is we do here"? What are we doing with our lives...just making fucking patches? Everybody wants to be a part of something that is truly making a difference, something important. What difference do we make with what we do here at Violent Little? It might not be obvious...but stick with me. We have come to terms with what we make and sell here a long time ago and we never take ourselves too seriously with it. What we make and sell does not change the world. The shit we make doesn't help anybody be deadlier, or help us directly win wars, nor does it save lives. Making and selling patches is NOT an important job...or these other chotchkies that we (or any other company) make. Anybody that acts or pretends otherwise is full of shit.
What we REALLY do here is quite important though. You see, I hire veterans for the most part. But I don't just hire them...I teach them exactly what it is we do here, ALL OF IT. Everything from the E-commerce systems and apps, idea generation, marketing, product photography, manufacturing, accounting, fulfillment...basically everything a small business does so they can one day do it for themselves and lead a truly independent life on THEIR OWN TERMS. I teach them execution in this realm -something they know all too well from being in the Teams.
I often hear a lot of people give excuses for not being their own boss, like "I don't have any ideas." That doesn't hold much water here. There was a day where I didn't have any ideas either, but I started to learn skills that I didn't previously have, such as how to design or make stuff. And then I started looking at the world in different ways and the ideas and opportunities started to flow relentlessly. The ideas are the easy part at this point. The execution is what's difficult. That is what we teach here. If you ever find yourself in a rut, learn something new and see what that does to how you look at everyday shit. I'm still amazed by this.
At times when I've been in between hires or waiting for one of my boys to get out of the military so I could put them to work in the salt mine, we've had some non-veterans work here. And while the non-vets have done great work and have added a great deal of value to this company, I've noticed in myself that I just don't fucking care as much as when the Vets are here. It takes the most important mission away from this company when they're not here -which is teaching the people who have sacrificed for all of us how to build a new life on their terms. That is the reward.
Like I told my guys the other day, I am honored that they chose to get out of the SEAL Teams, basically the coolest job in the military, and come work for me in my little shop. It's a privilege to play a part in their "Life 2.0" journeys and I'm proud to have created something special enough that they want to come find out what its all about and work towards having their own little "special something" in the not-too-distant future.
Working here is not easy. As I type this email I've already told everybody to shut up twice as they're filling Little Bags of Violence and just bullshitting about video games. They just look at me like a bunch of raccoons that want to chew my face off. If I died they'd probably just eat me. They've probably killed men for lesser transgressions...but I'm going deep over here and they were fucking up my flow with all that racket. Fill in silence, guys! Back to the point -it's definitely more work than play around here. I wish we had the time to play more, but we move pretty quick round here. I'm hard on these guys and push them to exhaustion and frustration on a daily basis with tasks and skills that I know they suck at and will fail at. We've run so many vets through here that we often joke that this is the "Violent Little Fleet Transition Program". One thing's for sure though...when they leave here they sure as shit know how to run and execute a small business.
"I left being a Navy SEAL so I could become a warehouse worker", Oscar recently said to me jokingly. Little does he know that I'm "Mr. Miagi-ing" him into waxing off and on. Can you wax me off, Oscar...you've only been here for two months...although I'm pumped that he wants more and more responsibility every single day. That's the kind of hunger I love seeing out of these guys.
The patches and the shenanigans are just a bi-product of the main mission here. I'll admit, our shit is rad and we have a lot of fun drunkenly making it, but I never lose sight of that main mission, which is to set these guys up for success. And why do I do this? Why am I motivated by this? Well...selfishly, its a lot of fun to be able to be on your own program in life and have all the freedom in the world, but its more fun to do it with your best friends. I wish this life upon all my friends should they choose it...even light acquaintances. But most importantly, I do this because it truly counts. It counts in the way that it affects real lives, families, brotherhoods, communities, and ultimately our country. I'm incredibly proud of it, but only because these guys make it worthwhile. Thanks, boys.
Thanks for reading.
Food & Beverage Director