How does one go from jumping out of Black Hawk helicopters and saving people’s lives to designing new and exciting products for the friends and family still in the military? In all honesty, I had no plan, no idea for what I was going to do after getting out. I figured I would just go directly to college and continue where I had left off six years prior. On the other hand I still had that drive to work. I needed some type of transitional job to wean myself off of the day-to-day 7 to 5 Military grind. And with winter approaching at the time, and having played on the snow slopes all my life, I was looking for an extreme change of pace from Virginia Beach, VA.
The change of pace came in the form of the ultimate job offer.
A close friend of mine that I had trained with in my early military years contacted me over Facebook just to see what I was up to. I explained my situation, said that I was planning on spending the winter in Sun Valley, ID where, unbeknownst to me, he also lived. He had a simple answer. “Come work for me!” What are the chances.
Yanne Root had just started up his second business, Violent Little Machine Shop.
"Violent Little" creates original morale and tactical based items for the military and firearms industries. And with this focus it couldn’t hurt hiring a Vet like myself. Set in a small mountain town in Idaho, this opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time. Playing on the mountain when the fresh powder fell, and learning the tricks and tips of becoming an Entrepreneur.
Being employee one at Violent Little Machine Shop, there was a lot to learn and even more to do. Jumping right into frying pan, I was learning how to design products via CAD computer software, then printing those products out with a 3D printer and being able to hold them in my hand. Not only that, I was learning about product photography -taking professional pictures of these products that would be interesting and eye candy for the customer. All this was new to me! Oh, by the way did I mention the laser? Ya… I get to play around with a big freakin laser! Custom laser engraved morale patches for elite military units? No problem there.
This couldn’t have been a better choice for me in my so called "transitional period". Soaking in all the information and necessary skills to take on the road with me in spring and maybe give it a go for myself. I mean seriously, what's better than being your own boss?
And just remember, no idea is too big, and no idea is too small. Have an idea? Shoot us an email at info@violentlittle. Maybe you’ve had something down on a bar napkin for the last ten years, and kept it just for shits and giggles. If you're interested in seeing what that might look like in your hands, we can do that, and we’d be happy too.