Name,where you are from?
A: Derick Bosley from Fort Ashby, WV
Career background leading into creating this company?
A: Well, I’ve always been a hunter and outdoorsman for starters. But fast forward to around the time I graduated from college, my uncle had passed away from cancer and coincidentally one of my best friends was in remission for a couple years at that time. He and I spent the summer participating in the 4k for cancer bike ride raising money for The American Cancer Society and hope lodges where we rode our bikes (literally) across the United States in support of the efforts. After that, I worked as a traveling physical therapist assistant for about 5 years and during that time I always thought I should give back to the country that gave me so much. So, I enlisted in the army at 28 years old after getting some guidance from a friend and former marine. I knew that I wanted to be a medic in the service based on my life experiences in outdoors and my career as a PTA, but I wanted more so I began the path of becoming an Army Ranger.
Explain more in depth your experience with the military and Rangers
A: As a Ranger Medic, we lead the military in trauma medicine. One example is the development of the Ranger O Low Titer program (ROLO.) This is essentially giving blood in the battlefield to casualties that need it. This was unheard of when I began, and as a Ranger Medic I helped make this a standard process and something that I am proud of. This started with the Rangers and is becoming more widespread in other military branches now. There is no person I would prefer working on me in the field other than another Ranger Medic. I was a Ranger for about 6 years. In that time, I did 3 combat deployments in Afghanistan. I have done training deployments to Korea and Australia and I won the “Army’s Best Medic” award in 2016. I got out of the military in September of 2018 and since then I have been working for a company filling medical contracts all over the world when I am not making knives.
What motivated you to start making knives and create Stand to Blade Co?
A: I had always been fascinated with knives and people that make things with their bare hands. So, when I was on my last deployment for the army I just started watching videos on how to make knives. When I got home I bought some files and a hunk of steel and made my first knife. I made blades in my house on a grinder that wasn’t meant for making knives until I sold my house at the end of 2018. After that, I was getting frustrated because I didn’t have a place to make knives anymore or work with my hands.
So, my girlfriend had suggested I go to my buddy’s place to checkout his work shop. After a few weeks, I went and saw my friend Bren Mahan, a fellow veteran, and owner of Vendetta Bladeworks. I showed Bren the 3 knives that I had finished just before I sold my house. It was then he told me I had to meet his mentor Charlie Edmondson, owner of Edmondson Elite and fellow veteran as well. We jumped in Bren’s truck for what I thought was going to be a long drive, but it turned out Charlie lived 5 minutes from Bren. I met Charlie and within a few minutes Charlie told me that I could work in his shop whenever I wanted. That same night was the Super Bowl, and at a party I delivered one of those first three knives to a friend. I didn’t know how big that would be for me. After giving the guy the knife, I not only sold the other two that I had, but received 5 more orders. Those were my first real orders from people that weren’t my friends. For the next 5 months, I basically lived in Charlie’s shop with him and Bren teaching me how to become a knife maker.
What is your vision for Stand to Blade? (What is your company’s mission statement?)
A: Ultimately I would love for the business to grow into a full time job for me. I’d like to be able employ veterans and former first responders. Not everyone was as lucky as me to get through the military without any long lasting scars, be it mentally or physically. I want to be able to help by giving them a place to work and be creative around people that know what they have been through.
How did you come up with the name “Stand to Blade Co?”
A: Every Ranger learns about Robert Rogers’ Standing Orders. Order 15 is “Don’t sleep beyond dawn. Dawn is when the French and Indians attack.” The time right before dawn and right before dark is known in the military as “stand to.” It is the time when the enemy is mostly likely to attack.
Where is your shop?
A: My shop is in Keystone Height, FL
Describe how you got your shop up and running, and some of struggles or issues encountered along the way
A: I’ve slowly pieced my shop together over time. I got lucky and my mentor was upgrading his 2×72 belt grinder (which is what you need for making knives) and gave me a great deal on it. For me I try to keep things simple in the shop. I don’t need fancy machines. I just need reliable ones. One of the hardest things right now of being a one man operation is when I have to leave for work. Orders back up a little bit. However, the good thing is all my customers have been great. I’m just up front about timelines and they have been totally understanding.
What makes your knives unique? Or what do you want people to know about your knives?
A: Everything that comes out of my shop is entirely handmade. Some knife makers use jigs to grind their bevels, I do not. Not that it makes their blades any less of a knife but when I started to learn this trade I didn’t want to rely on anything but myself. I make knives for simple hard working people which is why every knife that comes out of my shop has a 100% warranty for as long as I am alive.
Who is Loki and what is his role?
A: Loki is the shop manager. He looks over my shoulder and follows me around the shop every time I move. Then he eats anything that hits the shop floor and takes a nap. Basically the most inept boss on the planet but he’s the best damn dog in the world.
HE accepts all orders through messages on Facebook or Instagram
Stand to Blade Co. – FB
To see more of what the author has going on you can follow him on IG @espiroff31