In 2005, I purchased my first high-end survival knife. I was in college, working odd jobs and pinching every penny until I had saved enough to place the order. When the box arrived, I ripped it open like a kid on Christmas. The knife was beautiful and everything I hoped for, but my excitement was dampened by the low quality sheath that came with it. It was pure plastic, brittle, loud and uncomfortable to wear.
Wanting something better, I bought a piece of leather and set to work trimming and sewing, until my first sheath took form. By today’s standards, the results were lousy, but I was so proud to have created a sheath with my own hands. Gradually, I transformed my tiny college dorm room into a leather workshop and started selling sheaths. As a kid subsisting on ramen noodles, I was happy to have extra money, but more importantly, I had stumbled into something I loved.
By the time I graduated from school, Hedgehog had progressed enough that I was able to transition directly to it. During those years, I moved my growing collection of tools and machines from one basement to another, until I eventually made the leap to a true industrial workshop. Slowly, I built a team, and together we transformed Hedgehog into a high-end, built-to-last brand.
When I think back to that very first leather sheath, I feel tremendous pride in how far we have come. Over the years, everything has changed, all in tiny increments. I enjoy that sometimes we don’t realize our own growth until we look back to the very beginning. Here’s a picture of one of the earliest sheaths, from the "dorm room days" of Hedgehog Leatherworks:
And here's a picture of a similar sheath, over a decade later:
Now, when I look at a Hedgehog sheath, it's not just a product, it's a reminder that the journey never ends. Every time I ship a sheath, I think about how far we've come and I feel excited knowing that our story is actually just beginning. We're continuing our journey here in the workshop, and also with our customers all over the world. If we're able to earn your business, I hope that our products become part of your journey too, as they join you on many great adventures to come.
Thanks for reading!