episode 101 | Apr 25, 2023
Experts & Industry Leaders
Law Enforcement/Military
Personal Growth
Hunting & Fishing

Ep. 101: Navy Seal Andrew Arrabito

Andrew Arrabito is larger than life in most every way.  From humble beginnings of extreme hardship and loss, Andrew has been able to use adversity to calibrate himself towards success. Andrews drive and determination, loyalty and friendship and unique leadership style have resulted in the premier knife company, Half Face Blades, a wine company, apparel company, ammunition company and staring in major Hollywood blockbusters like “Logan” and “Transformers”.
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Half Face Blades - https://www.halffaceblades.com/
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Canoe Club USA - https://canoeclubusa.com/
WEKBD - https://wekbd.com/

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/halffaceblades/


[00:00:00] Travis Bader: I'm Travis Bader and this is the Silvercore Podcast. Silvercore has been providing its members with the skills and knowledge necessary to be confident and proficient in the outdoors for over 20 years, and we make it easier for people to deepen their connection to the natural world. If you enjoy the positive and educational content we provide, please let others know by sharing, commenting and following so that you can join in on everything that Silvercore stands for.

[00:00:40] Travis Bader: If you'd like to learn more about becoming a member of the Silvercore Club and community, visit our website at Silvercore.ca

[00:00:52] Travis Bader: Navy Seal turned entrepreneur, founder of Half Face Blades, war Paw Wine and Apparel Company, and an. Ammunition company starring in Hollywood blockbusters like Logan and Transformers, and when he isn't doing all of that, he'll find him in the back country hunting and fishing. Welcome to the Silvercore podcast, Andrew Arrabito

[00:01:12] Travis Bader: great to be here, brother. I've been looking forward to this one for a while. I do research before every single podcast, and I want to know what's gonna bring the maximum value to the audience and to my guest and doing research on you. I came to the very quick realization that there is no possible way in a single podcast that will come close to conveying the positive and inspirational lessons that give you learned from your life experience thus far.

[00:01:39] Travis Bader: So I'll gonna take my best stab at it. You got a pretty storied history so far in life. Damn excited to see where 

[00:01:48] Andrew Arrabito: it goes. Uh, good to be here brother. Let me know. Uh, you ask the questions and I'll answer them and I'll probably go on a few, uh, sidebars, which I generally do in podcasts and catch myself and come back.

[00:01:59] Andrew Arrabito: So, 

[00:02:00] Travis Bader: well, I was having a hard time thinking of where do we even start this thing? And I finally came down cuz I wanted, I tried to have things in somewhat of an organized fashion because I'm like, you, I'll go on sidebars all over the place and yeah. It's kind of hard for people to keep up. So, uh, I thought I would start with your tattoo, your recent tattoo you got in your back, the lion.

[00:02:19] Andrew Arrabito: Ah, yeah, that was a painful one. It's massive. Yeah. And you know, I kept my back open kind of specifically for getting that tattoo and I wanted to for a long time. Mm-hmm. But, uh, you know how painful they are and once you start, you kind of like, oh man, like, why'd I start this? This is horrible, this pain.

[00:02:36] Andrew Arrabito: But, uh, I got, uh, the, I'm gonna. Go back in on the 27th, 28th of this month and do another, you know, seven or eight hours, just fine tuning and making it darker and putting myself through a little more misery. 

[00:02:50] Travis Bader: Well, there's some special significance that you've been very public about on that tattoo, which is why I'm figured this is a place to start it, otherwise I probably wouldn't bring it up.

[00:02:59] Travis Bader: But, uh, that was, uh, you come from a family with an artistic background and that was a, if I'm not mistaken, the. Derived from a drawing and a painting that, uh, your father did? Yeah. 

[00:03:12] Andrew Arrabito: Yeah. We've had it in my home for, I mean, since actually I'm not, you know, when I was seven, I'm trying to remember if it was on a house then, or if somebody else had it and after my father died, it may have been gifted back to my family.

[00:03:25] Andrew Arrabito: Mm, I would assume so. Cause a lot of the early on paintings he did, you know, he sold for minor amounts or probably gave to friends here and there, but, uh, it probably was gifted back. So it's Ben Andrew's my home and my mom's home in Northern California for a long time and it's a pretty big painting.

[00:03:40] Andrew Arrabito: It's probably. You know, close to three feet wide, you know, and three and a half to four feet tall in my house. And it's just a big, big lion's head. It's a really beautiful painting and I've always, you know, grew up looking at it and I wanted to kind of give that, that honor back and that owed back and to my father.

[00:04:01] Andrew Arrabito: Um, and kind of the significance of what Allian does mean, um, as well. 

[00:04:07] Travis Bader: Did it take you a while to find the right artist to draw this one? 

[00:04:10] Andrew Arrabito: Yeah, I'd been looking kind of all over and some, you know, some artists were just good at different things and I had, uh, chosen a few different artists and just trying to line up the timing didn't work and I was like, eh, generally the artists I found were in a different state, so it was about me trying to take the time to go fly somewhere and get it done.

[00:04:28] Andrew Arrabito: And I was really wanting to find somebody here in San Diego so I could just really put those hours and that time in. So I found a guy actually really interesting with him. He lived in multiple countries. Um, From Germany to, I don't know, Turkey. And, and, uh, he was living here. I contacted him and we lined it up and I went in and I had to cancel one day and the lady actually canceled all the days.

[00:04:50] Andrew Arrabito: And so I was like, disappointed. And I contacted another guy cause I was like, oh, you know, I, I had prepped, I like mentally prepped to have these, you know, 20 plus hours on my backup pain. And once he mentally prepped and I got in there and like ordered burritos went in. You know, I took, you know, one of the, the copies of the image to the guy, and he is like, uh, and somebody else was in the, in the tattoo shop, like, no, it's my turn.

[00:05:11] Andrew Arrabito: I was like, oh, no, dude, it's my turn. And they're like, oh, oh, we're sorry we canceled your days. And I was like, okay, I'm gonna find someone else. You don't get to do this. You know, and, and a piece like that, you know, guys are really good artists, really look forward to doing pieces like that mm-hmm. For people and really, um, show expressing.

[00:05:28] Andrew Arrabito: They're the, they're the artists, right. Expressing what they can do and, and showing people what they can do and how good of, um, a tattooing they can do. So, uh, I was like, all right. And I, I had actually ordered like food for the guy too, like to get dropped off and I laughed before the food got there, so he had hit me up, you know, a few hours later he was like, there's all this food here, you know?

[00:05:47] Andrew Arrabito: Um, and I was like, just eat it and give it away to the guys, and yeah, I'm gonna find somebody else. And he. Oh man. So he kept hitting me up and he was like, Hey. And he moved. Okay. He used to Colorado and I was like, I'll find somebody else. And he kept hitting me up and he was like, man, I'd really like to do it.

[00:06:01] Andrew Arrabito: I'm coming back to town to San Diego for a month, you know, can, can I do it? And I was like, yeah, let's do it, man. Wow. Met up with him and we did five hours one day, seven hours the next day, and then four more days late, five hour, four more days later. Five hours, 

[00:06:15] Travis Bader: man. And you just got a bit of touch up now?

[00:06:17] Travis Bader: Left hour. Yeah. 

[00:06:19] Andrew Arrabito: It's, you know, it's all done. I'm gonna go, I'm, I'm gonna do more than that. I'm gonna, I like, I want it really dark and I want, you know, that shading, so I'll probably do, you know, I'd like to do an hour, that'd be really awesome, but I probably do four or five, six hours just getting, getting after it.

[00:06:35] Travis Bader: So I'm just trying to get a, uh, a grasp on, What builds a fire within an in, within an individual to achieve a fraction of the things that you've been able to achieve in your life so far. And I, I think after doing my research, I have a bit of an idea of some of the driving factors. Um, I figured since you've openly talked about it in the past about, uh, losing your father and your brothers on a plane crash when you're, was it seven years old?

[00:07:07] Travis Bader: Yeah. And they were heading to Alaska. 

[00:07:12] Andrew Arrabito: Yeah, they were coming back, but they had, my dad had gone up there a few times interviewing, uh, these, these people that lived in this little village and why they lived longer. My dad was really one into the outdoors. He was an artist, uh, he was a minister, um, real outdoors family.

[00:07:27] Andrew Arrabito: We were always, you know, camping, backpacking. And my older brothers loved the outdoors, obviously as well. And, uh, he want them to just see how incredible Alaska was. So on that second or third, fourth trip, he had taken them up there. So they, they'd run around the woods and do some fishing as well as while he was out there interviewing these people 

[00:07:45] Travis Bader: as a minister.

[00:07:46] Travis Bader: I guess it was a faith played a big part of your, your upbringing. Yeah. Yeah. Does it still? 

[00:07:53] Andrew Arrabito: Yeah, I mean, uh, I mean, I don't go to church as, as much as my mom would like me to, but, uh, I still, uh, I'm still a believer. Fair enough. Absolutely. I think the amount of times I've, you know, I've been saved overseas or, um, You know, and buddies been saved and, I don't know, just all the ups and downs in life.

[00:08:13] Andrew Arrabito: I think, um, I've got a good base of, of faith and, and value and good morals and, uh, good people and how I want to run my life. 

[00:08:24] Travis Bader: I find that's a common thread in people who are high achievers. They seem to have a strong grounding and whatever their background of faith might be, but they, uh, they have some sort of a guiding light within them that they can, uh, look towards, I guess when things get tougher to kind of keep 'em on this, on a straight and 

[00:08:41] Andrew Arrabito: narrow on the path.

[00:08:41] Andrew Arrabito: Well, I mean, yeah, along with, with that, I know it's like kind of living for others as well, so you, you know, you can better yourself and, and your immediate surroundings. And that's a big goal is, is, uh, people that you love and people, uh, you care about a lot. You wanna support them and see them do well and see them prosper and career development and see them loved and know they're cared for and, Um, and not look inward as much.

[00:09:05] Andrew Arrabito: And obviously in the long run, that helps you out too. 

[00:09:08] Travis Bader: Yeah, I find that to be a bit of a, a life hack, honestly, the more you're able to be of service to others, the more you're surrounding yourself with positive people and the more that you'll see residual, um, benefits from that, either directly or indirectly.

[00:09:24] Travis Bader: Sure. Absolutely. So you were a youngster. You get a book, workout book on Navy Seals and Yeah. How old were you when that happened? Oh 

[00:09:32] Andrew Arrabito: man. Probably somewhere between sixth and seventh grade timeframe. My mom's cousin, Ethan, uh, I don't know what drove him to do it. I don't know why he got that book. I, I think it was just interesting to him too.

[00:09:45] Andrew Arrabito: And, uh, he was like, oh, Andy would enjoy. 

[00:09:48] Travis Bader: So I guess seventh grade were you, uh, you're going to, uh, Catholic school at the time? 

[00:09:54] Andrew Arrabito: It wasn't, it was a Christian, uh, Christian school. Yeah, it was a Christian, small Christian private school up in Northern California. 

[00:10:01] Travis Bader: And was this one that, uh, you were able to see through the completion or did you Uh, 

[00:10:05] Andrew Arrabito: I didn't get kicked out of element of any elementary schools, just high schools.

[00:10:12] Travis Bader: I'm cur I got kicked out of a couple high schools myself and a couple of them were, uh, what Christian Brothers of Ireland high schools I went to. 

[00:10:19] Andrew Arrabito: Yeah, man, those, there was some. You know, they think some of those schools were just a bit too strict for me. I wasn't, you know, I wasn't ever a bad kid. Just, you know, sneaking out was a lot of fun and, uh, BB gun wars, you know, you're getting a few fist fights here and there and I guess, uh, they don't like 

[00:10:36] Travis Bader: that.

[00:10:37] Travis Bader: Yeah. I think, uh, first one was because it wasn't based on what I did, it was based on the fact that, uh, apparently I had an us against them mentality 

[00:10:48] Andrew Arrabito: and, uh, didn't like authority 

[00:10:50] Travis Bader: perhaps. And, uh, I learned how to pick locks when I was in grade four, and That's awesome. So when I just looked at locks as a puzzle.

[00:10:59] Travis Bader: Right. And same with, uh, it's challenging. It is, it's a challenge, right. And it's, it's not that I want to do something nefarious once I'm in there, it's Right. It's just, it's a puzzle. Right. 

[00:11:10] Andrew Arrabito: New block, 

[00:11:11] Travis Bader: new puzzle. And, um, same with computers. I was interested in that and I learned how to get into the back end of their, their system.

[00:11:17] Travis Bader: And anyways, I made a master key to the school and, um, I and I sold a couple copies of it to other people who wanted to be able to get into wherever. I don't know. Sure. I don't think anyone really did anything nefarious. Yeah. And, um, I changed some grades never for myself, but for other people. And then, um, was very kind of you, very kind of me, very 

[00:11:40] Andrew Arrabito: magnanimous think a good Samaritan.

[00:11:41] Travis Bader: Totally. I mean, really they should be, I should be rewarded for such efforts. That's what I'm thinking. And, um, well, up until I locked them out of their own system and they had to back everything up off of tape drives or, sorry, take it back off of tape drives and make up for several months worth of grades that, uh, they said none of that would've really mattered if it wasn't for my in.

[00:12:05] Travis Bader: Like, I, they wanted to know why I sold the keys to, and I wouldn't tell 'em. And uh, and so that's even. 

[00:12:11] Andrew Arrabito: Right. So, and then you, you show your, your loyalty very young. 

[00:12:15] Travis Bader: Well, they said you've got an US against EM mentality. And since the brothers lived upstairs and they felt that their security was threatened and all the rest, and anyways, so, uh, 

[00:12:25] Andrew Arrabito: they've gotten suspended for not giving up names as, as well.

[00:12:28] Andrew Arrabito: Yeah, yeah. Oh 

[00:12:30] Travis Bader: yeah. Yeah. I, um, I was looking at a number of things that kind of happened in your childhood. I was, you know, there's a couple of similarities all up until you go off into deciding that you want to be a Navy seal, which is, um, a little different path in myself and most people. Uh, what was, what was sort of driving you there?

[00:12:53] Travis Bader: Like when I'm looking at the difficulties and troubles that you must have been encountering as a youngster, both with the. Loss of your family members as well as, um, perhaps a little bit of oppositional defiance sort of, uh, mentality that seems to come out in the research I've done. I don't know if anybody has ever accused you of having adhd, but, uh Oh yeah, absolutely.

[00:13:16] Travis Bader: When, when you talk about, uh, the artistic gene in your family, uh, being able to put pen to paper and your penmanship looks like you can barely read it. Like there's a lot of similarities in here that, that I can see that perhaps makes a person very well suited in a sort of contrary sort of way to the military environment.

[00:13:37] Travis Bader: Like why would somebody who's sort of oppositional defiant a h d go into a system of very strict, regimented structure and thrive? Yeah. And that, that was sort of an interesting piece for me on all of this. Do you have thoughts on 

[00:13:50] Andrew Arrabito: that? Um, I mean, I think that the challenge side of it, obviously there's that, that you, you have right?

[00:13:57] Andrew Arrabito: Challenging yourself. Um, being able to do what special operations do obviously requires, um, a lot to get there, which is a challenge. And then it's also a lot of fun. Mm-hmm. So I was like, well, I don't mind somebody telling me what to do if it's for a reason. And once I do that and I accomplish what they're demanding of me or asking of me to do, I can hit certain qualification levels and become better and better, better at some, at a goal, at a job.

[00:14:27] Andrew Arrabito: And being, having that end goal, being a protector, having that end goal going in and taking out bad dudes. And the end goal also being with a really good brotherhood, um, is amazing. Did you have that? I knew 

[00:14:38] Travis Bader: there was an end goal. Did you have that feeling of brotherhood grow? 

[00:14:42] Andrew Arrabito: Uh, yeah. You know, my, my older brother's best friend, Steve Hamilton, really incredible dude.

[00:14:47] Andrew Arrabito: He became a youth pastor and he's a pastor now. Um, he, you know, became one of my older brothers. There was another guy, Scott Davis, who had, um, lived close to us, older fella, and he loved a rock climb. And, uh, he was an old sea and diver in Abilene, diver in Mendocino, which is a tough, tough dude. And, um, did tree working and he kind of looked out for me and I used to rock climb with him growing up after my brothers died all over the United States.

[00:15:07] Andrew Arrabito: And I had a lot of really good. Uh, older buddies that, that looked out for me. Mm. You know, 

[00:15:15] Travis Bader: you still climbing, 

[00:15:17] Andrew Arrabito: you know, not, not very much. In a while I climbed a bit when I was in the SEAL teams and now Joshua Tree and it helped start a, another league climbing school on the west coast here for guys that just with the right gear one, um, doing rock type stuff.

[00:15:30] Andrew Arrabito: And a lot of it was urban climbing and oil platform takeover climbing. 

[00:15:34] Travis Bader: If you didn't decide to go the the military route, you didn't decide to go into seals. Uh, what do you think? Where was your life trajectory prior to that? 

[00:15:44] Andrew Arrabito: Um, I probably wouldn't have, uh, I grew up skateboarding, BMXing. I probably would've continued down the route of skateboarding and tried to go pro.

[00:15:53] Andrew Arrabito: Yeah. At some point. Yeah. I mean, yeah, I think that probably would've been, I was good. Good at skateboarding. 

[00:16:02] Travis Bader: It's kind of neat that whatever it is that you're looking at, you're looking at pro level anyways. Like that's in your sights for a lot of people that never even crosses their mind as being 

[00:16:11] Andrew Arrabito: something that it's gotta be, you know, you're gonna be good at something, you gotta be better at it than other people.

[00:16:17] Andrew Arrabito: And, and why not? Like, be the best at something, 

[00:16:20] Travis Bader: you know, I was in Army Cadets as a youngster and you know, ADHD goofing around, you'd spend your whole summers off at a, uh, at a, um, an old base doing kid Army Cade stuff. And I remember a, uh, a captain came up to me once and he says, look at, you're, you're coming up here.

[00:16:37] Travis Bader: You're spending, you get off school, you spend two months up here and then you go back to school. You basically don't have a, have a break. Why would you come up here to goof around and not to your best or something? Right? And you know, everyone says, do your best, take it seriously. Right? 

[00:16:51] Andrew Arrabito: But if you're forced to, that's a little different 

[00:16:53] Travis Bader: story, you know?

[00:16:53] Travis Bader: Right. And I'm like, okay, good point. He said, so wouldn't it suck if you went, threw this whole thing and fail. And then you just wasted your entire summer. I'm like, yeah, it totally suck. So if you're not gonna fail, why not be the best? I thought, huh? I don't wanna get as much 

[00:17:07] Andrew Arrabito: out of it as possible. 

[00:17:08] Travis Bader: Yeah. And for whatever reason that clicked with me, despite it being the same thing that everyone tends to say, um, what was, what was seal tr uh, I mean, everyone talks about selection, even though that's just like the very first part of things.

[00:17:21] Travis Bader: I, I've heard you refer to that as enjoyable. 

[00:17:25] Andrew Arrabito: I mean, it's, it's like misery loves company, right? So you meet such incredible, uh, guys going through the same training and you build these friendships and it's like, I'm not gonna quit. You're gonna quit. And it's like competition, you know what I mean? And yeah, not is it competition when you're both just so miserable and you're just like, like, I'm not quitting.

[00:17:43] Andrew Arrabito: You're not quit. Like, all right dude, let's, let's roll. You know what I mean? It's, it's, it's rad. It's a lot of fun training. 

[00:17:50] Travis Bader: What's the attrition lake on attrition rate on that? 

[00:17:53] Andrew Arrabito: Um, you know, it varies per class and depends kind of a little bit. Summer, winter class, winter classes, they use the cold more just crushes people.

[00:18:00] Andrew Arrabito: And during the summer class they, you know, physical beat downs is, is a bit more. And, um, you know, there's a class recently and it also depends the time of war. And if there's a lot going on, they really need team guys. The classes are a lot bigger, so you have, mm-hmm. I think our class started, um, the class 2 46 and started like a hundred eighty five, a hundred eighty six, and there's like 22 original guys that graduate that class.

[00:18:24] Andrew Arrabito: Wow. And, uh, there's some, there's a recent class, I'm not sure how many guys started, but thinking there was like eight guys after hell week. Wow. So not that, you know, they could have been a little smaller class, could have just, you know, some of the instructors just a little bit more mean or miserable or, you know, it's hard to tell.

[00:18:40] Andrew Arrabito: Maybe they just didn't get the quality of guys that, my belief also is the last 10 years, the quality of guys coming through is. Yeah. You know, um, or tourists especially. Yeah. Guys who, it became such a cool guy job with every movie and every book that every kid wanted to go do it. And, and that's a great thing for, um, you know, the purpose of getting more people to training.

[00:19:02] Andrew Arrabito: But with that, they got, you know, they had to get more, I wouldn't say streamlined, but, um, more structured at training. And so it was like, there was somebody who wrote a book like How to Beat Buds and stupid stuff like that. And they explained like on Fridays, they can only beat you till, you know, 6:00 PM and they have to do paperwork if they, the class screws up more and they wanna beat you in the surfer longer.

[00:19:26] Andrew Arrabito: And so with this information, it's hard to break someone's, uh, break someone's mind to the point where one, their only option is not to quit. If you already know that in three hours, they can't, they can't do anything more after three hours. Like you just hold. You know, instead of getting to the point where it's like, I'm just not gonna quit, um, they just hold out for those three hours, you know?

[00:19:47] Andrew Arrabito: So I think the quality of guys went down for a while. Now that there's not a lot going on, operational tempo is down. Um, well, I think the more recent couple years there probably is a, a push to get more guys, uh, with what the future holds. But there was a timeframe where it was, um, you know, a bit of a timeframe where they were like, Hey, you know, guys aren't going a lot, a ton of missions.

[00:20:12] Andrew Arrabito: We don't need a ton of seals. So they were willing to kind of not push classes, maybe not push classes as hard. So more guys went through and then now it's like, Hey, you know, let, we can push really hard and only the best guys get through. Maybe. I think there's something to do in there, you know, it's not strict like that, like I said, but.

[00:20:31] Travis Bader: I'm wondering about the mindset when you went in, did you know that you're gonna come out, like in the gut, you're just like, yeah, there, there's no way I'm failing. And were you able to look around and identify other people? You're like, yeah, that, that person's not making it. I can tell. 

[00:20:44] Andrew Arrabito: Uh, a few. Not everybody, you know, there's definitely a few guys that, uh, you meet.

[00:20:48] Andrew Arrabito: They, they're just, they're there for the right reasons and they joined for reasons. Like, I didn't know any Navy Seals before, you know, I've watched one or two, you know, you know, I've read some old books and stuff like that. But, um, you know, I, I didn't look at it like, like a pass or fail kind of thing. I looked at it like, it was just training.

[00:21:07] Andrew Arrabito: Like you ha you had to do it to become here, you know, to get here, you had to go through all this stuff. You had to do it. It was told you had to put out, you had, you just had to do it. And that's kind of a mentality. I know a lot of the guys had. It wasn't like a quitting. I don't know. I, it's kind of, people say quitting wasn't an option, but that's really what it was.

[00:21:23] Andrew Arrabito: It was, you just gotta do it. And luckily, you know, in high school I ran all the time and I, you know, was in cold water all the time and was very outdoorsman all the time. And I was lean, you know, and, um, strong. And I think, you know, if you go into training more physically fit, your body doesn't break down as faster and your body heals faster.

[00:21:44] Andrew Arrabito: Right. So in training a lot of it is just, they break you down so physically that all you have left is your mental. And I think you can, if you have both, it's gonna be easier on you. Mm-hmm. Easier on your body, you know what I mean? So if guys are recovering and you don't have time to recover, your body just breaks down.

[00:21:58] Andrew Arrabito: And then one, you're either failing, uh, time stuff and that paperwork can stack up and then you just get the boot. Yeah. You know, or your body breaks down and you have an. Then they get the boot or get rolled. So going into it really physically fit with the right, obviously mental mentality you have just that, that much better.

[00:22:16] Andrew Arrabito: A lot of guys younger, you know, the younger guys in classes quit more. And then one I, my belief is they haven't had as much life experience of ups and downs that they've been through. They have been a bit crushing whether, you know, physically or just emotional, you know, putting out and pushing through lack of sleep, whether it's, you know, getting through stuff in college or just family stuff or whatever.

[00:22:37] Andrew Arrabito: So in general, younger guys end up quitting more because at that moment of time it's just they're in anguish. They're physically and mentally, you know, just so beat down that they just make that, you know, that that kind of irrational decision to quit. And then there's obviously after that, so bummed didn't wanna come back in two years or whatever.

[00:22:54] Andrew Arrabito: Yeah. Um, you know, a lot of guys are like, well, it just wasn't for. Okay, fair enough. You know, I, I quit a, i, you know, after I quit, after hell week, or, you know, the, the excuse, there's a reason you, the excuses you hear are like, well, you know, they didn't realize that, you know, my legs were too, the stretch rashes were just too much.

[00:23:13] Andrew Arrabito: Like, if you have stretch fractures, they'll pull you out. They check you, and if they're, they're bad, you get rolled. If you're a good dude, you get rolled. They heal, go through again. So, mm, you, I've heard every excuse in the 

[00:23:23] Travis Bader: book. Yeah. It's funny, the, um, you're, you're talking about the younger folk, the pain is so relative.

[00:23:31] Travis Bader: If you've never felt pain and you all of a sudden feel some, that's the worse than they were life. So 

[00:23:36] Andrew Arrabito: far. Yeah. And then after they quit, they're, they're, you know, the pain of telling their dad they quit, or their family and disappointment, they're like, Ugh, we gotta live with that. Yeah. And there's guys who go to the point where their legs are, you know, they have stress fracture in their femurs, not quitting, and they can't walk and they get pulled out.

[00:23:51] Andrew Arrabito: Mm-hmm. They're, the instructors are like, that's what we wanna see. Not these injuries, but this can heal like your non equipt mentality that you're gonna accomplish it and be a part of the team is what we wanna see. Totally. I 

[00:24:01] Travis Bader: remember reading the, I, I forget what it was in, it was. Popular mechanics or something like this.

[00:24:08] Travis Bader: It, it was a weird place for it to be in. But I think they're talking about, um, the psychology of individuals during World War ii. And they would have these old guys out there and with the young guys and in situations, let's say they're out at sea and they're without food and water for a bit of time, and they figured, you know, logically the young guys are gonna do better.

[00:24:28] Travis Bader: They're younger, they're healthier, they're stronger. But by and large, in all of these, uh, arduous situations, the old guys were, were prevailing. And these are people who'd already seen a war before and sure, maybe their last divorce was worse than what they're going through right now. Right. Through 

[00:24:42] Andrew Arrabito: a lot of stress, you know, mental stress and physical stress and just outlast, 

[00:24:49] Travis Bader: there's a saying, everyone's heard it, that which doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.

[00:24:53] Travis Bader: Well, all of that stress, I mean, some people will say, well, except for radiation poisoning, right? 

[00:24:59] Andrew Arrabito: I mean, there's some exceptions there, but Right. Overall, 

[00:25:03] Travis Bader: Finding a way to frame that stress in a positive fashion, I think is interesting. What would you do in order to be able to operate through these stressful situations and then come back in, in a healthy way?

[00:25:17] Andrew Arrabito: Uh, like training stuff or now, you know what I mean? What's, uh, 

[00:25:21] Travis Bader: you know, do you employ, there's different, a different structure. 

[00:25:24] Andrew Arrabito: I don't, yeah, I think now, well, let's go back to then, you know, through those tough times. Then let's, let's say training. Um, and then let's encompass that into the SEAL teams and your training in the SEAL teams as well.

[00:25:37] Andrew Arrabito: Then you have, you have an end goal, right? You have an end goal and a lot of that. You know, it's such a team oriented thing, and they make sure that they make sure there's individually based tests and then there's team oriented tests, and they want the mentality of you versus them in training too. So you build that camaraderie with your buddies and work with them to like, not undermine the instructors.

[00:25:59] Andrew Arrabito: But there's little things like, you know, we have like a 10 mile run and they were like, Hey, you can't put, um, you can't put, you know, padding on your, on your ruck sacks. So the guys we like cut, um, cut some old wet suits up and taped them on our bodies, you know what I mean? So at the end, end of the run, we're doing pushups and they're like, everybody take their shirts up and they take, and there's like five or six of us in the class, you know, and they're like, they lose their minds.

[00:26:22] Andrew Arrabito: They make us get wet. They call us back and they realized, they never said, you're not allowed to put patting on your bodies. That's right. So they took us aside and they were like, you guys, you, you got us. Okay, you're good. You guys can go. You know what I mean? So I love that thinking. And they like, they like that, think outta the box, think a different way.

[00:26:39] Andrew Arrabito: You know, they, they appreciate that those instructors think about how if I was an instructor going back and teaching those, I'd be like, oh, you got one up on it. You know, that's really cool. And they like that. So then, you know, back then it's really about your, your buddy next to you and your teammate. And if you quit, what if they're gonna be put in such a stressful situation that they can't handle it?

[00:26:58] Andrew Arrabito: Possibly. And what if your mentality flows over to theirs and you know, for a fact that their mentality is flowing over to you? You know, obviously you're stronger as a team, um, and you want your buddy to succeed. Wow. You know? 

[00:27:12] Travis Bader: Yeah. Yeah. That's a very strong way of looking at it. As much they, as much as they try and build you up as a team and break you down as an individual, the more you just lean into that team mentality.

[00:27:22] Travis Bader: Yeah. And you're part 

[00:27:23] Andrew Arrabito: of it. You, you, you know, you don't realize how big an impact you know, you have on your buddies then. Right, and I've thought about it now, and that really comes into now as well and how much of an impact you have on your friends. And I don't realize a lot of people don't realize the impact you have on other individuals.

[00:27:40] Andrew Arrabito: Um, and I've, I've come to a few points in my, in my life where I kind of just, you know, saw, um, the impact that such incredible impact that not only like growing up, you know, my buddies growing up, looking out for me before I was in, my buddies that were in that are out now. Um, guys like Dan Luna, uh, guys, seal team buddies, Ryan Bates.

[00:28:04] Andrew Arrabito: Um, thinking about my mom, thinking about some of my very close friends that have been in, you know, such an impact in me that I wouldn't be the guy I am today. I wouldn't be the man I am today. I wouldn't have, I would've given up before, maybe not worked as hard or something could have possibly a different path.

[00:28:20] Andrew Arrabito: And I, I've, you know, come to some, some pretty huge points in my life where I just like, It really blew my mind, the level of love that I've been given, the level of faith that people have given and put on me faith in me. Mm-hmm. Um, that I'm like, uh, I've just gotta be so blessed and I, I should always try to recognize it and give that back and hope and like, hope that I can be the level in which I've, you know, feel blessed by the people I love that I could, I, I want to spend the rest of my life trying to show them that I can be that for them too, and hopefully I can.

[00:29:00] Travis Bader: I think that's a really key concept too. Victor Frank called the Father Modern Logo Therapy, wrote a book, man's Search for Easy Man's Search for Meaning, and he says, uh, there is meaning in suffering and there's ways to find meaning in suffering, which people look at, look at how terrible things are for me.

[00:29:21] Travis Bader: Uh, there is no reason for all of this suffering, but your ability, your ability to identify that. And I think, uh, one of the, uh, research things I looked at, it says, uh, it was you, you said, if, if you can use adversity correctly, you can do great things. And that kind of struck with me is basically the exact same thing that Victor Frankls saying, sing, find a way to use that adversity.

[00:29:42] Travis Bader: How do you use adversity correctly? 

[00:29:46] Andrew Arrabito: Um, well my, you know, one of my, one of my beliefs is, uh, you know, bad things happen to good and bad people alike, and sometimes there's no good reason. Mm-hmm. You know, and a lot of people search for a reason. Not that you can't, like we're talking about take adversity and, you know, whether it gives you drive or just you're like, Hey, that's really disappointing.

[00:30:06] Andrew Arrabito: That really sucks. That's really heartbreaking. Mm-hmm. Um, I don't need a reason, you know, I don't have to understand that bad things happen to good people and bad people alike. But, uh, there can always be a lesson to teach yourself out of it. You know, 

[00:30:23] Travis Bader: so you got, what was the most difficult part of your, uh, your seal career?

[00:30:30] Andrew Arrabito: Um, I mean, losing buddies has gotta be the most difficult, you know, uh, physical difficult. I mean, you can always, you know, work out, you know, work out more, be stronger, um, study harder. You can always do those things, but sometimes you, obviously you would save your friends if you could, and you, you cannot.

[00:30:51] Andrew Arrabito: Mm-hmm. It's one of those, those things in life where you can't bring people back from the dead. You can be the best absolute, you could be the most stellar operator in the world, and you're still gonna lose close friends. That's, that's what war does. There's, you just can't save everybody, obviously. Um, the most, you know, it's gotta be the most rewarding.

[00:31:13] Andrew Arrabito: Rewarding job in the world and all the, and also the most heartbreaking, you know, and that's the value of the value of extremes, I guess, and the value of love and the value of friendship and the value of growth and the value of meaning. You know, you live a, a gray life that you don't have a lot of extremes.

[00:31:31] Andrew Arrabito: I mean, what do you compare? How do you compare that? You know, how do you compare that level of love? How do you compare that level of hard work? You know, if you've been surrounded by people who don't work super hard and, and, uh, then you go to the next job and they're like, and you, or, but they think they work hard and you go to the next job and these people are like, you're, you know, this guy doesn't work hard and you think you do well, maybe that whole group you're surrounded, were yourself with just doesn't work hard.

[00:31:54] Andrew Arrabito: And there's, and this next group really does. And I've had some of these not quite arguments with guys. I'm like, guys, like, you know, I've worked hard my whole life. Like, I'm, I Well, you haven't worked, you haven't worked with the guys I know, right? You know, there's another level of hard Yeah. You know, 

[00:32:12] Travis Bader: that's, I think it was Elon and, uh, whoever the, the new CEO of Apple is.

[00:32:18] Travis Bader: There was an article I read a while ago, and they're talking about individuals who come into a high performing, uh, environment. They hire a new person in, they come from a low performing environment. They're now in a high performing environment, and how quickly that person will adapt to the culture of high performance.

[00:32:34] Travis Bader: And likewise, that high performing individual who prides himself on their high performance when put into a low performing environment in workplace, how that person will just fit in with a low performing crowd unless they leave. If they, if they get on their Well, I mean, or you 

[00:32:50] Andrew Arrabito: have. Yeah. I mean, have you ever heard of guys that, you know, a new guy comes into work and he crushes it and the other guys are mad?

[00:32:58] Andrew Arrabito: You know, that's a union thing they're making, they're making us look bad. That guy's making us look bad. Right. Oh man. Step your game up or something. Right. You know? Cause some people just have, some people aren't there just for the nine to five. Some people really love their job, some people are good at it, some people have natural ability.

[00:33:10] Andrew Arrabito: Mm-hmm. You know, versus just, just, you know, some have this, some people just have a talent for it. Whether it's a physical attribute or a mental attribute growing up. Cause we all grew up different and I've heard it many times. Oh, that guy's making us look bad. Well, well you better up your game. You know, that guy got a raise in three months and I didn't get one for eight.

[00:33:28] Andrew Arrabito: Well, I mean, try to sit there and recognize what they're doing different. You know, like maybe they just want to perform. Maybe they're being held back by everybody else. Um, I, I, it's a good thing to emulate those people, obviously. Maybe it's just the sad sacks that don't wanna work harder. Um, not that, listen, people get overlooked.

[00:33:47] Andrew Arrabito: There's, there's people who work hard, they get a little overlooked here and there. Whether it comes to financial gain, uh, maybe there's not a position somebody can hop in a leadership position or a responsibility position in a business. Hmm. Um, that they deserve. Just that position doesn't exist yet. Um, there are people that can perform better.

[00:34:03] Andrew Arrabito: Finding those individuals and putting 'em in the right positions where they are challenged so they can keep going up is, is really ideal. Some people don't want, you know, they, they want what somebody else has, but they didn't, they don't wanna put the time and effort in to get it. 

[00:34:16] Travis Bader: That that is very often the case.

[00:34:19] Travis Bader: People will look at the whole grass is greener on the other side. Right. Well, look at what you. How do I get there, man? This is a lot of work. How do I just emulate you? Steal from you cheeks. How can I be better? How can I shortcut it? Quite often you see those people who don't want to put that work in Right.

[00:34:36] Travis Bader: To try and shortcut 

[00:34:37] Andrew Arrabito: it over and, and even if you get overlooked, you know, like, like I was saying, like sometimes you put the effort in and it doesn't happen. Hmm. It doesn't mean you say, you know, you throw your arms up. It doesn't mean you give up on working that, doing that extra, you know, going that extra mile.

[00:34:52] Andrew Arrabito: Like what, where's the self pride in your own? That's it. Your own, your own growth. Where's the self pride in your own career development? Where's the self pride in your own mental capacity and drive and honor or 

[00:35:04] Travis Bader: integrity? So I, I remember as an 18 year old, uh, got a union job, was working for an armored car company and it was one of, at the time, one of the, one of, if not the youngest individuals hired by an armored car company up here in Canada.

[00:35:18] Travis Bader: Now how much they pay the armor car workers, uh, If they didn't have young people coming into the game, they wouldn't have people working for 'em. And it was a really weird mindset because I would hustle and I look at this, I'm like, well, Jesus, if I put an eight hour shift in, but I finish it in four, then I go to the beach right then, then I'm out doing something else, and I get the same, same pay.

[00:35:42] Travis Bader: And they would say, oh, slow down. This eight hour shift can be turned into 10 hours. We make overtime. This is where we make our money. Right. I ended up starting other jobs in the time that I had off. Uh, so I'd do my four hours and I'd look for something else I could do. I started welding. I started, uh, uh, gunsmith things and doing, doing other things.

[00:36:01] Andrew Arrabito: So, so good career development. Your own, your, your, your own personal. Right. And you, you are the one who drove your own personal growth, which is awesome. You can have individuals greater than you that just have more life experience, that have that same drive that push you there. But not all the individuals have that.

[00:36:18] Andrew Arrabito: That's where you have guys like Jocko come in and he, you know, and he speaks on this all the time, and he is like, your individual growth. You're not gonna always have somebody there cracking the whip. Mm-hmm. Showing you how to be better or saying this is, you know, do this, that you have to do it. And it's very easy to become a little bit slack on it if you don't have those people driving you.

[00:36:36] Andrew Arrabito: Mm-hmm. You know, that's for you. I mean, that's really, that's excellent. 

[00:36:40] Travis Bader: Well, you know, one thing I've always kind of just, and I, and I haven't figured out the answer quite yet, but you hear a lot of people just saying, go out and crush it, keep driving, keep going. Right. You can always work harder and it doesn't matter how hard you work in one.

[00:36:55] Travis Bader: The parter you work in one area, the less attention you're putting to another area. We all need rest, right? We all need to recover. Yeah. We all need physical and emotional and spiritual, and we have to somehow balance these things. But, uh, the mantra that seems to be pushed out is you have to work harder than the next person.

[00:37:14] Travis Bader: You gotta keep pushing and pushing. And I don't know if that's a, a sustainable sort of 

[00:37:19] Andrew Arrabito: model. Maybe the work isn't always the best word to put it, you know, growth, maybe a better way to put it. And growth isn't always just physical labor growth isn't always just, um, you know, more hours at work either. You know, growth can be, well obviously your mental growth and learning capacity, whether it's, you know, listening to books on tape or I guess they're not on tape anymore, you just download 'em on the phone.

[00:37:40] Andrew Arrabito: But, um, how old are we? I'm, I'm getting up there. Um, you know what I mean? Um, totally. No, a lot of that have relationship growth. You know, what I, um, um, spiritual growth, that's all part of that work harder, I guess work isn't always the best, maybe term for it, but 

[00:37:57] Travis Bader: find finding that balance and always striving for betterment.

[00:38:00] Travis Bader: Yeah. 

[00:38:01] Andrew Arrabito: Um, you, mental health, mental health, betterment, you know, not just work 

[00:38:06] Travis Bader: effort. What do you do for the mental health side? Because I have a feeling you do what I do and that's go outside. Yeah. 

[00:38:11] Andrew Arrabito: I love it, man. I, you know, I. I kind of have a thumb roll. Don't say no to any good new adventure. Yeah. I try to live, live by that and uh, I've been really blessed.

[00:38:22] Andrew Arrabito: This business itself. Growing this has, has been obviously a blessing with, uh, mental health wise, as you know, starting this kind of, you know, for fun, starting the knives. Like I was gonna make knives for my seal buddies and that kind of grew and hired my roommate, hired my other buddy, my one roommate, you know, was, you know, parking cars, um, civilian guy.

[00:38:41] Andrew Arrabito: And I was like, Hey, like, I need help, you know, and I think he probably took a pay cut and he just started working in my backyard and hired my other buddy, hired my buddy I grew up in since ninth grade and he's my, my manager now. And both the other guys lived with me for 10 years. They both work here. I created a little, you know, it was kind of back in the platoon was awesome.

[00:39:01] Andrew Arrabito: You're with your good close buddies all the time, so getting out that kind of sucks. So everybody's, you know, everywhere out in the world with their families and their businesses and their, their careers and you miss your buddies and you try to spend time with them. But, you know, creating a little shop here and having your close friends around you, that is good mental health.

[00:39:18] Andrew Arrabito: You would run together and we hike together. We have, I mean, even now, like I've been looking for a bigger shop for a while. I wanna build a little gym in my new shop, put a skate ramp in the back of it Nice. So we can skate together and guys can lift together. And we have, we have like a whole ton of guys who like to camp and hike and kind of create a whole hiking crew.

[00:39:34] Andrew Arrabito: And we like, okay, let's find in this new hike this weekend is 20 miles. Oh, who's in? You know? And guys are like, oh, we're in, we have at five in the morning go do a big hike, a bunch of the crew. And it's really created a cool little environment that's mentally healthy. Um, for myself even personally. You know, and outside of that, this job affords the time and for me to go hunt and fish.

[00:39:56] Andrew Arrabito: And I have such an incredible team, uh, that I spend a lot of time, you know, in the outdoors. 

[00:40:01] Travis Bader: I've seen people who come from a military background and they're ambitious individuals and they're doing a similar thing to what you're doing. And basically they're recreating their platoon within their business and they got their buddies coming in.

[00:40:15] Travis Bader: And quite often it's gonna be in something that's in an area that they have an interest in or they know about. So I often see it in security fields and I've seen a lot of relationships go, Aw ride, because they are trying to recreate what they've found in the military structure without having that same military structure.

[00:40:32] Travis Bader: And one of them tries to assume a more superior role and maybe someone gets their knows how to join. Have you experienced much of that? 

[00:40:40] Andrew Arrabito: No, I don't micromanage and. I kind of, you know, put guys in in positions where they're capable. And I do have an expectation of just working hard. And, um, I haven't had, I've been blessed to not have I got outta the military, you know, a hundred percent through the va, disabled, you know, from injuries.

[00:41:01] Andrew Arrabito: And I would've stayed in, you know, had there been the war kicking off and ISIS kicked off, I probably would've stayed in. Mm-hmm. Um, I kind of, when guys get out of the military and they go right back into something outside of that for a little more money with the same structure, I'm always like, why not just stay with the boys with the best group ever?

[00:41:17] Andrew Arrabito: Mm-hmm. You know what I mean? So I didn't, I didn't want, I didn't want to be in that same structure, the same environment, you know, the environment, the awesome part of it with your buddies all time is great. I don't wanna be in that same kind of, I don't know if it's too structured or, you know, it's not too structured.

[00:41:33] Andrew Arrabito: I think you just get a lot. You know, uh, politics and stuff like that. So yeah, you don't really have politics in 

[00:41:39] Travis Bader: my shop. So you used sustained a few injuries actually, and that was, you ended up leaving on a hundred percent disability, if I'm not mistaken. Yeah. 

[00:41:48] Andrew Arrabito: My, I was, you know, supposed to do mad board and I ended up just doing my e o s and not doing the mad board.

[00:41:53] Andrew Arrabito: So I went to try to do the med board again after I got out and they were like, no, you're already out. So I have all my paperwork for my medical retirement's been in for years, and it's just, you know, the Navy has to go, like, VA paperwork has to go back to the Navy and then they have to look at it and be like, oh yeah, we should have med boarded.

[00:42:12] Andrew Arrabito: You, we were going to, but we didn't for, you know, so it's just a, it's a long process. 

[00:42:19] Travis Bader: What were those injuries? I know you held up your hand there, but you had more than one, didn't you? Yeah, I 

[00:42:24] Andrew Arrabito: mean, I mean, from. I dunno. Falling off roofs and breaking my nose and broken my left leg and you know, my, all my fingers got smashed in the steel ship hatch the wind from a blackhawk caught the door and slammed me and I got my leg out the door, put my hand on the wall, pulled my leg outta the door as I was slamming and caught all my fingers in the hinge sign, broke all those, and damn, I broken these fingers on my right hand.

[00:42:45] Andrew Arrabito: Just, you know, I used to fight probably a little too much. 

[00:42:49] Travis Bader: Yeah. That was something else I picked up, it looked like. Uh, and that's where I started tweaking into the possible O D d, oppositional defiance, 80 ADHD sort of thing. Um, that fight's great when you're a seal, uh, doesn't jive as well when you're outside, right?

[00:43:05] Travis Bader: The civilian 

[00:43:06] Andrew Arrabito: environment. Yeah. You get, you get in trouble a bit more when you're in, in the teams here and there, you know. But it really depends, depends when and how you're fighting. You're not going out drunk just picking fights at the bars, you know what I mean? Generally, if you're out, you know, somewhere, four or five people, people really, you know, if they find out, if you're on trip and they find out you're.

[00:43:25] Andrew Arrabito: You know, a team guy of some sort, they end up getting chips on their shoulders and guys like to test their might. Yeah, I hear 

[00:43:32] Travis Bader: ya. It's funny. Funny how that works. Well, you're a tough guy, huh? Well I bet you if I can, if I can take you on, that must make me a tough guy. 

[00:43:39] Andrew Arrabito: You're like, okay buddy. 

[00:43:41] Travis Bader: See how this goes.

[00:43:42] Travis Bader: Um, There is something about, uh, a beehive or bee stings. What was this one about? Oh, man, 

[00:43:49] Andrew Arrabito: I got, I got blown off this roof in Afghanistan and, uh, come flying off a roof, like kind of half with it. I have my gun in my hand, but I'm kind of angled out into the compound and I pretty much, in my mind, I don't know, for a split second, thinking maybe if I run with my legs like this and I hit, I can run it out like a cartoon or something.

[00:44:09] Andrew Arrabito: It didn't happen. I just remember hitting and my gun hit and I just, and pulled my arms down like that. So my face went forward and I hit like this little pile of logs and, you know, cut my face open here, like, broke my nose again and got knocked out, but my gear slid up my back. So my blur back was showing and there's these bumblebees, there's just monster bumblebees that live in the walls over there, and they just attacked my back too while I was knocked out and just stung my back a bunch.

[00:44:34] Andrew Arrabito: So it took a minute and my buddies were like, all right, well I'm not getting stung, so I'm just gonna wait till Beto wakes up, you know? So pretty soon that I kind of get nudged and I start getting up and uh, um, hi Curl and uh, Brad Cameron was like, Hey dude, you good? I'm like, yeah, man, I'm good. Uh, man, something.

[00:44:53] Andrew Arrabito: I broke my, my back, man. My back hurts really bad. He was like, no, man. You should have seen the amount of bees on there though, you know? I was like, oh, okay. It's just bee sting. He's like, yeah. He's like, you're allergic. I'm like, I don't, I don't think so. I don't never been stung by these monster bumble bees in the walls and Afghanistan.

[00:45:10] Andrew Arrabito: I was like, yeah, I'll be all right. So, yeah, get a little quick little cleanup and back at it. 

[00:45:17] Travis Bader: God, love your maid chair, huh? He'll be okay. I'm not going in there getting those bees off him. 

[00:45:21] Andrew Arrabito: Yeah, he was like, you know, he was like leaning back like this, like pushing me with his foot. You good dude? Like still bees around?

[00:45:27] Andrew Arrabito: He is like, no. I was like, you could have just. But, you know, woke me up normal. 

[00:45:32] Travis Bader: That's funny. So you're out and you decide, hey, I want to, I want to be a businessman. I want to be an entrepreneur. He just took a stab at it. Or if you had a little bit of background. Um, there's 

[00:45:44] Andrew Arrabito: another, another team guy that wanted start a brewery and distillery.

[00:45:47] Andrew Arrabito: Uh, and I, he was getting out around the same time and I was like, cool man. And interesting enough, before when I hurt my hand, I was, you know, about nine months before my end of active service. And my, I had just had to do all this physical therapy and stuff, so my master chief was like, well, you're gonna, you know, make a lot of your own schedule.

[00:46:04] Andrew Arrabito: And I was like, man, you know, I was like, distilling would be cool. So he, you know, he was like, cool, you know, you have all this leave saved up, so you wanna take leave and start going to distilling school. So I went to Chicago and, um, I forgot where else I went to some, you know, two week distilling courses.

[00:46:20] Andrew Arrabito: So another guy wanted to do a brewery. So I was like, all right, well let's combine forces. So immediately when I got out, I went into doing that and, uh, ended up having some really dishonest. Uh, business partners there that, uh, just, you know, really dishonest people and, uh, eventually just pulled away from that and spent a long time in court, uh, with that whole thing.

[00:46:40] Andrew Arrabito: But was worst doing work? Worst? Oh man, it's crazy. Like, you know, you get, you trust people so much in the SEAL teams and you get out and like these people Yep. Just once they, I don't know. 

[00:46:51] Travis Bader: And then you're stuck in the legal battle and that's a whole different ballpark. Yes. You gotta, and that's not a game where you can just reach out and punch them.

[00:46:58] Andrew Arrabito: No, that'd be, I mean, that, that'd be ideal. Punching in the least. Yeah, exactly. You know, but um, yeah, so dealing with that and then I've, you know, met some good people up in LA and I was doing some military advising and stuff like that. And while I was doing that, I met a guy, Garrett Warren, he's a stunt director, uh, and second unit director as well.

[00:47:15] Andrew Arrabito: Did Avatar Logan at the first hour time. I mean, his, his, uh, work up there as a stunt man, a stunt director, and, and, and director is like absolutely incredible. So made really good, good friends with him, one of my best friends. So when stuff came up, I'd go work up there. It's not something I want to, um, I didn't wanna live in la I didn't wanna hustle like that just for a penny.

[00:47:36] Andrew Arrabito: That you gotta spend 90% of that penny, you know? Yeah. Living in the city. So that's, but I did enjoy working with good people up there. So that's, I was kind of doing that and then I was like, man, you know, to get back in the outdoors, I started kind of hunting again and getting into that and I was like, man, like, you know, I know knives.

[00:47:55] Andrew Arrabito: I made some knives to my older brothers. I grew up with knives using them, you know, wilderness survival stuff, and uh, the knives and the teams and I was like, man, I should just make some knives for my buddies that are still active duty and some of my friends. And so I just started studying and, you know, want the best steel nowadays for what purpose, you know, looking at grinders, just doing that whole process and, um, kind of just, you know, got what I needed and started doing stuff under the awning in my backyard and, Um, just grew from there.

[00:48:24] Andrew Arrabito: What kind of 

[00:48:24] Travis Bader: grinders are you using? Just 

[00:48:26] Andrew Arrabito: personal. Oh man. I mean, I have a couple. My first, my first grinder was just a Beaumont Kmg. Yeah. And I still have it. It's in back. They're good. Yeah. Yeah. Good little grinder. I, I have two of those that we do a lot of. We still hand grind probably 40% of our knives, so, um, wow.

[00:48:40] Andrew Arrabito: That, and I have a lot of Travis Wetz. Uh, I 

[00:48:42] Travis Bader: was gonna ask about them. 

[00:48:44] Andrew Arrabito: They're pretty good. Yeah. I have about six or seven. They amazing. Yeah. And Travis is a good guy, man. Yeah. Like, he's like this engineer minded. He's just a, he's very intelligent guy. So I have a bunch of those and I forgot what else. I have two others.

[00:48:57] Andrew Arrabito: I forgot what their names are. Any beaters? No. Nope. Nope. I beaters They all, they all get, they all get a lot of work on them. Yeah. 

[00:49:05] Travis Bader: I was looking at a debater only cuz that shares my same last name. But the Travis works, they've had some back and forth with him and I mean, they look good. I maybe off air.

[00:49:13] Travis Bader: I'll pick your brain a little bit. Debaters are good. 

[00:49:15] Andrew Arrabito: Yeah. Yeah. Those, I mean, they're supposed to be good. There's a lot of, a lot of good machines out there. 

[00:49:20] Travis Bader: So what did you, what was sort of the biggest takeaway from the first business venture that didn't quite go out the way you wanted, that you've been able to apply to your future business ventures?

[00:49:33] Andrew Arrabito: Um, you know, one of the biggest things I saw originally when I, when of the Brewer distillery, is people just paying themselves before we are successful. Mm. You know what I mean? And, um, like, what are you doing? Like money needs to go back in that business. There's no, there's no promise you're gonna be successful.

[00:49:50] Andrew Arrabito: There's no promise that you're not gonna, um, you know, you're gonna make the best. There's no prob. There's always people better. There's always people, you know. It's good to have good ideas and bounce those ideas off smarter people and better people. And then you gotta really enjoy what you do and you want to learn everything about it and do really good at it.

[00:50:07] Andrew Arrabito: You know, you can't just be like, well, this is the best thing. It's gonna, it's gonna take off, it's gonna do good no matter what. Like, and then, you know, Like I said, like we're talking about, one of the biggest things take back was keep that money in the business, you know? Mm. Keep growing it. Keep just putting that back in, putting that back in, putting it into a team, putting into your buddies.

[00:50:25] Andrew Arrabito: You know, even to this day, uh, we have a few cool little programs we do in my shop where we work on some just really beautiful one-off, you know, originally, so we take custom orders obviously, um mm-hmm. People email and they talk to Kelsey and they, what do you want? Blah, blah, blah. We get into it and they, but we don't, we used to do these really incredible one-off pieces for people and then we'd see six or months later, a year later, two years later, they'd go for 20, 30,000 bucks.

[00:50:49] Andrew Arrabito: And I was like, wow, I sold that for two grand. You know what I mean? And that's awesome for them. I'm really happy for them. But it kind of came to a point, where're like, Hey, we need to do these ones in-house and we need to fair out a way, whether we auction it or do that limitation sticker and a giveaway where that money can come back into the guys, um, and, and make these guys lives better.

[00:51:09] Andrew Arrabito: Obviously if somebody, if, you know, we sold a hundred dollars sticker, you know, All those stickers are worth more now too. So not only can you resell that sticker for a hundred bucks, you can make 20 bucks off or 40 bucks. Mm-hmm. Off or 50 bucks off it. And the one person who got that Tom Hawk can make 25,000 off it.

[00:51:25] Andrew Arrabito: So everybody wins in the end and that money comes back. So when we do these one-offs and I have my main top guys, we say, Hey, let's do, let's do another project. Let's work on this. So those guys will work on stuff throughout, while we're working on everything else. You know, let's say it goes for 25 grand, take 10% of that, and I pull cash out and, you know, hook the guys up, they've worked on it.

[00:51:43] Andrew Arrabito: Cool little thing there. And then we take 20% for charities from there, and then the rasco into account and we pay for bonuses. Pay half of everybody's healthcare in the shop with that. Nice. Um, you know, a movie comes out, we went to theater out and everybody goes and watches a movie together. Uh, we have money put aside for, you know, if somebody gets in a little car wreck and needs help there, a new vehicle.

[00:52:03] Andrew Arrabito: And we need to help somebody get a little down payment to get a better interest rate. You know, we, I want that going back to the guys and put value, more value than just their paycheck into the business they're working in. You know, 

[00:52:17] Travis Bader: that's pretty amazing. Like you've, you've done a lot to create a, a strong team culture within your company, and it seems like, uh, you have a bit of a guiding light.

[00:52:28] Travis Bader: And I, I look at people who have businesses that don't kind of know what their value proposition is. They can't say it in a very short and succinct way, or they don't have something that, uh, they can use to measure whether they, like, for example, if, if your guiding light is to provide, uh, top quality and this type of knife or whatever it might be, anything that doesn't meet that threshold, you don't even have to look at.

[00:52:52] Travis Bader: It's easy. It's out. You have a very clear kind of path. What is your sort of north star with, with half face? 

[00:53:01] Andrew Arrabito: Uh, honestly providing, provide, you know, uh, Outside of the obvious of, of providing, you know, quality tools, um, to people and things that, you know, and tools that are really meaningful, you know, like using people's ashes and stuff.

[00:53:16] Andrew Arrabito: But as an overall arching, you know, company, I wanna provide, uh, I wanna provide a good life, you know, for these guys who work here. I wanna provide a good life for myself. I wanna provide a good life for my fans, my friends and my family, and my mother and my sister, and be able to be, uh, a huge asset in the people I love, uh, in their lives.

[00:53:38] Andrew Arrabito: And I want these guys to be able, I want these guys to be able to, you know, career development. You know, there's, there's not a lot of positions right now for guys to step up in, in, in the shop. They, I still want them. So even in my shop career development wise, if guy, you know, somewhere in the teams I went to, like free running schools and cool stuff like that.

[00:53:59] Andrew Arrabito: And it was like, Hey, if this school is gonna help you be better at your job in here, I'm like, you know, go take a class and we'll pay for it. You know, like you guys, you know, some of the guys, you know, wanna learn scuba diving. So I'm like, all right, cool. Let's, I'll pay for you to learn scuba diving. And that's even outside work.

[00:54:15] Andrew Arrabito: It's not making better work, but it's, it's really, uh, personal growth. Yeah. You know, and what's it cost, you know, a thousand bucks to, you know, here's a thousand dollars bonus, I'm gonna pay for you to go to scuba diving. That's if guys wanna do that. Awesome. Guys, you know, that's amazing too, guys to enjoy life.

[00:54:30] Andrew Arrabito: Yeah. You know, I don't wanna just, some, some, you know, it's an, it's an already an awesome shot. What more can you do, you know, to be happy and develop your own, own self and enjoy life outside of work? 

[00:54:43] Travis Bader: You know, they oftentimes it's quoted that money is the root of all evil. And I think the correct quote was, uh, the coves love of money is the, uh, root of evil.

[00:54:53] Travis Bader:

[00:54:53] Andrew Arrabito: am an agreement. I think money can buy time to an extent, right? Mm-hmm. So I have time, you know, these guys have time. Um, with that money that we work, uh, we work and make, goes back in the business. We have a team. I am able to, you know, support my mom a little more. I'm able to go on these hunting trips.

[00:55:15] Andrew Arrabito: I'm able to buy some time with those I love the most. So I'm not stuck, you know, driving two and a half hours to work eight hours, two and a half hours home, like in LA for that extra buck. But where's my time in the gym? Where's my time outside? Where's my time with my kids? Where's my time with my family?

[00:55:29] Andrew Arrabito: You know, stuff like that. So, How old are your kids? I'm, I'm saying my kids as in general, I don't have any. Okay, okay. 

[00:55:36] Travis Bader: Cause I didn't think I was like, oh, no, 

[00:55:37] Andrew Arrabito: no, no, no, bing. I'm just, you know, overall arching of Gotcha, gotcha. People to look at, you know, time with those you love has gotta be the most valuable thing we have.

[00:55:47] Travis Bader: I, I see that as the thing that I, I really respect in people who can identify that as their number one driver. Uh, I've always had that as a driver for myself and in my businesses. I don't care about the money. Money will come if you provide a good quality product and you're providing a good service and it's desirable by people.

[00:56:08] Travis Bader: Yep. I care about the adventure of building it and the ability to spend my days and my time in a way that's going to be enjoyable and Absolutely. And those people around 

[00:56:19] Andrew Arrabito: look, put that, you know, look at, look, we talked about, um, how you don't quite underst. Uh, what you do for others and impression you have on others.

[00:56:27] Andrew Arrabito: Like just with half face alone, it's a tool at the end of the day, for me, it's a tool and we've built so many cool friendships and relationships through just knives. You know what I mean? Uh, with the Hfv enthusiast group gets together and they hunt every year and they bring guys in and help them learn how to shoot and cut up animals and like, uh, the fishing and these guys have built outside.

[00:56:47] Andrew Arrabito: They've just supported half us have so much gratitude. That's the other thing you gotta have. They have so much gratitude and they're like, look what you've done. And I'm like, me, look what you guys done. You've valued this company so much and put much effort and time and money, and you've built, you know, you've built friendships with other people that you share in common with that love this brand that support this band too.

[00:57:05] Andrew Arrabito: And look at what you're doing for the guys in my shop. So we have so much g. It's so cool to see this, this, this second, you know, this second group of people that support the brand, becoming friends and raising money for people and raising money for foundations. Wow. And a guy gets in trouble, they help him, A guy can't get a knife and they give him a knife and they buy and sell and trade and create this, um, you know, this whole other group of excellence and friendship and, and just, just from a, a tool company, how did Half 

[00:57:37] Travis Bader: Face, 

[00:57:37] Andrew Arrabito: oh, go on.

[00:57:38] Andrew Arrabito: Sorry. No, I was just saying like, I gotta have so much gratitude for that and 

[00:57:41] Travis Bader: for that. Yeah, totally. How, how did you come up with the name Half Face Blades? 

[00:57:46] Andrew Arrabito: Um, well I used to paint my face half black and a few ops overseas. Um, and then, uh, you know, speak softly and carry a big stick and then see another that's your other half.

[00:57:58] Andrew Arrabito: Gotcha. Might not be a big stick, you know, but a lot of people, when you first get to know somebody, you know just a little bit of them and you get to know their other half and. You know, not that it's a bad half or a violent half. Doesn't have to be that, but you know, that's what he, the duality. 

[00:58:12] Travis Bader: Correct.

[00:58:13] Travis Bader: Yes sir. The yin, the yang love the big stick one. Would Dr. Seuss say, I've heard there's troubles of more than one kind. Some come from a head, some come from behind. But I've got a big stick. I'm already, you see now many troubles are gonna have troubles with me. I dunno. That's always gonna so good. Stuck with me.

[00:58:27] Travis Bader: So good. Um, so you just came back from a fishing trip. I'm curious about that one. I came back from hunting my, my first hunt for access deer in, in the States. Oh yeah. And, uh, did a little bit of spear fishing. I wanna hear about your spear. 

[00:58:40] Andrew Arrabito: That was a great trip. There's a, a company, kinetic spear fishing.

[00:58:43] Andrew Arrabito: Uh, a guy is still active duty. Uh, him and another guy just got out, moved to, uh, Montana, and they build really, really cool, really killer fishing, uh, spear guns. Mm-hmm. And, and the guy himself is like a really, really credible, I mean, you know, if I'm spear fishing for a while, I get some good dives in for some good time.

[00:59:02] Andrew Arrabito: But, uh, I mean, this trip he was diving, you know, 70, 80 feet. Yeah. You know, down. And I, I think my longest, my deepest dive was probably 45 or so. And I did. That's good. I did like a 43 for a minute. My longest one, I did like a 20 foot for two minutes and nine seconds, you know. That's good. But, uh, the bigger an, you know, the bigger fish are a little deeper.

[00:59:21] Andrew Arrabito: Um, really incredible trip. You know, there's another guy. He retired, another team guy went on the trip. Um, there was some random guys that at Spearfished that the guy Blake knows from around the country from Texas, another guy from here, uh, that, the guy from Northern California as well that flew in. We met and flew down to Panama, off of Panama.

[00:59:42] Andrew Arrabito: There's little islands. There's, uh, koa, which is a, a state, well, it's a protected area. That's, we didn't dive there. Obviously it's not allowed. Right. But you go past that way out to uh, uh, a little island. Tiny, tiny little island. No one lives there whatsoever. It's, I don't know how many acres, but you can drive around at, you know, in about 30 minutes.

[01:00:02] Andrew Arrabito: Um, sweet. Such an incredible place. And, you know, we went out there, they had a whole, whole crew, three boats, you know, the, the locals that drove the boats and the, they, some of those guys dive and we catch the fish during the day or dive for lobster and cook 'em at night and start again the next day. Wow.

[01:00:19] Andrew Arrabito: Incredible. Saw, you know, saw a bunch of sharks. They were all small ones. One of the guys was diving and he, I guess he just kind of felt like something was looking at him and he was down at like 30 feet and turning. There was a 12 foot, uh, hammer head, and it was kind of following. And it came, it turned, went by him.

[01:00:33] Andrew Arrabito: It turned, came straight toward him, then took off and went away. And, uh, I was diving over my buddy and uh, maybe a four and a half at, uh, white tip was following him and it was getting a little close, so I went and poked it on the head and it took off. And, but I mean, I diving, you know, I don't dive a whole lot here, but getting out and diving again, I've done it quite a bit in the past, which I really loved.

[01:00:54] Andrew Arrabito: Like diving in Fiji and diving in Moray a little island off Tahiti. Uh, man, that it's something I dove vehicle in Collibra off of Puerto Rico. Why? Incredible. Like I fall in love with it again. Every time I go, you know, man, but I am scared of sharks the entire time. Are you really? Absolutely. 

[01:01:11] Travis Bader: Yeah. Always in the back of the head looking over your shoulder every time you go down there.

[01:01:15] Andrew Arrabito: Always like every two seconds 

[01:01:17] Travis Bader: just watch a clip of somebody, uh, jumping in the water. And I think it was a great white just came out and they're Oh, yeah. Coming up back of the boat. Yeah, you saw that one, eh? Yeah. 

[01:01:26] Andrew Arrabito: But no thanks. Yeah, 

[01:01:27] Travis Bader: no, I, I just turned my brain off when I'm down there about the sharks and I just assumed that if it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen.

[01:01:34] Travis Bader: It's kinda like 

[01:01:34] Andrew Arrabito: bears. I'd assume it's gonna happen to somebody else. 

[01:01:38] Travis Bader: And you know what? With that mindset, whatever it is, it usually does, doesn't it? I don't know what it is. You put that vibe out there. 

[01:01:45] Andrew Arrabito: Yeah. I don't know, man. It's, yeah. I mean, I'd rather be out, like I'm more comfortable with a rifle out in the middle of bear country.

[01:01:54] Andrew Arrabito: Yeah. You know, a spear gun. With an animal that weighs way more than a bear. And that's all you got, like mm-hmm. One shot with a spear gun just pisses off at least with a good shot with a big rifle, he is going down with 

[01:02:05] Travis Bader: a bear. Yep. You know what I mean? You got any hunts lined up this year? 

[01:02:10] Andrew Arrabito: Um, yeah.

[01:02:12] Andrew Arrabito: Caribou in the fall with my buddy Matt DeLuca, lives in Anchorage. Just incredible outdoors man. One of my best friends now last two years, been going up to Alaska with him and going out and, and, uh, hunting nine, 10 days out and just way back Countrying, the Alaskan range. Really incredible man. It's Alaska's one of my favorite places on earth.

[01:02:32] Travis Bader: Thinking about the Alaska one, it kind of brings us full circle to where we're talking about at the beginning. Uh, if I understand correctly, there was a fellow in a villager that was having dreams and he was, yeah. Did you ever find out what those dreams were about or what, what he was, uh, 

[01:02:46] Andrew Arrabito: So the guy was, uh, Mank and um, that's who my dad was up there interviewing that village.

[01:02:52] Andrew Arrabito: I don't think he was alive when I think he had died, probably previous, before my dad went up there. But he was having these visions of just how to live better and healthier. And that village was living, you know, 20 years longer. And that was kind of a interesting thing up there. Why, you know, well all these villages, you know, I'm not sure what the mortality rate was, or not mortality, but, you know, old age dying rate, that's mortality rate.

[01:03:12] Andrew Arrabito: I can't think. But it was like, um, you know, 50 to sixties and these people were, you know, 70 to eighties. I wanna do a little documentary on that, which was kind of cool, but I haven't been out there, out in the middle of nowhere where that little village was. Hmm. It's up on the coast somewhere. You know, one, one of the biggest goals I have, which I wanted to do it, you know, last year wasn't able to, uh, this year.

[01:03:33] Andrew Arrabito: Sorry about that. Of course. Okay. All good. Um, this year, I'm not sure if I'll have time, um, but I wanna get the prop off the airplane that's up in the mountains, which would be really cool to do. Still up there, eh? Yeah, still up there. I went up there, uh, I go up in June. There's a really good, uh, it's a five one three now called Arctic Guardian.

[01:03:55] Andrew Arrabito: Mm. This guy James Drayton runs out. I go up, uh, they invited me up last year and kind of help set up a Carine course. So all the guys like law enforcement, fbi, swat, you know, the Army guys up there. It's uh, they're all invited for this one day. And there's, we set up some sniper stuff, carbing and Pistol, and it's competition.

[01:04:13] Andrew Arrabito: And there's a bunch of companies get involved and give away gear to winners and everybody involved and it supports all those guys up there. So we're, we do that every year. Wow. It's called the Arctic, Arctic Guardian. If guys wanna look it up. Really cool. Um, they always need as much support as. Totally. So I'm going up there again.

[01:04:30] Andrew Arrabito: That's in June. We went last June and we went out to see if we could see the crash that it was still covered in snow. So I think I'm gonna have to go later in the year. Try to get that. Well, I'll get 

[01:04:39] Travis Bader: some links up of course, to your business and your company and social where people can find out more. And Arctic Guardian, I'm gonna have to look that up and see what opened.

[01:04:48] Travis Bader: Some really 

[01:04:49] Andrew Arrabito: good, really good guys. Really good people. And it, it's just a good program. 

[01:04:54] Travis Bader: I know we kind of jumped around a little bit here, but is there anything that we haven't talked about that we should talk about?

[01:05:02] Andrew Arrabito: I don't know, man. You know, as long as we're having fun business life business, yeah. I mean we got, you know, I got the ammo company with my very close friend, Ryan. Ryan Bats really good. Just one of my best friends ever. Uh, working on that. Working on a new, with another guy Bill Cant retired, team guy. And Johnny Leblanc, another retired team guy working on a new, um, Kind of a search engine for ammo as well.

[01:05:26] Andrew Arrabito: That's kind of, there's a, you know, there's manufacturers and there's buying groups, and then there's two middlemen, and then there's a wholesaler and retailers, and there's just, people always want their cut and people at the end of the day don't get the best pricing. And so we're working on a way to get people closer to a manufacturer and better pricing.

[01:05:43] Travis Bader: Oh, that's brilliant. That's sort of like the, the Shark Tank guy who did it with, uh, medicine. Have you heard of that one? Uh, uh, I, so somebody here, I'm sure will correct me if I get this totally off base, but from my understanding, one of the guys from Shark Tank, uh, has set up a, um, pharmaceutical supply company where they have relationships with the manufacturers and they only charge whatever that drug is, plus whatever percent.

[01:06:10] Travis Bader: It's like plus 4%, right? Whatever It is incredible for people, massive for the world. Massive in absolutely 

[01:06:17] Andrew Arrabito: the buried entry. And that's how it should be. That's how it should be like. You know, not that, you know, there's whole series and retailers, they gotta have something, you know, and you gotta have, there's just been, you know, with the ammo company we've had just, you know, from manufacturers, and there's certain people that only have those relationships and they keep them.

[01:06:34] Andrew Arrabito: And they'll come into with six, seven, 8 million bucks, and then they'll hold it and they'll release some, and then they'll really just control, try to control everything. And they're, and you have, and then you have the guys selling, you have like four people between these to the, even the retailer that want their, you know, 2 cents to 5 cents.

[01:06:50] Andrew Arrabito: And now the retailer is the one with the brick and mortar, with the insurance, with the employees. And now he needs really to make, you know, you know, 10, 15 cents around. And, and now he can't charge that because the, the customer itself, the guy needing the ammo to shoot it is like, I can't pay that much.

[01:07:09] Andrew Arrabito: Right. You know, so we, we are working on this, this way that guys get to skip a few middlemen, greedy middlemen, 

[01:07:18] Travis Bader: you know, I, I was hearing you talk about, and it was, it was an interesting perspective. If you own your own business, you're gonna have people with their handout and people are always gonna be like, well, what can you do for us?

[01:07:28] Travis Bader: We've got a charity, we've got this, we've got whatever it might be. We've got a special interest group. And you started to take a little bit of a different approach, at least at the beginning of your, of your business and how you dealt with this. Can you tell me a bit about that? 

[01:07:41] Andrew Arrabito: Um, are you talking about like, wow, like every other day starting out like foundations just wanted free stuff, which Listen, I, I'm not blaming foundations because that's what they do.

[01:07:49] Andrew Arrabito: They get product auction it and it raises, you know, for good cause. But it was like, you know, it did seem a lot that no one cared about the person trying to start their own business or, you know, when it comes to my background being a veteran, you know, disabled veteran 10, 11 years, starting their own business.

[01:08:06] Andrew Arrabito: Everybody wanted free stuff. And I was like, what about the guys like me are out there getting out, you know, all over the military that are trying to start something, you know, support 'em. Um, So I won. I mean, I just start saying no. Mm. And then, you know, some of them that I was really close to with close buddies, I did what they could.

[01:08:23] Andrew Arrabito: And then I was doing like, you know, 50% off. And then some of those, you know, good, good guys who had those foundations like, no, we want, we wanna pay full price because the knives are going for two or three times the full price anyway. Mm. You know, when they Oxygen, I'm gonna go to foundation events. So a lot of those, you know, people like, um, you know, whether seal, future Foundation, stuff like that, and I, I'm in a position I don't want people to be like, oh, that's, you know, I'm kind of messed up.

[01:08:49] Andrew Arrabito: But I'm in a position now when the business has grown that I'm able to support a lot more foundations and donate, you know, free stuff here and there. Um, but you know, People like, uh, folds of honor, they'll, you know, generally they're buying 50 knives a year of really beautiful customs, and they're like, no, we wanna play full price.

[01:09:06] Andrew Arrabito: So it, it comes back to the business, you know, like a little bit of profit on it. But you gotta think of all the, I have half my guys are veterans, right. You know, like, take care of the businesses, buy two. Right. You know, don't ask for a discount, you know, and I do that, like people, people hit me up and offer like, Hey, I wanna send you some hats and shirts or, or something like that.

[01:09:23] Andrew Arrabito: I'm like, dude, chill. Like, how about this? Like, I'll get on and I'll order stuff. Mm-hmm. You know, and, and that just doesn't just mean veteran owned businesses. Like these are just other small businesses in general. I'm like, the other day there's, there's, um, a couple that's bought eyes before and they have some businesses out east and, um, She makes sourdough bread, and actually it reminds me of another buddy in northern California makes sourdough bread and a couple times a year, like I'll see the Instagram pop up and I'm like, cool.

[01:09:48] Andrew Arrabito: Hey, can I order 35 loaves of sourdough? And, uh, like, I don't care. Shipping don't care the cost. Like, you know, if he makes some money, I'm happy and, you know, we'll get a bunch of boxes of sourdough here and two days later and handle lofa bread out to all the guys in the shop to eat that weekend. You know what I mean?

[01:10:04] Andrew Arrabito: It's, I, it's fun to be able to give that back and support those small businesses, uh, financially. Know I, 

[01:10:09] Travis Bader: there, there's a number of things here that I'm looking at that I see in other successful entrepreneurs, and if you're to try to distill it, um, you know, it's a passion for what you do. It's clear, it comes out in what you're doing here.

[01:10:22] Travis Bader: Um, your, the office will often say, you know what, Trav, I, I know when, uh, I know who, who your friends are and who they aren't, right? I'm like, oh yeah, how's that? Because people will call up and they say, Hey, I'm Travis's friend and I'm looking for a discount. Right? And, uh, And the office says, well, why don't you just call Travis?

[01:10:40] Travis Bader: Right? And they say, okay, I, I know your friends. Because they'll show up on the back end and they just, they just pay full price and they buy things. Yeah. I would give it to 'em for free, but they never ask of that. Right. 

[01:10:52] Andrew Arrabito: Yeah. You know, I, I have a problem with that. I'm always like, oh, man. Like I don't, I know I don't deal with the money side of the business cuz I don't like that.

[01:10:59] Andrew Arrabito: That feels like I'm taking, you know what I mean? Right. I don't want to give so much. Right. You know, but I, I got some pit bulls here at work, you know, like Kelsey that runs the office here, she's a, she's like, no way. And she, I mean, to the point where we'll make a knife in the back or I'll make a knife and I'm like, oh, I'm gonna keep this.

[01:11:12] Andrew Arrabito: And she's like, no, you're not. You're son. You know what I mean? Oh. She's like, I'm the one who pays the bills. Well, oh dang. Okay, well gotta sell it, you know, but, Yeah, I, I, I mean, I create discounts now that we're, you know, I didn't do a, didn't really do a discount right in the beginning because I wanted my business to flourish.

[01:11:29] Andrew Arrabito: Mm-hmm. And the more my businesses flourishes, I can do more for others. And one, one of my big things I've told guys, you know, Mac Belt, he's another team guy, really good guy. Um, you know, you know, at the beginning he's like, man, I want to, and he would extend knives, like, stop giving stuff away for free. Hmm.

[01:11:44] Andrew Arrabito: Like, listen, if someone's you, if someone's gonna, you know, talk about you on a podcast or something like that, and you wanna hook 'em up, okay? But like, do one or two here. That's it. And if any of your buddies want discounts, that's not your buddy. I've said, that's it. Listen, that's it. I should buy two.

[01:11:59] Andrew Arrabito: Right. You know, I'm gonna come to you and I'm gonna buy two, I'm gonna put an order in, you know, for 30 of 'em, for my guys in the shop. Or, you know, I, I, that's how you support other businesses, whether you. It doesn't need to be a law enforcement, first responder, military veteran-owned business, just small business.

[01:12:15] Andrew Arrabito: Mm-hmm. You want people to succeed. We want our economy to succeed. We want 'em there to, to succeed. You know what I mean? And yeah, those people want to create a business, something they enjoy and, and, uh, they got, you know, their kids' mouths to feed and you can't eat ramen every day. So, 

[01:12:29] Travis Bader: you know, I know my kids would like that.

[01:12:31] Travis Bader: At least one of 'em would True. Loves his Robin. Um, and but you're also surrounding yourself with people who, uh, Compliment or they make up for your deficiencies. You're like, I, I don't want to deal with the money. I'll find someone, I'll find Kelsey. Kelsey can 

[01:12:45] Andrew Arrabito: deal with the money. That's like, good team.

[01:12:46] Andrew Arrabito: And some people are just better at some things than others. Mm-hmm. You know? Oh, and you're also given the, you know, one of the things with, you know, that leadership is you're always learning leadership, but you're also seeing, you're empowering them and not micromanaging. So you're empowering them to get, be better at their job.

[01:13:01] Andrew Arrabito: And you're also saying, I got faith in you. Mm-hmm. You know, you're good at this. I expect a lot from you. You're gonna get, you know, the better you do, the more you get paid, and the more we flourish as a business. Um, but I do expect you to do your job well. And here's where I think you might be lacking.

[01:13:16] Andrew Arrabito: Here's what you missed. Um, I can't do what you do. I wouldn't en wouldn't enjoy what you do. So I want to give you the faith that you, you can do it well and grow in your own aspect. Uh, 

[01:13:27] Travis Bader: one of my coworkers at, um, he worked with me for a number of years and then moved on to another job and we've become good friends.

[01:13:35] Travis Bader: Uh, when he was, uh, working with me, he says, Uh, there's a Chinese, uh, curse that says, I wish you so much success that you have many employees and, uh, because the management of all of that, all of a sudden you're no longer dealing with. What was that you first started that you really loved and now you're trying to deal with all these different personality types and have you had difficult, I I mean, Gary Vanerchuk will say, don't get good at hiring, get good at firing.

[01:14:04] Travis Bader: Right. Just find a nice way where you can let somebody go who isn't working up to standard and assist them to get onto something that maybe another job or connection you have. Or what are your thoughts on, on those things? 

[01:14:18] Andrew Arrabito: Uh, I mean, we, turnover would really suck for us cuz it takes a while to teach somebody, you know what I mean?

[01:14:24] Andrew Arrabito: So, and it takes away from the time of my, my guys who've been here a long time to teach somebody new. Mm. Um, so we don't like turnover, obviously. Hmm. Um, takes six months, seven, eight months for guys to get. Okay. And then, you know, good year, year and a half, our guys are very proficient. Hmm. And I do let the guys, when guys hit a certain level here in the shop, I let 'em get pretty damn creative on their own.

[01:14:46] Andrew Arrabito: Yeah. Within reason. Yeah. And then guys really enjoyed that. You know, I wanna see, yeah. You know, I could take five guys, give 'em all the same knife design, say these are the three handle materials you're each gonna use. And all the knives would end up different, you know, which is really cool. That is cool.

[01:15:00] Andrew Arrabito: So want guys to be creative in their own way and, and see where they're, you know, they flourish, which I really like. 

[01:15:08] Travis Bader: What's your favorite knife for hunting? 

[01:15:11] Andrew Arrabito: Um, I mean, I ran my crow Jr. Probably more than anything else. Yeah. Um, I used that little feather light a lot when I was in Alaska. I used, uh, like a full size crow and a feather light pretty much for everything.

[01:15:22] Andrew Arrabito: And I took a, I took a Skinner with me, um, which I love those two little new little Skinner, so it kind of depends. Um, You know that feather line is a really killer little blade for almost everything. It's just a little small for doing big, big game. Mm-hmm. It's great for Caping for parts of big game obviously.

[01:15:40] Andrew Arrabito: Uh, but you know, I did a buffalo, almost a buffalo with the Skinner Jr. Did, uh, oryx. We've done obviously multiple Elk mm-hmm. With Mike Crow, Jr. There's multiple, there's multiple 

[01:15:58] Travis Bader: knives. Having the background of being able to look at a problem from a different angle, and I find perhaps that's an ADHD thing as well.

[01:16:06] Travis Bader: You just, you look at something completely different than somebody else would. You didn't say, you can't put padding under my shirt. Right, right, right. Um, massive benefit to having a business cuz you can find all the areas that need servicing that other people aren't because they just haven't looked at it yet.

[01:16:22] Travis Bader: Sure. 

[01:16:23] Andrew Arrabito: Or they learned a certain way and the way they learned. They've only thought about that way. 

[01:16:27] Travis Bader: Do you find there's people copying your style and like, or just blatantly ripping off Hfp? It's insane. Yeah. How do you protect that? I. No, 

[01:16:38] Andrew Arrabito: no, I mean, there's, there's, obviously, there's patents you can do, like, on a certain knife, a certain thing like the, you know, the wave.

[01:16:44] Andrew Arrabito: Mm-hmm. Uh, like Emerson did, like he can protect, there's certain patents, uh, that people have, like a certain thing, a certain design on a knife that does a certain thing. So you, that's, that's pretty much all you can protect, um, obviously within the industry. Like, you're not supposed to copy people. That's, that's a big no-no.

[01:17:02] Andrew Arrabito: Um, So what people do is they get really close with the design and then they copy the handle. Almost exact. And, and our aesthetics have been copied heavily last, you know, three years, three years, four years, very heavily aesthetic copying. Um, you know, there's a level in which people like, well, it's flattery.

[01:17:20] Andrew Arrabito: And I'm like, well, you know, there's a point where it detracts, it does detract right from our business and what we did. And I didn't see any split materials like we did before, and we made that up. Mm. You know what I mean? Um, I'm, I'm so stoked if we can be a good influence on either knife making, and I've had people that I look up to and look up to in the industry that are really incredible knife makers and bladesmiths that, um, uh, are amazing and do incredible stuff and, and we're all a bit different.

[01:17:49] Andrew Arrabito: Um, so seeing people that they aren't original, um, I'm like, you can be. You know, but, you know, does somebody want a real, you know, somebody you want to knock off of something? Mm-hmm. No, it doesn't hold value, so. Mm-hmm. Plus it's challenging when people, you know, try to rip our stuff off. They're like, all right, well, what can we do better?

[01:18:11] Andrew Arrabito: What can we challenge ourselves to change or make new or, um, and just do 

[01:18:18] Travis Bader: better? I always wonder how much attention, because I'm a similar mindset. Someone wants a copy. That's great. I'll pivot. They're already behind me, right? They're already. But on the same breath, if you've got something that's really popular that people are liking and it's gonna devalue your brand in the way that they're trying to copy it, because people start associating you with perhaps an inferior quality product, how much of your attention do you put towards protecting the brand as opposed to, um, innovating and pivoting?

[01:18:47] Andrew Arrabito: Uh, minimal on the, protecting the brand side cuz you can't, one, you can't do a lot. And two, we've built such a good, uh, loyal group of, um, of follow, good following. Um, you know, obviously it's a business, their product and who's behind the business. So we've built such a good, loyal group of people that know, uh, know the projects that know us and have built personal relationships with, so, Hmm, excuse me.

[01:19:12] Andrew Arrabito: Yep. It's on them to protect the brand as well. And we've had these conversations with, you know, HSE enthusiast group or somebody is, you know, rehandling taking knives and rehandling 'em and trying to sell 'em and, and then, you know, contacting them and they'll be like, Well, why I'm letting the person know that I'm selling it too, that I rehanded it and those little, you know, taking a production knife, unbolting the handle and doing another handle on it.

[01:19:34] Andrew Arrabito: If you did, if they had their own style in totally different grip Hmm. I, I'd still think that's a little shady. Like go out and be selling it. Yeah. Like, like it's a, you know, they're always like, oh no, it's not a half face. I did the handle. Well, why are you selling as much as one of the custom Our customs would be, right.

[01:19:48] Andrew Arrabito: Because you know someone, and here's the deal, let's say the first person knows that that person rehandle the knife, but it's a half face weights bag. Well the second guy, he may not sell that to cuz he wants to get 1500 bucks for it. Mm-hmm. Or whatever, or, you know, and then that guy gets a knife and he is like, well this handle's kind of whack this, it's not lined up properly.

[01:20:05] Andrew Arrabito: This, this off. If there's still scratches on it, we'll look at. Look at now their first impression of a half face blade's knife. Right. So having this, you know, having these conversations with guys who've have put a lot of money and invested a lot into half face, and having these good conversations of like, listen, it behooves you to protect this brand because of your investment in it.

[01:20:27] Andrew Arrabito: Mm-hmm. And you want the knives to remain valuable forever or in gain, in value. Mm-hmm. So be careful of letting you know, or supporting other brands that are copying our stuff and knocking our stuff off. Because if it devalues our, you know, the half face in any way, it's devaluing your investment in this brand.

[01:20:43] Andrew Arrabito: So it's on everybody. Protect a brand. 

[01:20:45] Travis Bader: That's such a good way of looking 

[01:20:46] Andrew Arrabito: at it. But you know, again, like I said, I don't spend a whole lot of time on it. Um, it's kind, you know, like people are gonna do it and they know it's dishonest. Um, well, what you've done 

[01:20:58] Travis Bader: is you've made a very clear and concise way to help mobilize other people to spend time on it.

[01:21:04] Travis Bader: Correct. That's brilliant. Why? Why, why do you need to put your attention there when it's gonna take you off the eye? Your, the prize that you're looking at. Correct. Just that's, uh, that's a, a valuable trait in a leader is to be able to, oh, it's leadership, the art of influencing human behavior. So it's accomplish a mission in the manner, so desired by the leader.

[01:21:24] Travis Bader: Right. But you can, if you can distill that down and have others just pick up the slack and go with it. Right. 

[01:21:30] Andrew Arrabito: Individual based. And we, you know, like I said, we've built those good relationships and we wanna make the best stuff for people. And there's so many people who have, who, you know, buy, selling, trading.

[01:21:39] Andrew Arrabito: They've made a lot of good money off of buying, selling, and trading. And I think they have gratitude as well. And we have so much gratitude for that, that values the brand. So protecting it is a, is a, it's a protecting. It's really big. Yeah. Uh, I don't spend a whole lot of my, my time on that, my personal time.

[01:21:55] Andrew Arrabito: I expect people to have invested in, in the business and built these relationships with us here at the shop personally and the brand itself to, to do that. Where's responsibility? 

[01:22:04] Travis Bader: Where's the most of your time spent? 

[01:22:07] Andrew Arrabito: Uh, I'm working on my own projects and, you know, working on up and coming collaborations and new designs and refining old stuff.

[01:22:14] Andrew Arrabito: Um, and building those friendships, man, and, and you know, spending time with my guys in the shop, in and outta work. That's 

[01:22:21] Travis Bader: ticket. I love it. Well, uh, should we wrap things up there? Is there anything else we should plug before we re before we do? 

[01:22:29] Andrew Arrabito: Um, I mean, I guess we did talk about War Paw a little bit.

[01:22:33] Andrew Arrabito: Just, I grew up up in Napa Valley and it's kind of my ode to, to, uh, the wine country and I really wanted to do it for a long time and I'd come up with some, you know, ideas and, and name stuff and what, you know, what I wanted to add into that. And I ran into a guy, uh, GW Luci and he has his own wine and he joined the Army and he got out and married a woman up in Napa Valley that I knew and became a wine maker and has his own label.

[01:22:58] Andrew Arrabito: And he became my wine maker. And it kind of like, Just fell into place and he's, I was talking to him and he was like, yeah, I'm making wine. I have my own label. And I was like, Hey, you know, would you consider, you know, managing and making wine with me? And, you know, and I put my trust in him and yeah, we go and find, you know, vineyards with good grapes and walk those vineyards and get those contracts and buy the barrels and, and make wine.

[01:23:24] Andrew Arrabito: So that's small and it's growing. It's a cool side project I really love, um, if you get a chance, people can go there and there's only, you know, two, uh, two varietals, two uh, wines up right now on the site. And then I have a pinot noir that's dropping in the fall, but read the back of the, read the back of the bottle.

[01:23:42] Andrew Arrabito: People really like that. Yeah. The meanings, the symbols, there's, there's little symbols on the back and each symbol stands for, stands for something that I think people really jive. Really cool. I have to 

[01:23:51] Travis Bader: check that out next time. It's been a few years I've been in Napa. The 

[01:23:53] Andrew Arrabito: lion, the lion is one of the lo little logos on the back as well.

[01:23:57] Andrew Arrabito: There you go. You know, for, you know, the, you know, the lion provides and he protects his, he protects his family and his tribe and he protects the land he grew up on. So, 

[01:24:06] Travis Bader: and it's war and they, well they ship to Canada. If I don't make it down to Napa, I don't 

[01:24:11] Andrew Arrabito: think so. Yeah, I don't think so either. Might have now as of figure something out.

[01:24:13] Andrew Arrabito: You know, it's all, I have it, you know, stored up at a spa in Napa Valley and a place called Veno Shipper ships it cause they have the licensing for the different states. Okay. So it's all direct. Um, there's, you know, I just need to be really proactive with it, with my limited time and um, there's some really nice restaurants that have asked for it that just haven't been able to get it to him yet.

[01:24:32] Andrew Arrabito: But I have, my cab cab will be two and a half more years till the Cabernet gets released. Um, Pinot Navarro will be this year, next year, another Shein Blanc. Next year I'm working with the guy Mario Cullo up there. He's got some really amazing wines. So working with him and I have some good mentors. Very cool for the outside of the fence.

[01:24:49] Travis Bader: I might have a couple connections in that area as well that might be able to assist with exposure. So we can talk, uh, always appreciate it. Talk off, off air here. Um, Andrew, thank you so very much for being on the Silvercore podcast. Really enjoyed talking with you. Hey, 

[01:25:03] Andrew Arrabito: did we not talk about our own project?

[01:25:06] Andrew Arrabito: We didn't, did 

[01:25:07] Travis Bader: we? Let's, let's talk about that one really. Yeah. Oh, that's exciting. Yeah. How, how can I miss that one? Right? Uh, so yeah, we've got some, uh, half face blades coming out with, uh, special limited edition run for Silvercore. And we're gonna have, once those are up and ready, anybody who's, uh, uh, interested in seeing that, we'll have links in the mailer and through social media and you can check it out through, uh, half 

[01:25:36] Andrew Arrabito: face plates.

[01:25:36] Andrew Arrabito: So we'll have, uh, the, the first five done today, they're probably done right now. We're going gonna get 'em up to you to start getting some, uh, photography. And as the other ones get done, we'll get some photography and stuff down here. We'll get all the, the specs and, you know, we'll, we'll find a date and time where you wanna release them and we'll put that out.

[01:25:55] Andrew Arrabito: Uh, we'll put that out as well. Date and time and images and all the specs. And it's a really cool, it's one of my favorite little blades, you know, outdoor blades, so, mm-hmm. 

[01:26:04] Travis Bader: I'm so stoked for that one. It's, um, Yeah, and like it's been said a few times by yourself, but very grateful for the connections and being introduced to you and what you do.

[01:26:14] Travis Bader: I'm sure we'll be talking more in the future. I'm actually looking forward to coming down and checking out your 

[01:26:18] Andrew Arrabito: shop. Absolutely, man. Always welcome. So 

[01:26:21] Travis Bader: we'll have all of that up on social media and of course sir Mueller as well. Andrew, thanks so 

[01:26:27] Andrew Arrabito: much. Absolutely, man. It's been a pleasure to be here. It's, that's, uh, I'm glad we connected and we could work together and get to.