Today we’d like to introduce you to Shawn Moulenbelt.
Hi Shawn, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I grew up in nearby Hopkins MI. After graduating from Hopkins High School, I joined the Army. My MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) was 51 Bravo: Carpenter and Mason. After 2 years of active duty, I attended Western Michigan University majoring in Construction Management. I also received my commission as an Army officer thru ROTC and was a platoon leader in the Michigan Army National Guard.
After graduating college, I married my girlfriend of three years Eileen. We have 3 beautiful daughters: Tess, Hanna, and Emily. This month we will celebrate our 29th anniversary. 🙂
My main occupation after college was residential building and remodeling.
When 2020 arrived, I was forced to hang up my tool belt and figure out how to make a living.
Up until then making knives had been my hobby. I had been gaining experience and a bit of a customer base since my appearance on a knife-making competition TV show on the History Channel called Forged In Fire.
So, with the help of my wife and friends, I remodeled the upper level of my barn into my new forge. I now make knives and teach knife-making classes full time.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Not always but I owned my own construction company for years before COVID. So, I have a lot of experience in the ups and downs of owning my own business. However, there are a number of obstacles, one of which is cash flow. Fortunately, my wife works also and has insurance for us!
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
One of the bigger things that has helped me in this business is competing on Forged In Fire. That definitely helps fill classes when people know you from watching that show.
What matters most to you? Why?
Family and good friends. After 55 years on this planet, I’ve realized they’re what matters most!
- Website: www.51bravo.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/51bravo/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/51bravo
- Youtube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCy0lb5Ckg7M3e7alHjkvuKw
Emily Fox Photo