On May 4th 2023 Ironside Edge Works was incorporated as a registered US Business in the great state of Wyoming!
This is a very big deal for us. The trials of the last 5 months have been the most stressful of our lives, forcing us to decide whether we would have to give up on knifemaking completely.
In January of 2023 we were hit with a tsunami of terrible news that threatened to destroy our livelihoods and everything we have created over the previous near 6 years. Our payment processor at the time, PayPal, had quite suddenly and without warning declared us to be in violation of their policies, and our account was immediately seized. This included seizing funds from us, but more importantly, meant we could not continue doing business at all. For any small business which survives essentially hand-to-mouth, this is a devastating blow.
The policy we supposedly infringed upon was, as stated: “Selling Firearms or Firearms Accessories”. Which, clearly, is not what we even do!
Despite this, PayPal offered zero recourse. There is NO appeal process. You cannot even email or call a human being to speak to and attempt to overturn their decision. Your business must simply stop.
While in this day and age there are many options for payment processing available to most e-commerce businesses, ours is unique. We are located in South Africa, but we are an international facing business. 95% of all of our customers are outside of our country, the vast majority of them are in the USA, making up about 85% of our total sales. Meaning that our business relies on being able to process transactions in US$. PayPal was the only international payment processor that would allow a business in South Africa to do this.
All of this is to say, we were dead in the water.
Our business has suffered a lot of damage as a result of PayPal’s callous decision to simply cut us off at the knee’s. Our revenue is down by 50% and we have not broken even at any time since this decision. All attempts to find a viable alternative platform have failed. We faced the certainty that we would have to close our business – and since PayPal not only seized our business account, but also our personal ones, we couldn’t even go back to doing things the old fashioned way. It’s a decision that could have forced us to give up knifemaking as a profession in its entirety.
Our only possible salvation lay in an extreme, and expensive solution. Becoming an American business and opening up the doors to better and more viable options for our business.
Doing this as non-American citizens is very possible, but as non-citizens is also an expensive proposition. With our business essentially surviving on a trickle of revenue, to come up with extra funds to facilitate this move was incredibly difficult and involved a lot of sacrifice.
But we are now proud to say we have a little foothold in the country that gave us a career. Ironside Edge Works would not exist if it were not for our American customers, and transitioning to an American business means we can better serve those who have helped us.
We can’t say for sure what the future holds, but Ironside Edge Works LLC now has access to first world amenities and payment processors. We can choose who we want to work with and avoid those in the tech industry who seem to have a clear agenda against those who support ideals like self reliance, self defence and self determination. They may have brought us to our knee’s but we will stand again, and they have only made us stronger and more determined than ever to succeed. Perhaps this is the start of our eventual physical move to the land of the free.
Our knives are all over America, in the hands of the average citizen, the professionals, and the homes of collectors. We have dedicated customers of entire families, 3 generations deep who carry our knives. Our knives are in every corner of the world, and have seen use by military personnel and specialised police units doing the work that keeps the rest of us safe. We know the need we serve, we know the importance of what we do, and we have no intention of stopping.
We have a few weeks to go before we get all the paperwork done, and we can fully transition to our new US business and begin trading again as before. We thank everyone who made the effort to purchase from us through make-shift means and keep us going during these bleak months, without you we would not be here.