Iowa friends’ axe restoration business becomes so much more

When four Iowa buddies started restoring axes and selling them on Etsy, they had no idea the business would grow into a brick and mortar operation manufacturing leather-goods, as well as selling clothing, knives and much more.

Fontenelle Supply Company was featured on their local news in Des Moines, and as we enjoy bringing you pieces that paint the edged-tool community in a positive light, we hope you enjoy this one.


Like America itself, it was an axe that cleared the path for the Fontenelle Supply Company–owned by four camping buddies who simply wanted to split wood for a fire.

“Initially,” says co-owner Andrew Willoughby, “we brought some axes that just didn’t quite…cut it.”

Pardon the pun–necessity did lead to invention, here.


“We went out and looked for an old axe head,” Willoughby continues, “figured out how to restore it—how to resharpen it, hang it on a new handle—and then that’s when we realized that sometimes doing things the old way still works really well.”

Before long they were buying up old axes at garage sales and on eBay, and selling them on Etsy.

They were becoming new experts in an old field.




  1. Wade says:

    I am not sure that is an old trade actually, I think back in the day everyone just sort of took care of their own tools. I restore stuff like this too. Didn’t look like the restored in as much as they cleaned it up and brought new life into it. I wouldn’t call it restored until it was either blued or polished.

  2. Paul on Harsens Island says:

    Who came first, these guys or Best Made Company? Seems like they are nearly identical.

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Iowa friends’ axe restoration business becomes so much more

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