“Our timing was lucky. People want to have fun and throwing an axe is a pretty good way to relieve a little stress and anger."
“The axe-throwing business has been unexpectedly busy. When I started Sköll Axe Throwing this year, I had no idea how much it was going to catch on. We started building the mobile unit right around early March, maybe like February, so it was right before COVID shut everything down. I was definitely glad I went with a mobile unit instead of a brick and mortar location, that way we didn’t have a bunch of money invested in a location we couldn’t use.
Once everything opened back up, our first event was at the Georgia Beer Company right before July 4. That was a big break because they have such a huge fan base. So things just kind of blew up after that. A lot of private parties started being booked, like birthday parties. We've even done a wedding event, so I'm keeping the bachelor party busy before the wedding starts. That was the description we were given by the wedding coordinator. We've also been at church events and festivals.
We were kind of surprised because we’d thought things were going to go slowly in the beginning. Our timing was lucky. People want to have fun and throwing an axe is a pretty good way to relieve a little stress and anger. So I guess it kind of went together pretty well with everything that was going on. I just put that X on that target, and you can get all that frustration out right there, on that board.
There’ve been a lot of mom groups coming in. It was a long spring and it was a long summer. It’s been a mess this year, so throwing an axe is a really good way for them to relieve that stress. Women usually tend to be better than the men. I don't know if they listen to the instructions a little better or if they have a little bit more frustration and rage. I don't know which one it is, but they are better than the men.
So I wasn't going to worry about a brick and mortar location at least for a few months after we started the mobile unit, but then after just a month of having the mobile unit I signed a lease on this building. There’s a lot of demand around here and the nearest mobile is about two or three hours away. So there's really nobody in this area that does it at the moment besides us.
We are hoping we might have a small opening a little bit before Christmas. We have a lot of small private parties that want to come in here. We'll let them do that and then we'll have a lot of small openings here and there, just to kind of get used to everything. Then we’ll have our big grand opening early January.
We are a little bit worried about having lockdowns coming, but it is what it is. We understand that things have to be done. Sometimes you have to just accept it and go slow and that's fine. We'll see how it works out. Our employees will be wearing masks and we'll have hand sanitizers and stuff scattered around everywhere. We don’t need to worry about social distancing. That’s something you already have to do with axe throwing.
I am balancing this business with my studies at Valdosta State. We’re opening another location up the road in Tifton, so I don't know if I'll be able to handle full-time studies plus two locations next semester. We'll see how that goes. You can learn a lot of stuff in a classroom, but I prefer to actually get out and do it.” -- Caleb, Sköll Axe Throwing #Georgia