After growing tired of running a staffing agency for several years, Trevor Darby realized he could pivot in a completely new direction with his work — and use entrepreneurship to make that happen. He is now pursuing this dream with help from the Master of Business Creation program at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business.
Darby is the founder of BladeOps, an online knife retail company. What began as a small business he ran out of an extra closet at his staffing agency is now a top-ranked destination for knife consumers and collectors nationwide. The company currently operates out of a storefront location along with its website.
“We have a lot of fun educating our customers about different knives and how they function,” Darby said. “We have a wide variety of customers in our base, from people who use these knives in their everyday life to people who use them for their outdoor activities.”
Entrepreneurship was appealing to Darby because of his ability to market a dependable product, which was something he didn’t feel like he could do at the staffing agency.
“It happened to be retail,” he said. “Most people go the other direction trying to flee from retail. But I thought, ‘I think I can make this work.’ It’s been a fun journey.”
Darby decided to quit the staffing agency altogether and go full time with his business. It’s been growing ever since, but Darby has kept an open mind to lessons about entrepreneurship along the way.
Find this article and a lot more in the 2023 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers, and entrepreneurs.