Bulger's Beat: 15-year-old carving out lucrative knife business - WSMV Channel 4

Bulger's Beat: 15-year-old carving out lucrative knife business

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Ryan Vaughn Ryan Vaughn

A 15-year-old Tullahoma boy is running his own company and satisfying customers nationwide.

Thanks to a popular TV show, turning your truck or car into something visually spectacular is called "pimping" your ride. Well, Ryan Vaughn would rather "pimp" your pocketknife. And he does it with surprising success.

"I'm extremely surprised. I thought I would never really make it anywhere with it, but I just kept practicing and figuring stuff out, and I guess I got good at it," Vaughn said.

He's good at giving life to your knife. His creations have caused internet sensations by turning a dull knife handle into something sharp.

"Yeah, in a way, just making their knife look better and totally changing the appearance of it. So, I guess in a way, I'm 'pimping' their knife," Vaughn said.

Fifteen-year-old boys are bound to love their toys, but the basketball hoop and backyard swimming pool are lonely at Vaughn's house this summer. He has customers from across the United States and Canada sending him their knives for a rebirth.

His mother, Sandy, is also now part of the operation, providing a critical role.

"I'm his assistant. He can't drive yet, so I take him to the post office," she said.

He started doing this just six months ago, and it wasn't pretty.

"It was terrible. It didn't go well and did not work at all. I just kept practicing," he said.

At $100 a knife, now practice is paying off.

"At Christmas, it went from he wasn't really doing this to we were on vacation at spring break, and he was stressed out and had so many orders to get out. So, yeah, it happened very quickly," Sandy Vaughn said.

In most ways, he's your typical 15-year-old boy: a little shy, but not unsure. And, somehow, he's already found his future.

"I don't know, I guess do what you find that's fun and not what everyone else does - even if you don't like it. That's kind of what I've done," Ryan said.

If you have a knife you want to send for a Ryan rebirth, email sales@rvbladeworks.com.

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