Thank you for visiting ProtectYOURshelves. We are a US Army Veteran owned and family operated hometown business. Each order is handcrafted and shipped to the lower 48 states. All of our Custom Concealment Shelves, Flags and Furniture are handmade one at a time. We do it all from start to finish.
Pictures really do not do justice to our flags but we take time to make sure each flag we build and ship will be loved by each and every customer that chooses us. Know that you are helping to support a young family when you choose to order through us.
We know that you have many options and take that very seriously. Each item ordered will be completed with our current production times and we will make every effort to accommodate special requests. Please message us if you need special arrangements or have a design idea.
Our current production times are 2 weeks for all flags. Sometimes an order may ship sooner than those times but we want to make sure to allow enough time to create each unique piece. Thank you again for visiting and we hope to share one of our flags with you.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or to build a custom piece!
Like our Facebook Page for exclusive pictures and sales/discounts.
Here is a facebook post from one of my battle buddies when I was in the Army and fought in the Iraq War with. It tells on updated version of our shop current situation and how we progressed to where we are now.
So here’s a story about one of my friends that I must share…
I’m calling this brief story: Success and Post Traumatic Stress
Almost a year and a half ago, my friend and former platoon mate, Mike Cafaro, sent me a picture of what appeared to be a rustic looking American flag made out of pallet wood. He went on to explain that it was actually a concealment shelf that he created to store a weapon. I said, “that’s cool, are you going to sell it?” He said, “sell it?! No, I’m going to hang it on my wall.” Mike made a couple more and fooled around with a few different designs. He started giving them to people, and as I did, these people suggested that he try selling one. Mike took to Craigslist with one, then another, and another. He brought them to gun shows and other related events with likely customers.
He sent me more pictures and I shared them with my wife, Lindsi. Without hesitation, she said, “Etsy!” I called Mike and said, “you have to create an Etsy store… Lindsi says do it now.” Not only did he get going with the Etsy store, but Mike incorporated as a limited liability company, enlisted a patent attorney to get going on a utility patent, had a company website created, and began advertising all over social media. He went from selling a few here and there to quickly selling hundreds of them. So quickly in fact that he erected a giant pole barn equipped with heat and electricity to house the business. He built this new factory of sorts behind his home and packed it with tools and inventory, all paid for with flag shelf proceeds.
Mike calls the company Chunky Selves, and Chunky Shelves is about to sell its one-thousandth concealment shelf (there’s a bit of back story behind the name, but I’m not entirely familiar with it). In less than two years of existence, Chunky Shelves is spending hundreds in daily advertising and already employs four people (not including Mike). Even his mother is helping out on a regular basis. I recently traveled to Mike’s home in Waterloo, Iowa to see the operation. I arrived just in time to see his mother come flying up the long driveway in the family pick-up truck. The truck bed was loaded with enormous spools of bubble wrap intended for flag shelf packaging. It was quite a sight.
Mike isn’t doing anything imprudent with the money. Rather, he has been loading it all back into the business in effort to continue growing it. This brings to me to what I believe truly needs to be shared. From our frequent conversations, I’ve derived that investing and reinvesting, tinkering with advertising and new equipment, basically just becoming hyper focused on something constructive is having a real positive effect on one veteran’s life. Put another way, Mike is not using the income to purchase anything for himself that may result in short-term gratification. He’s reinvesting completely in something that keeps his mind occupied. It keeps him laser focused on something good and constructive. It’s a real good thing for mental health, combat veteran or not.
I’m writing about this because the topic of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been on my mind. No pun intended. Seriously, I don’t think PTSD has really been an issue for me. But, I know it has for others. As a veteran, naturally, many of my Facebook friends are from my army days. I see PTSD-related posts all the time by people who shared the same experience. I’m no psychologist, but my guess is that it was probably helpful to focus on something else immediately after the military. Like Mike’s concealment shelf business, for me, it was school and eventually my business. I imagine Mike wishes he fell into this sooner. Not just for the money, but mainly to have the task to focus on.
Mike visits the VA periodically to talk through his experiences. He won’t tell you this. He doesn’t mind if I do; he would just never bring it up on his own. Interestingly, he tells me he has been less often in the past two years…
I don’t know much about PTSD, and again, I’m no psychologist. But, for what it’s worth, I’ll suggest the mind is happier and healthier when it has something to be diligent about.
At this juncture, I’ll leave a shameless plug for Mike’s business and related website: chunkyshelves.com. Visit the website. Check out his work. It’s all beautifully handmade. I’d encourage anyone to place an order and keep a vet rolling!