Brothers, Buckeyes, Recon Marines, and veterans are just some of the words that describe Dana and Chet Peters. But as fidget spinner entrepreneurs, this duo is making waves commemorating military service for fellow vets.
At a time when American manufacturing is widely seen to have gone by the wayside, two engineering-savvy veterans are putting their pedal to the metal with MilSpin, a company that specializes in hand-crafted, high-end fidget spinners that feature customized military engravings.
In 2015, an engineering internship led Chet to invest in specialized metal cutting machines with his brother.
“I was learning to use the machine at Ohio State University, as we were buying one for a side business,” says Chet. “We were looking for any possible way we could make money off the machine,” adds Dana.
TacPack, a subscription based service for tactical gear based in Columbus, Ohio, approached the Peters brothers to make a custom fidget spinner for their tactical boxes. After Chet spent hundreds of hours designing a prototype with military-related engravings on the wings of the spinners, Dana posted the product in a few veteran groups on Facebook and reactions were overwhelming.
“Everybody just raved over it,” says Dana. “They wanted it, and they wanted it right now.”
From there, the duo began placing more military insignia on the spinners, if an emblem was requested they would add it. Currently, MilSpin offers over 500 different symbols from all branches of the military.
With their average customer being 45 years old, these spinners aren’t for kids. “We are a custom shop that contributes to veterans’ service,” says Chet. Selling almost exclusively to veterans, buyers see the fidget spinners as a novelty challenge coin made to order in America customized with their insignia of choice.
“We aren’t making toys, this is a solid piece of quarter-inch thick stainless steel,” says Dana. “Veterans know how to battle test something.
Dana and Chet credit their service as Recon Marines for success in business, and their courage to take a chance. “You become pretty ballsy in the military,” says Chet. “You get thrown into situations others don’t get to see, and you come out of it with a new found confidence,” adds Dana.
“Anybody can sell fidget spinners, but you can’t make them as well as we can.”
But the Peters brothers aren’t just in it for the money. 20 percent of their sales go to Save A Warrior, a nonprofit organization that helps veterans returning with PTSD to overcome their psychological trauma resulting from war.
Below is a video of MilSpin: