Korey Shaffer, a Rhode Island native, joined the Marines in 2011, serving in Afghanistan from 2012-2013. While serving, Korey suffered injuries and was forced to medically retire. Like many veterans, Korey struggled to adjust back to civilian life. His unit had an alarming amount of suicides, which made the battle to keep moving forward even harder. On May 10, 2016, one of Korey's closest friends from the Marines took his own life - this was a turning point. Korey did not take the loss well, and while grieving and dealing with his demons, he turned to alcohol. The weight of watching the most courageous people in his life fall to their demons was unbearable.
Determined to make it through another night fueled by alcohol and depression, Korey made a plaque to honor his fallen friend. He came to realize that the act of making this memorial plaque served as a coping mechanism and a therapeutic way to deal with the dark thoughts he was struggling with. The next day, he gifted the plaque to his deceased friend's mom. That single plaque has grown into a thriving business with a purpose, Til Valhalla Project.
"I went from being "the free plaque guy" to the CEO of a company that sells products to help fund mental health support for Veterans. Today, Til Valhalla Project is a brand that offers a range of items such as memorial bands, hats, shirts, tumblers, and steel art. Proceeds from the sales go towards creating plaques for the families of Fallen Heroes, and 20% of the net proceeds are donated towards reducing Veteran suicide" -Korey
Originating from Norse mythology, Til Valhalla is abbreviated from 'until Valhalla.' It is said among service members to mean "until we meet again in Valhalla. No matter who or what you believe in – Until Valhalla is a sign of utmost respect and tells our Fallen that we will see them again one day."
"TIL VAHALLA "
The path from military service to entrepreneurship.
“Service is about discipline and finding a way to get the job done, no matter what hand you were dealt. This helped me become extremely persistent in business. I always operate off the phrase “Accuracy By Volume” which, in the military, refers to engaging the enemy with a wall of fire to increase chances of survival. I approach business the same way and thank the military for drilling that into me. It's very similar to the 10x rule, which basically states you have to do 10X more work than you think to accomplish a goal. Serving made me realize that if I didn’t have a skill in business, I had to be prepared to work 10x harder, and I became at peace with that until I grew the skills needed.”
The Til Vahalla Project has been in business for 4 full years is growing rapidly! Til Vahalla has outgrown over 5 buildings during their expansion, and they employ over 70 veterans and patriots at any given time.The future of Til Valhalla Project is looking bright. To date, they have proudly donated over $1 million to #Mission22 in the fight against Veteran suicide. Over 200 lives have been saved, over 2000 plaques have been anonymously delivered, and most importantly, thousands of loved ones have been honored in just a few short years. Plaques have no set donation amount and are made 100% in-house by veterans. On average, we make over 32 plaques a month that get hand-delivered, as a complete surprise, to the families of these Heroes. 100% of our operation directly supports getting more plaques (that we don't sell) out to these families.
To shop Til Vahalla Project visit www.tilvalhallaproject.com