A Company of Warriors: Valhalla’s Forge

by CHRIS IRWIN / October 24, 2018

Valhalla's Forge is a company like no other.  Run by retired Navy SEAL Jimmy Hintzke, the business specializes in custom metal and woodwork and has been doing so for over 20 years.  When I say “custom” metal and woodwork, I mean CUSTOM stuff.  This is not some run-of-the-mill plaque shop where you get the latest Employee of the Month Award engraved or your men’s softball league trophy made.  This is something far, far different, better, and more badass.

Not only does Jimmy create unique and absolutely amazing items, but he also does it with some equally unique talent.  The shop at Valhalla’s Forge is made up of almost exclusively young men who are students or the children of service members (or both).  This includes:

  • 3 Gold Star kids (sons of fallen service members)
  • A retired SEAL's son who is a leader at the robotics academy
  • An active duty SEAL's son who is studying industrial design at JMU
  • The son of an active duty SEABEE
  • An aerospace and ocean engineering student at Virginia Tech
  • An electrical engineering student at ODU 


When asked what motivates him each day, Hintzke states, “our primary purpose is to assist our nation’s active duty military and their families.  We are engaged with a number of different foundations to include the Navy SEAL Foundation, Task Force Dagger, the Rosie Network, and NSW Kids.  As a retired Navy SEAL, I know how important these groups are to those who go into harm’s way and their families.  The significant positive contribution they make cannot be overstated.”

Here at Kill Cliff, when we were trying to come up with prizes for the top fundraisers involved in the TEAMWORK event supporting the Navy SEAL Foundation earlier this year, we turned to Valhalla’s Forge.  What they came up with was nothing short of extraordinary.  As Jimmy put it, he wanted to make custom scotch boxes that looked like the old “Bugs Bunny-style blaster boxes…”  Now I don’t know about you, but this is not the kind of thing that would immediately come to mind when considering prizes for a fitness event.  But the results speak for themselves…


Valhalla’s Forge’s motto is Go Make Something Bad Ass Today.  If there was ever a more appropriate creed that encapsulated exactly what a company does, I have yet to hear it.  Jimmy’s shop not only makes badass products, but they also support badass causes and foster youngsters to learn some pretty badass skills as well.  It is truly a company of warriors.

If you want to learn more about Valhalla’s Forge or even have them make something badass for you check them out at http://www.architecturalrenaissancetechniques.com, our on Instagram at @sealartisan!


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Chris Irwin is a former Navy SEAL, former CrossFit gym owner, and former President of Kill Cliff who now serves as the company’s Senior Advisor. Chris spent 20 years in the military (14 active, 6 reserve) serving all over the world. Following his military service, Chris became an entrepreneur with a focus on giving back to Naval Special Warfare (NSW) and local communities. He and his family moved to St. Thomas where they founded the first CrossFit gym in the Virgin Islands, building a passionate community of over 150 members. Chris also competed in the 2012 and 2013 CrossFit Latin America Regionals, coming in 3rd place in 2012. In 2013, he became the President of Kill Cliff Inc, where he helped establish the first corporate Official Partnership with the Navy SEAL Foundation (NSF). Through 2017, he helped Kill Cliff raise and donate nearly $600,000 in cash, event sponsorships and product equivalencies for that non-profit organization. In 2018, Chris switched from supporting the NSF through Kill Cliff, to working for the Foundation as the Director of Development for the West Coast Region. He now devotes his full-time efforts to supporting the NSW community and its families. In his free time, Chris is also a singer/songwriter whose original works include the score and song “Sacrifice” from the film Murph: The Protector. Both made the short list for the 86th (2013) Annual Academy Awards in the categories of “Best Original Score” and “Best Original Song” respectively.

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