Skip to content
FREE Standard Shipping on Orders $75+
FREE Standard Shipping on Orders $75+
Freedom Elements Logo, broken chain

Freedom Elements

The story of how we arrived at the brand name Freedom Elements has been an interesting evolution. For me it has represented many mistakes, frustrations, failed attempts, and even almost quitting.

Here’s quick look at how we got to where we are today:

Freedom Elements – the journey  

A few years ago, I was visiting with a good friend of mine about patriotism and freedom – his name is Jacob Sanderson. He served many years in the Army and came from a proud military family. We were trying to think of ways we could give back to the military community and help build the cause of freedom.

These conversations were taking place in the spring of 2018 while we were both vacationing in St. George, Utah. I still remember a great deal about these conversations – especially the excitement I felt knowing what these conversations could lead to.  


All Things Veteran – The Beginning

Through these conversations, Jacob and I decided we wanted to start a community that would provide resources and information to veterans. The name we decided on for this endeavor was All Things Veteran. We spent a ton of time coming up with the “perfect name” – and still to this day I feel like it was a great choice for what we were trying to do. This was a couple months after Jacob and I first sat down to visit in Saint George.

It was our hope that we could provide many sources and valuable content that would be helpful for the veteran community. We also decided to develop t-shirts to help fund this endeavor. We thought that a simple design, a clean website, and a few Facebook ads; and the shirts would sell like crazy. We printed our first shirt (Veteran Tribute) in April of 2019.     

Wow, were we ever wrong. Nothing is ever that simple. The ads didn’t work – we sold very few shirts. The content was harder to produce than we thought – as we both had other full-time endeavors of employment and educational pursuits.

We also started to feel like we had created too narrow of a niche. While the veteran community is foundational to patriotism and freedom, we began to realize it was excluding others who are passionate about the cause we were trying to build – because the name made it sound like it was only for veterans.

There is no doubt to me the significant impact our military plays in our cause of freedom, but equally important is the non-military community who supports and love this same causes – and we didn’t want them to be excluded. So, we felt like we needed a name that would incorporate everyone interested in freedom.

There were a lot of learning experiences in that initial step that helped us as we progressed forward – but our struggle was just getting started.


1911 Industries

With Jacob’s military service – and more specifically his father’s time in service – we decided to use the name 1911. The 1911 handgun was the military issued gun for most of the 20th century. This had significance to Jacob and we thought it would be a good name to rebrand with. We thought it would pull in the military, gun enthusiasts, and patriots in general. This name change took place in the summer of 2019.

The industries part of the name we added because we thought it sounded cool. Once we had selected this name we developed a few more shirts – you can still see some of those shirts on our current site: Freedom Isn’t Free, Don’t Tread on Me, Veteran Tribute, Betsy Ross Flag, Original Patriot). 

We started to attend some local fairs to get our product out there - our first one was the summer of 2019. The response in person was very favorable. Despite that success, we were still really struggling with the online sales aspect. 

1911 Apparel fair booth with shirts and hats on display

A few months went by, and we were getting feedback that the name seemed a bit confusing. Were we selling 1911 handguns and accessories, were we a blog, or an apparel company? In some regards, maybe we didn’t even know the answer to these questions. What were we trying to do, exactly? This feedback led us to our next part of the brand evolution, another slight name change.

We were still young, and the change was small, so this didn’t prove to be too much of a setback. Even though there is quite a bit of time associated with making these types of changes.


1911 Apparel

This phase proved to be the real start-up of our brand and business. It was just a couple months after our fair success that we made this name change and applied for a trademark.

We were developing a few more shirts and felt like we had a “decent” product offering to show. Early in 2020 we started working with a freelancer who wanted to help us with our ads. This was right at the beginning of the pandemic.

As you can remember, people were just sitting at home and receiving lots of government stimulus - this was great timing for us. I am not sure our company would have survived without what was going on at that time, it was a perfect storm for us. With the help of this freelancer, we finally caught traction with our online sales.

It started out with slow momentum, and by mid to end of summer 2020 we were selling around 4K per day in sales. For a small company like ours, that was a huge deal. We were on top of the world. We were adding a bunch of people to our funnel (email and text list, social media, etc.) every day. The brand was actually growing.

But that growth didn’t come without stress – and a lot of it. Jacob was bearing the burden of shipping as our product and printing was being done in Logan, Utah - I was living closer to Salt Lake. We were trying to understand inventory management with how quickly the product was selling. This was new for us as his profession was in the medical field and mine was finance.

Things were moving so quickly that we decided to scale back our daily ad spend to get things under control a bit. In hindsight, this proved to be hurtful for our business and a major loss of momentum and progress. Not sure if it was because the government stimulus was starting to wear off – whatever the cause, it was a slow decline from there.

Another factor in this loss of momentum came from a decision we made with the freelancer. We were having decent success, but we had done quite a bit of research into what our ROAS (return on ad spend) should be, and we felt like we needed to explore an agency that could get us from our 2X ROAS to closer to 3x+. We were making money, but it didn’t feel like it was a good return on the time were spending.

We felt like moving from a freelancer to an actual agency would be like bringing in the “true professionals” to help us explode even further. This proved to be financially disastrous for us. Not so much our personal finances (we both had good incomes) but it was hard for our business. We had good fair success in the summer of 2020 so that helped with the blow we were about to take.

It’s one thing to put money in for productive growth, but to just keep dumping money in without results is tiresome and frustrating. We burned about 20K on this first agency – between start-up and monthly management. They did considerably worse than the freelancer we were working with.

We later switched to another agency and had the same result. This puts us at the end of 2020. We had ridden an amazing wave in the fall and summer of 2020, and now were starting to feel like our business was on life support – because it was.

There were pressures on our own careers. I am a partner in an HVAC business where I handle the finances and business development. Jacob had graduated from Nurse Practitioners school and his career was in full swing. It made it hard to have other good sources of income tugging at you, especially when 1911 Apparel was more of a money pit than anything.

This proved to be a true inflection point for both Darron and Jacob. We started to entertain the idea of selling the business – we even talked to a few people about having them buy it. In the end, and after many conversations, I (Darron) decided I would buy out Jacob and give it one more run at it. I am grateful for Jacob and I’s great relationship because even after him moving on, we remain great friends. With the decline of the business, and now seeing Jacob step away, many doubts were trying to manifest themselves. Quitting wasn’t an option; it was almost becoming personal for me. They say emotion has no place in business, but I disagree. I fully believed in the cause of freedom and felt like I needed to do more to further its cause.

This takes us another significant fork in the road with the business that I was trying to develop.


The Beginning of Freedom Elements

One of the main factors in my decision to keep 1911 Apparel was my love for writing content. Before starting this business, I had a personal finance blog called Finance Mindset. Personal finance has always been a passion for me and combining that with writing was a great fit for a blog. It was more of a hobby than anything.

After much struggle with what to do with 1911 Apparel, I decided the audience that was established would be an excellent way for me to share my belief systems around not just patriotism, but money and mindset development.

As I thought about the direction I wanted to go, I knew a name change was necessary. But wow, after having already changed two other times I really wondered if I had it in me. I was worried about losing audience and all of the branding we had done, people not loving the new brand, and about a million other concerns and self-doubts.

My concern over these things was such that I caused me to waffle somewhere between 1911 Apparel and Freedom Elements for quite some time. I had bought-out Jacob in April of 2021 and was contemplating names for about six months before I decided on the new name. It wasn’t for another six months after that that I actually started changing branding, applying for a trademark, and printing with this new name on it. It was another four months after that before I actually updated the URL for my website to

The summer of 2022 was really good for the brand. We attended more fairs and parades than we had the year before and our sales were great. I was able to get one-on-one feedback of what others thought of the new brand. What was also encouraging is that many people who were on our email list were following the changes (email and social media post explaining what we were doing) and loved what was happening – they acted like it was not a big deal that it had changed. Here is an article with some of my obsersations at these fairs:

Freedom Elements fair booth with t-shirt and hats on display.

These fairs really helped me gain the confidence that we were on the right track. It was time to go full steam. A decision I was struggling over, I was finally able to put to rest. I was also worried about the inventory that showed 1911 Apparel on it. The perfectionist in me wanted to swamp it all out to Freedom Elements. The finance guy in me didn’t want to see the financial loss of doing that. In the end I decided to just put a disclaimer on each product page letting people know – especially new buyers – that there was a transition taking place. As of now, not one customer has said anything about it; so it seems we made the right decision to sell that product through.

There are so many challenges when it comes to running a business. In the early stages you have to be a master at just about everything, otherwise you have to be willing to pay for someone to do it – I have done a little of both. Despite the challenges of what the brand has gone through over the years, I have always felt like a value often overlooked when owning a business is the personal development that happens along the way. You learn a lot about yourself, and it really acts as a refiner for the individual.


Why I chose the name Freedom Elements

I had a list of really good names to choose from, but when it came down to it, Freedom Elements was the best description of what I wanted to do with the brand.

We often think of Freedom as a political endeavor, but I believe it must be a personal one before it can ever be a political one. How can we as individuals ever keep freedom for our country if we are slaves in our own personal lives.

What do I mean by slaves? If we are heavily indebted financially, physically out of shape, spiritually dead, emotionally wrecked, mentally unfit, time-poor, relationships on fire, etc.; how can we focus on strengthening something else? Now, these characterizations may seem insensitive, but if we are being honest we all have some of these issues going on. It’s not about being “nice,” it’s about being self-aware enough to see things for what they are – and being willing to do something about it.

Freedom is on the other side of these struggles we are having. Self-awareness and discipline are what is required if we want to make the necessary changes to get there.

Now, here is the key, if we are wrecked personally, how can we fight for the freedom of others. I believe this is the genius behind evil. They have done everything in their power to destroy us on a personal level. This has made it nearly impossible for us to have the strength to do anything other than just try to survive. This survival mode is a distraction for the decay we should be trying to help eradicate.

This is what this new brand name stands for. Freedom Elements reference these elements or areas (financial, emotional, spiritual, mental, physical, , time, relationships) that are most important in our lives. If we can gain freedom here, in these critical areas, we will liberate ourselves and be able to help empower others. If we don’t, there is little to zero chance we will have an impact outside of ourselves – and for me that isn’t good enough.

Freedom is God’s principle. I believe it is what he desires most for his children. As we think about happiness – which is what we all want – I believe that happiness is achieved when we find freedom. Freedom should be the basis for all of our decisions making. Ask yourself, will this decision make me free? You will be surprised how just one question alone can keep you centered on the correct path.  

It is my goal here, with this new brand, to do whatever I can to help others gain freedom in their own lives. I plan to do that in two main ways.

First, gain ultimate freedom in my own life. I cannot teach something I am not living. This is a very heavy focus for me. I will share my insights and journey as I do it for myself.

Second, I will do my best to teach the truth. Understanding the truth is a journey – it is a lifetime of learning, and even more accurately an eternity. But there are also some foundational truths that – at least to me – are readily apparent. We need only observe others around us to see the type of behaviors and mentalities that promote success or absolute struggle.

I will do my best through these two avenues to help others gain freedom in their lives. I love the principle of freedom and feel like it is truly the answer to the word’s ailments. There is a reason evil goes so hard against it. If you take that away you stop the progress of: individuals, families, communities, and countries.


Final Thoughts

Life is a journey, and so it is with what is now Freedom Elements. Three name changes, getting burned by marketing agencies, self-doubt, the struggle between career balance, going it alone, etc. The struggle is real, but I believe the brand has great value in what it can do for others. It’s never been about making money for me – although that is an important gauge of the value that is being provided. I want to see the impact it can have. I want to see others liberated from whatever is causing their individual slavery. I want to see much stronger individuals and families.

Progress is what leads us to happiness. If we are not moving forward, we are falling backwards. That decline is the source for much of our unhappiness. My hope is that this brand will help us all take steps forward in the important areas of our lives.

That progress which leads to happiness is nothing more than our search for and struggle to gain ultimate freedom in our own lives. It truly is A Freedom Thing!

Darron Rowley
Founder of Freedom Elements

Previous article Elements of Freedom
Next article The Short Squeeze