Teen Sam Farnworth starts online company selling outdoor gear

by Linda Hubbard on February 13, 2014

From all evidence, the soon to be 15-year-old (on Feb. 19) Sam Farnworth is a Maker Faire star in the making — if not one right now. He’s combined his love of the outdoors with his passion for working with his hands to start an online company — Jinja Ninja Outdoors — offering handmade, quality outdoor gear. The company motto says it succinctly: Being prepared is a way of life.

Sam FarnworthSam has lived all his life in Menlo Park, currently sharing space with his mom, twin brother, sister and “two dogs, three cats, two bunnies and three fish tanks.” He’s in charge of one bunny and one tank.

His showcase product is a survival bracelet, made out of parachute cord. Unraveled — which it does quickly — it can hold up to 550 pounds and stretch from six to eight feet.

“I started making them because I enjoyed doing it,” he says. “Then I figured out I could sell them and set up an online store using Shopify. It was pretty easy to do.”

Along with the survival bracelets, Sam is selling beads — the metal ones he handcrafts on his metal lathe — key chains, and lanyards, along with stove accessories. He retreats to his backyard workshop most days of the week but only after “I finish my school work.”

We expect future products to flow from Sam’s creative mind.

Photos by Irene Searles

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