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The man behind the Condor Tool & Knife designs:
Arlan started A. D. Lothe & Associates, Inc. in 1988 as a design, new product development and marketing consulting company that specializes in knives, hand tools and kitchen items.
Over the years Arlan has designed for and consulted with many nationally known firms, including Chicago Cutlery, Camillus Knife, Fiskars, Gerber, Wusthof Trident, Warner Manufacturing Company, Woodworker’s Supply, Outers Laboratories, Condor Tool & Knife, Inc and many others. Arlan supports his knife and tool design work with a collection of over 3,000 knives, over 300 axes and a library of hundreds of knife and tool books and antique catalogs from around the world.
A most notable project was his design of the Miracle Blade 3 knives as seen on TV, with Chef Tony, which turned out to be the best selling knife line in the history of direct response television.
In 1995 Arlan and his client were awarded the “Best New Product from the State of Minnesota” from QVC and he went on to do over 120 live shows selling his Slices Perfect Kitchen Slicing System. He has also done shows for QVC in the UK and Germany.
In 2000 Arlan was awarded two “Retailers’ Choice Awards” for two of his FireStone axe designs at the National Hardware Show in Chicago. There were only 25 such awards given that year, selected from over 250,000 items on display.
Arlan is an avid hunter, outdoorsman, wood worker, gourmet chef and a knife and axe thrower. Most of his designs come from practical experience and 35 years of creative endeavors.
In 2006 Arlan was inducted into the International Knife Throwers Hall of Fame for “out standing design”. The IKTHF is made up of the finest knife and axe throwers in the USA who have sanctioned competitions all over the country. One of his axe designs, the FireStone Sport Axe, has won more competitions than any other axe in the history of the sport.
Arlan holds over 20 patents on items such as knives, hand tools, broad heads, knife sharpeners and others.
Arlan’s design and product development philosophies are very elemental; make something better or develop some thing new that satisfies the wants and needs of the end user, while providing high perceived value and unique designs to better the competition, while providing clients with engineering that can be produced at above normal profit margins, which sell through well and brings repeat business. Being a “knife nut” him self he understands the psyche of other “knife nut’s” which helps him to create “just got to have” designs even when a buyer all ready owns hundreds of knives.
Arlan and his wife and business partner Dottie live in central Wisconsin in a log home they designed and built from trees they cut themselves from their 160 acre woodland farm they call “Valhalla”. They have an office, design studio and conference center in their home; two prototype shops, one for wood and plastics and another for metal. There is also a knife and axe throwing range, archery range, rifle and pistol ranges, trap range, 22 miles of trails, three ponds and at the back of the property a 20’X32’ Desert Storm military tent, which serves as a Whitetail Deer hunting camp.