All fired up started ten years ago in Welington, New Zealand. Daniel Lewis and Justin Stockbridge had recently become reenacters and discovered that there was a lack of locally supplied armour and so decided to make their own. They bought and scrounged the equipment they needed to set up a basic workshop in Ben and Dianne Stockbridge's garage. The first product they made was a breast plate out of a thirty six inch Chinese imported wok, which at the time seemed to be a clever way of shaping the breast plate. It turned out to be a trojan horse as they discovered it was easier and faster to make the breastplates from flat sheet metal.
"Our big brake came when they saw an opportunity to supply fire dancing staffs of better quality then that in the shops. We ran classes introducing people and were successful selling about 30 units. This gave us the capital injection we needed to buy our first forge, which is still going now albeit with modifications. With that we could hot work the steel and start to develop our skills as armourers." - Daniel
The name All Fired Up was coined when Daniel and Justin were commissioned to do a fired dancing display at the entrance to a popular bar in Wellington during an international rugby event. When the owner asked what they called themselves they replied they'd never thought about a name. This sparked an intense conversation over a beer during which many names were tabled and when the owner joked that they were very fired up about having a name the table went silent as all three realized that the joke was the perfect name for the young duo as it represented their interest in armouring, smithing and fire dancing.
Four years later Daniel left the shores of New Zealand to further his knowledge and travelled extensively though Europe for the next few years. Justin found a mentor in New Plymouth, Master Armourer Paul Barbados who has provided an ongoing critique and become a true friend. At this time Sophie Moore entered Justins life and together they moved themselves and the workshop to Taramanui where Justin was able to work full time on the business of making armour while Sophie took over managing our fledgling company.
The business blossomed with Sophie direction and Justin's ever growing skill. Two years ago Daniel returned to New Zealand and last year Justin, Sophie and All Fired Up moved into an industrial premise in New Plymouth.