This was the story First published In the Fayetteville Observer.
FAYETTEVILLE, NC – From an early age, Chris Cruz had a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit.
He used to sell chocolate bars in elementary school. In middle school, he would bring Capri Suns to sell to his classmates for $1.
“I guess I always wanted to be my own boss,” said Cruz, who was medically discharged from the Army last month at Fort Bragg.
His path to becoming his own boss continued by joining the army – something he knew he wanted to do since he was 5 years old.
“I was born in Guam before I moved to Kentucky, and most people from Guam join the military to get off the island,” he said. But I also joined for the service. “Most of my family was in the military,” he said.
Cruise’s time in the military led him to create his business Anubis Design Group in 2018.
The name Anubis came from watching the movie “The Mummy” and is an Egyptian god who protected evil from Egypt.
“It’s kind of secretive, like some people in the military come out of the shadows or darkness to stop bad guys,” he said.
The primarily online business focuses on creating tactical nylon equipment and soft goods, along with custom clothing for military service members, law enforcement and civilians.
Cruz says his focus on tactical nylon gear is because he modifies his own military gear to “personalize it or make it better.”
“People in my classes would see me editing my own stuff and ask me to make the edits they wanted, and it took off from there,” he said.
In the year In 2018, Cruz asked one of his friends in the 5th Special Forces Group to modify his chest armor – a tactical vest used to hold weapons – and add two patches to it.
The friend was pleased with his work and encouraged Cruz to start his own business.
Cruz said he progressed from hand sewing to using heavy industrial machinery.
Ballistic also designs and manufactures armor carriers, chest straps and general purpose backpacks that hold ammunition and other weapons.
“The gloves are what we’re best known for, but it’s not just gear,” he says. We have t-shirts and hats and are trying to branch out into other things like photography and landscaping.
Cruz was able to demonstrate the gear during a diving competition organized by the 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg in June. He plans to attend a gun show in Fayetteville before moving to Texas.
Although he is based in Texas, Cruz said he has four soldiers working with him and the business is primarily an e-commerce model, meaning customers can order online.
“We also have our ready-made products in stock, but we can do custom orders,” he said.
Cruz said he welcomes military-related customers but wants to reach beyond the military, which is why he has items that civilians can buy.
Custom orders have a $35 nonrefundable fee and take seven to 10 business days, but may take longer upon request.
“Other than myself, other people are on active duty, so it can be different,” he said.