The V Nives team in their new Libby shop: (L to R): Nicol Credidio, Mike Vellekamp, Lt. John Nores Jr. (ret.), Patti Nores, Bill Heffernan, and Tyler Urdahl. Photo by Brian Baxter, The Montanian.


New business V Nives products opens in downtown Libby

By Brian Baxter


For outdoor adventurers in a wilderness environment there is really no substitute for a well built, dependable knife. Many knives are intended for, or adaptable to survival purposes.

A new V Nives store has just opened up in Libby at the corner of East 4th Street and Mineral Avenue. Owner and founder, Mike Vellekamp, and Brand Ambassador, Lt. John Nores Jr. (ret.), have over 50 years combined field and industry experience. These gentlemen together have brought Humanmade Products to the Libby area.

Available items range from kitchen/chef and outdoor camping to everyday carry knives as well as survival/tactical. The totally remodeled shop also carries multi functional tools such as C.R.A.B. devices that can cut, rescue, assist, and break, along with V Nives brand apparel.

President of V Nives, Mike Vellekamp, started his 25 years of production knife making and design experience at Spyderco.

After 12 years of service, Vellekamp ventured to the northwest to work for Blade-Tech Ind. It was at Blade-Tech that Mike developed a design relationship with 5.11 Tactical, where he designed over 25 models for their knife line. Vellekamp brings his accumulated knowledge and personal expertise to the V Nives  brand. Mike is also an expert knife sharpener.

When The Montanian asked about the V Nives brand, Mike stated “We pride ourselves on our craftsmanship and our attention to detail. Whether it is a question of material choice or a new design or sharpening and final finishing, the V Nives team is always honored for the challenge to demonstrate greatness. We believe that V Nives products will be a much welcomed and widely accepted offering here in Libby, Montana.”

John Nores Jr. is an avid conservationist with a love for our nation’s wildlands. Nores became a warrior for the thin green line of conservation officers 28 years ago. Before retiring, Nores co-developed the nation’s first conservation officers special operations team and sniper unit aimed at combating the international drug cartels. Nores is a well respected author of two books, co-author of one, and is a conservation and weapons/tactic’s TV personality. With family roots in Libby, and a love for blades where they are so essential for survival, Nores brings Vellekamp on this wild new adventure.

Mike and John met at the company’s factory in Washington state, and with the two men working in collaboration, the Thin Green Line Trailblazer signature folding knife was conceived.

Tyler Urdahl is a fourth generation Libby resident, tradesman, and licensed general contractor. Urdahl is a lifelong hunter, angler, and conservationist, and is excited to be part of the team as general manager of the Libby store. Tyler and additional team members Patti Nores, Nicol Credidio, and Bill Heffernan, along with Mike and John will offer a plethora of services. They are all eager to share their accumulated knowledge and combined skills to help customers become more educated about various steel types, handle materials, lock styles, blade designs, and their applications before they attempt to sell their product to local patrons.

The tag line, Humanmade, is owing to the worldwide culmination of dedicated folks that contribute skills to their products.

The new V Nives shop is located at 321 Mineral Avenue in Libby. Mike Vellekamp can be reached by email at  John Nores Jr.’s email address  is: trailblazer413@ya Folks can visit their Facebook page or call (253) 987-8900 for more information.

The group is glad to be in Libby, as the flagship store is located in Eatonville, Wash. Eatonville is also a small mountain town with a population of approximately three thousand people, a low median household income, and it is benefited by tourism and recreation.

Both Libby and Eatonville are towns visited by and filled with hunters, anglers, hikers, outdoor photographers, wildlife enthusiasts, wildland fire fighters, foresters, and explorers of natural wonders.

The team of Vellekamp and Nores, along with their hospitable and energetic comrades, are enjoying the branch out to Libby, in a genuine style similar to the historical trading posts of the David Thompson era.