SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA) — Imagine putting on a blindfold and describing to others the intricate details of an antique gun without seeing it first.
A Springdale man can do just that, only the blindfold is not one he can take off.
For William Trotter, his disability hasn’t stopped him from following his passion.
“It’s given me a purpose, it’s given me a reason to get up,” Trotter said.
What started off as a hobby for Trotter, has grown into far more.
“I was getting frustrated and I said well, damn, if no one will hire me — I’ll hire myself. That’s when I started the paperwork to open up my gun shop.”
Trotter is a federally licensed firearms salesman and distributor, and has been the owner and operator of Ozark Bear Arms since 2009.
He buys and sells firearms out of his home, and he does this all blind.
“I’m mostly focused on antique, what we call military surplus guns…historical because that’s what one, my degrees at the U of A is in, and I’ve always loved history,” Trotter said.
His unique business model? Adding historical context and detail about what he sells to his buyers.
“I would just pick them up and handle them. You would be like okay, this is a 1941, this is a 1943, and there’s small differences. I would go i wonder what that means, so I would have to get my hands on them and go, okay.”
All of this in addition to his own YouTube channel, Mishaco, where he shows off old and new guns just for fun.
His determination to overcome adversity and succeed as a small businessman — landing him the outstanding consumer of the year award by the Division of Services for the Blind.
Trotter says being blind gives him all the more reason to push himself.
“Sometimes when you’re told you can’t do something, at least for me it pushes you that much harder to do it.”