Aces of Trades: Southern Ohio Axe Throwing became unexpected business

Drew Bracken
Correspondent

CHILLICOTHE – Axe throwing. It’s popular! And two people deep in the activity are Heather and David Dratwa.

“We went axe throwing in 2018 and loved it from the first throw,” Heather said. “On our way home that night, we discussed how fun it was and how it’s a shame we don’t have something like this closer to us in southern Ohio.” 

“A year went by,” she continued, “and we went axe throwing again with our close friends. On the trip home we decided we’d explore bringing this to the Chillicothe area. Within four months, we were open!”

They now own and operate Southern Ohio Axe Throwing. That despite the fact, Heather added, “I never, ever thought of throwing axes, let alone as a business!”

And her husband, David, agreed.

“With the exception of some hatchet throwing with Boy Scouts, I never dreamed about owning an axe-throwing venue,” he said.

David Dratwa grew up in Conneaut, Ohio, graduated from Conneaut High School in 1987, Ohio State in 1995 with a BS in aviation management, then Findlay University in 1998 with a master’s in environmental management.

“I grew up in Northeastern Ohio, a stone’s throw from Lake Erie,” he said. “I was very involved with my parents’ small business growing up and knew I would want to own my own business someday.”

But axe throwing? “I never dreamed about it,” he said. “However, I’ve had a long career in transportation and logistics, and I’ve recently given up my day job to focus on Southern Ohio Axe Throwing full-time.”

Heather (Sheward) Dratwa grew up in Jackson, Ohio, graduated from Jackson High School in 1989, Ohio State in 1993 with a BS in elementary education, then Ohio University in 2002 with a master’s in elementary administration (and a certification that includes middle school administration).

“I’m the director of special programs for Greenfield Exempted Village Schools,” she said. “Prior to administration, I taught preschool, kindergarten and 2nd grade. I’ve been in education for 28 years.”

“We love axe throwing,” she added. “We love the joy it brings participants, the fact that we brought something for families to do to the Ross Co area, and that we’ve met so many incredible people during our venture.”

“We also like working for ourselves with our small business,” David added.

“We’ve created a great life!” Heather summed. “We’re very happy with our choices. And with God’s grace, we’re excited to see where we continue to grow and where our life takes us.” 

Southern Ohio Axe Throwing is located at 35 N. Paint Street in Chillicothe. For more information, call 740-298-4950 or log on www.southernohioaxe.com.

About the Series

Aces of Trades is a weekly series focusing on people and their jobs – whether they’re unusual jobs, fun jobs or people who take ordinary jobs and make them extraordinary. If you have a suggestion for a future profile, let us know at gaznews@nncogannett.com or 740-349-1110.