OLFA was founded in 1959 by Yoshio Okada. Having grown up working in the paper and printing industries Mr Okada frequently found himself frustrated by the lack of quality knives available and the fact that they became blunt too quickly. The breakthrough that would lead him to form OLFA came whilst snapping squares from a chocolate bar. Mr Okada thought to himself, what if I had a knife where I could simply snap the blunt piece off and get a new sharp edge? A few prototypes later and all of his money spent on an initial production run, and the original OLFA cutter was born.
The next game-changing OLFA invention was the OLFA Rotary Cutter, designed to cut fabric in a more convenient way than scissors could manage. The rotary cutters completely changed the techniques of the quilting market: quilters could now reliably cut multiple layers of fabric to the same size and shape without damaging their templates in the way scissors do.
Testament to how good the initial OLFA designs were, they've barely changed in the years since and are known the world over as the best cutters for almost any purpose.