It was 3:00 AM, I was asleep on the couch absolutely exhausted from the hours of research, calls, meetings, emails and frantic CAD modelling. My dad had come out into the kitchen to get a glass of water and woke me up to go to bed. This has been my life the past three weeks. I knew that If I wanted to make this happen I had to give it 110% and there was nothing that was going to stop me.
What am I doing?
Since we published the last article. Maylee and I have had many lengthy conversations about our future, both for us personally and then in light of our growing brand with Wachtman Knife & Tool. As I'm sure many of you are aware by now, running a knife company has been my dream since I was 14 years old. From that young age I've done everything in my power to accumulate the necessary skills, network and connections to make my dream a reality.
I founded Wachtman Knife & Tool in the winter of 2019, and from 2020 to 2023, scaled from a garage/hobbyist shop to making high end custom EDC knives for some of the biggest names in the industry. I've made many friends along the way and have had a wonderful time getting to know some of the characters in this unique landscape that is the knife world.
Making knives by hand full time is exhausting on the best of days, and a literal nightmare on the worst. Every knife I've ever made has been entirely by hand, that means every matching facet, angle, line, every iota of symmetry has to be visually re-inspected multiple times and verified before moving on to the next step. Even a small knife can take many hours if the maker is not at their best. The physical demands of covering the entirety of the production for my small company while trying to simultaneously handle the mental aspect of taking customer orders, figuring out how to market the product, dealing with customer service issues, shipping problems and sourcing supplies all while your audience continues to shrink due to Instagram's changing landscape was beginning to get to be too much. I was ready to quit. With Chinese OEM's dominating the majority of the market and social media being largely a losing battle, it didn't seem like I could keep this up for much longer.
But then something changed.
It wasn't physical, nobody handed me $100K cash and said "here go scale your business", it was far more powerful. I realized that this isn't about me, this has nothing to do with the way I feel or how many people notice me on a single video, this was personal. I will keep posting. I will keep grinding. I will keep researching. I've done this my entire life and I'm not about to stop now. One thing that knifemaking has taught me is what a man is really capable of when properly motivated, I aim to demonstrate that to all of you, the edges of human potential.
I still believe in the American Dream. The right of a man to make a living off of his own skill and work with his own two hands. I believe in a life that is upright and noble and true and full of good work that is recognized by others and refuse to give in to the comforting lull of a steady paycheck and a meaningless occupation. I will fight to the death to continue to be able to bring beauty and true art into a world that is increasingly being taken over by commercialization and garish simulacrums of that which we once regarded as skilled labor. The world needs things that are still truly unique, now more than ever we need individual connection. We need art that isn't bound by how well it performs on an algorithm.
America needs jobs; our young people (especially young men) are struggling. It is my aim to be one of the few people in the next decade that is willing to stand up and do something about it. I believe in making products using labor that is paid fairly and keeps the local economy healthy, to provide whomever I can in my own small way with a good paying job that will allow them to develop a skill they can be proud of. Knifemaking has made me into the man I am today, I am convinced that we can do the same for many more young men and women in this nation through being a force for good with our content, events, and hopefully one day providing employment.
We are currently making efforts to move forward with our building expansion and we need your support now more than ever. Every blade purchased gets reinvested towards more equipment and infrastructure. We can't thank you enough for your interest in our brand. I have a lot of things in the works that I will talk about as soon as I can, but I wanted to leave you all with this.
My commitment to you is that I will be here. I will keep going. If anything I said here today strikes a chord with any of you, I ask that you would do your part by spreading the word. Tell people about our mission and let them know what we stand for. Against all odds, this we will achieve.