• Justin Wells
    Hello my name is Justin I'm 17 and have been making knives for about 2 years. I love knife making so much and I would love to turn it into my career choice but with that being said it's like 25° where I live and I spend my evenings working in a unheated storage shed behind my house . It's not ideal but Its everything that I need. I want to be a full time maker SO BAD but there's no clear path to take for trying to make a living off of this craft. I have a hard time picturing how I can get from where I am now to doing this full time. How did you guys become full time ? How did you know you where ready ?
  • Swift Knives UK
    Hi Justin

    Try and focus on being the best you can be at knife making. If what you make is quality, it will sell itself. In terms of become full time. I would say you are at the right age to push for what you want. No mortgauge, minimal bills, and you have the internet which is the best thing for marketing and reaching a global audience.

    I wish I could go back to 17 and focus on knife making as my full time career. If you really want it that bad, it will happen. It just going to be a lot of hard work. Friends and family may not beileve its a viable career, but you can proove them wrong by working as hard as you can. And when the $ starts coming in you will proove them wrong.

    Alternatively you may have a super supportive family in which case youve got everything you need. Go for it !
  • JR Knifemaker
    If I can reflect on what I wish I knew when I was 17: perserverence and the importance of just gaining skills. As @Swift Knives UK rightly advises. Persevere! Focus on the process, not the outcome. Whatever happens, you’ll never regret it!
  • Justin Wells
    Thanks for answering my question guys. My parents are a bit skeptical (which is completely understandable) before i found knife making i would kinda hop from one big idea to the next and im sure they thought it was just a passing fad when i started making knives but after almost two years of putting more dedication,time, and hard work into this craft than i have put into anything else in my life they are starting to understand what this means to me. Along the way i have had those who have said its not likley that could make a living creating custom knives but i will say im actually getting a LOT less people saying that now that i have a facebook page and people see exactly what goes into making a handmade knife I understand the challenge and the risk that goes into taking this full time and hope that i can work hard enough to make it a reality.
  • Ross Vosloo
    having just resigned from my full time job yesterday, and now serving out my last month before i go full time, my advice, do it for the right reasons. because you love doing it, because every blade you make you are driven to out do yourself, to get better and better. when its your passion and not your job, your work will speak for itself. orders will come. people are always drawn to passion.

    as a youth (just turned 27 today, but in my mind im still 17), some tips i can give is use that to your advantage. every one likes an old guy whose spent decades honing his skills. but every one loves a youngster that has drive and who backs that up with skill. just dont be cocky about it, because no one likes a cocky youth, no matter how good they may be. you can be cocky when your older.

    and use the internet. its probably your greatest tool besides your hands and your brain. because not only will it be your main source of customers and orders, but information too. i maintain that there is nothing that you cannot learn to do from the internet, nothing you cant achieve by asking the right person the right question.
  • JR Knifemaker

    Congrats on making the move Ross! Best of luck mate.
  • Ross Vosloo
    thanks man. cant wait for this last month at work to be over now and get stuck into it
  • irongull
    I think being young going into this is actually a big advantage. As a 30 something maker working a stressful day job, I can't explain how freeing it would be to jump into this full time. The problem is once you get established in a career and start making adult money, your lifestyle adjusts to that standard. It becomes VERY difficult to entertain the idea of a 3-400% paycut when you have a family, house, cars, etc.

    Use your youth to your advantage. Never get used to luxuries that you don't need, and you can be doing what you love from day one.

    Best of luck to you Justin, and Ross, huge respect for taking the plunge and going fulltime. Hope I can follow in your footsteps someday in the future.
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