First off, let me apologize for the slightly lower presence I have had on these pages of late. The demands on my time lately have been as high as they have ever been. Between my day job, hunting for and finding our first house with my wife, and my latest Nordsmith release, I have not been able to devote the usual time to blogging. I am eager to get back into things very soon.
On the subject of Nordsmith Knives, I have a lot going on. Last year was the first full year of incorporation for my fledgling company, and while I would have liked to have sold more than I did, I was just a few thousand dollars shy of doubling my first year sales. I am working on fleshing out my lineup with more variety in order to cover a wider range of price points.
Much like my first design (the Canteen Knife) blended elements of camping and kitchen knives into a single, usable design, I am focusing my upcoming releases on the camp-kitchen-crossover niche. I’ve got to play off my strengths and my style: this is an area that I am passionate about, and one I am intimately familiar with.
The first in this range is the Lapwing (For more in depth info on the design, read here), my take on the versatile bird-and-trout genre, which will handle small game in the field, paring tasks in the kitchen, and complement larger knives as a backup/companion.
In my mind, the Lapwing and Canteen Knife are a perfect pair. Throw in a chopper/axe/saw as needed depending on your environment, and there is nothing you couldn’t do with that trio.
Of the initial run of thirty knives, which will all be stamped “1st” to differentiate from later builds, over half were sold on the first day the pre-order opened. There are still a few knives unsold, so if you are interested in this wicked blade, be sure order here: link
Coinciding with the Lapwing release, I have also launched an official Nordsmith Knives Facebook group, dubbed The Nordhaven.
Reasons for this are two-fold. On one hand, it creates a place for users and fans of my designs to congregate, share photos, ask questions, and will help me reach my audience in yet another way.
As far as promotion on Facebook goes, “Groups” have become increasingly important. For a long time, no matter how many followers your business page has, Facebook will only show your posts to roughly 10% of your audience unless you pay money for them to boost the post.
Facebook has made another round of changes this year that make it even harder for business pages to connect, by weighting personal or “meaningful” interactions even higher, and promotional posts even lower.
Ultimately, this is good for the user I must admit, but not so great for those who rely on the reach of this ubiquitous social media platform. We can rail against Facebook all we like, but that is where the eyeballs are, so there I go.
Fortunately, participation in groups is ranked on the “meaningful” side. In order for me to more consistently reach my audience, that is the way forward.
I’m not mad about it. In the long run I am excited. The more personal connections it will allow me to make will be a very good thing. Expect to see cool things, discussion on prototypes and the occasional live broadcast on the page. I know a lot of our readers eschew all forms of social media, but for those that don’t, I would appreciate you joining my group.
BLADE MAGAZINE AND YOUTUBE REVIEWS
Third development in Nordsmith-land: two high profile reviews on the Pilgrim have recently come out.
After testing the knife, my first YouTube review was published by the Wingman115 channel. He had great things to say and I am thrilled this is out there. I can’t thank channel-runner Jonathan Heffron enough for all the good things he had to say about my blade. Check it out below.
The second big review to hit was published in the February 2018 issue of BLADE Magazine. This is staggering to me! For them to have featured such a small player as myself is humbling. Thanks to a friend who acted as a conduit, I was able to get my Canteen Knife and Pilgrim into the hands of Kim Breed, who has been doing a series of comparison reviews for the magazine.
As a blog, we have a good relationship with Kim. Clay met him at his first BLADE Show and purchased his first custom knife from Kim the following year. He still carries that Model 15 today and has carried on his relationship with Mr. Breed as well. I doubt any of that had bearing on the review, as I doubt Kim is aware of who I am or my connection to this blog. Clay introduced the two of us briefly at BLADE Show two years ago, but that is the extent of my interactions with the man.
The Pilgrim featured in the magazine went head to head in a comparison with a Dozier Knives Sisu: heady company indeed!
Breed had points in favor of both knives, but my Pilgrim acquitted itself very well indeed. Frequent mentions of the knife being an “aggressive cutter” throughout the tests were nice, but the real kicker is that he preferred the Pilgrim when it came to skinning. Against a Dozier, likely more well known for hunting knives than anything, that floored me! The cherry on top; my AEB-L steel outlasted the Dozier’s laminated D2 for edge retention as well.
2018 is looking good. Any small business is certainly a struggle, but I am very optimistic. The Lapwing is just the first of a few new models I have planned for the year and I’m reaching more people all the time. I appreciate all of you sticking around and all the support you have given me as I explore this still-new path of my life. I hope you stay with me.
Until next time, thank you.