About Knife Shows
An integral part of being a successful knifemaker is getting your work in front of the public. There are a number of ways to do this.
1. Knife Photography - You can have your knives professionally photographed (I use Jim Weyer). Most knife photographers will send prints of your knives to the various knife related magazines and if you are lucky, they will print them.
2. You can establish a web site and put your knives out on the internet. I recently established my own web site. From first hand experience I can tell you that this really helps. With hundreds of "hits" in just a couple of days I am amazed daily at this new market.
3. You can run ads in knife-related magazines with photo's of your work.
4. You can use any combination of the above or/and
5. The one ingredient missing from numbers 1 through 4 is the "personal touch". The best way that I know of to get your work noticed and to interact with your potential and existing clientele is by attending knife shows.
In preparation for a knife show I generally go down my list of things to bring: table cover, business cards, receipt book, business license, brochures, photo album of work, knifes, chamois, knife cleaning materials, (i.e.: breakfree, simi-chrome, renaissance wax, etc.) Sharpening stone, awards and certifications, and assorted knife related paraphernalia.
Since most of my knives are sold before they are completed or shortly after, I try to have at least a couple of pieces on my table for immediate sale. The knife show gives one the opportunity to "press the flesh". I can sell myself as well as my knives. As a business person in my full time job (knifemaking is part-time currently), I realize that appearance is important. I do not feel that a sportcoat and tie are necessary to sell knives but a nice pair of jeans or slacks and a clean, pressed sportshirt says a lot about you.
I think that a few lines about knife show etiquette are in order. First and foremost, ask before you handle the merchandise. Never just pick up a knife off of a maker's table. Never touch the blade of a knife, always handle it by the handle that's what handles are made for. As simple as this sounds it never fails that both of these things happen to me at the shows that I do. If the maker is busy with a customer wait until there is a lull in the conversation to speak your piece. Common courtesy goes a long way at knife shows.
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