What is Knafs?
Knafs is a colloquial, tongue-in-cheek way to say “knives.” It's also a weird brand of knife-related products and ideas. Origin: when mispronounced, “knives” becomes “knifes.” With a Southern accent, “knifes” becomes “knafs.” Why Knafs? Shucks, son. The web domain was only $12.99 and I'm a cheap sucker!
Here's the story: I spent 8 years in the knife industry working at Blade HQ and CRKT. I loved my time working for a retailer and manufacturer, but I always had random ideas of products I wanted to create. When you work at an established business, they buy your time and your ideas. Stability and a consistent paycheck are your reward. It's a good arrangement, but I had these ideas of making my own goods that wouldn't leave me alone. So I started collecting my ideas for later until they eventually demanded I pursue them and make them real. The hours before and after my job became design time for my first product: a knife poster with everything I'd ever learned about pocket knives on it. Designing it was invigorating and hard. And I loved it. It kept me fresh and motivated, and it made me happy professionally. Perhaps more importantly, you guys bought it. Nothing was more motivating than to see others interested in my ideas. More ideas starting popping up, and I started sketching and digging deeper to develop Knafs. Over time, I slowly realized it was time to move out of the knife industry full time if I wanted to pursue my own knife industry ideas on the side. So I bailed.
This little side hustle called Knafs is my goofy little way to take chances, make mistakes and get messy on my own terms. It makes me tired as I fit it into a busy life as a husband, father and employee with a real job at a real company, but it makes me feel alive. I keep thinking of this small business as an "iterative rocket launch." The rocket was never actually ready to leave the launch pad, but I sent it anyway. As I go, I want to improve it, grow it, and figure out how to keep the thing in orbit. This one is my rocket and I get to own its success or failure. And I'm glad you're here for the ride. This will be fun.
-Ben (chief mess maker, Knafs)