Makers About Marketing: @phillyknifeco

We ask you makers about how your marketing journey, so we can all learn.

Many of you are doing an incredible job at figuring out marketing for your niches. So, we’re asking you how you do it.

@phillyknifeco was nice enough to jump into the cold water and guinea pig this new Q&A format. Thanks a lot! Let’s share & learn together!

IK: What kind of knives do you specialize on, and who is mostly buying your knives?

PHILLY: My niche is elevated working knives. Hunting/fighter/edc that are handmade and more elaborate and fancy than most mass produced retail knives.

My demographic spans the hunting/bushcraft and every day carry market for the more discerning user.

IK: How did you end up with this niche?

PHILLY: I didn’t get into knife making with any specific market in mind. I didn’t have any coherent plan to monetize what I made, I was just captivated and engrossed in the making process and the potential.

After a while as my skills and design work progressed inquiries began to trickle in. I had so many “knives” around the house/shop that just collecting them became unsustainable.

I’ve always loved hunting knives so naturally that’s what got me excited when I started out. I think my enjoyment of that type design drove me to keep making them better, more unique, more complex and stylized.

IK: What kind of brand do you want to build in your niche, and why?

PHILLY: I want my brand to be recognized for striking aesthetics, unique handle design and the ability to also take this beautiful object and skin a deer with it.

IK: Where is your choice of niche very visible to your customers (apart in the knives themselves)?

PHILLY: I’m not extremely deliberate with my audience as much as my style of design. I believe that my designs hold a certain continuity recognizable as a Philladelphia Knife Co. product.

I am very active with my commissions in communicating both their desired result before starting as well as showing the process and providing photo/video updates throughout the build. I find a lot of people are fascinated by the behind the scenes to their knife, and providing photos and videos gives them a more direct sense of ownership.

IK: What is the biggest mistake starting makers should avoid?

PHILLY: The biggest mistake I see, and am guilty of making, is to start selling too soon. Fundamentals are key. I made a goal list of knife types, handle materials, segmented scales etc. I wanted to make. Without the practice, repetition, and in many cases tooling, the product is less than desirable, especially on the first handful of tries.

Are you up to sharing your answers and help makers who are starting out? Let us know! DM us at @indieknives.


Check out @philiiknifeco’s website at Philadelphia Knife Company!

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