I’ve been busy in the shop counting down the “shipping days til Christmas” and cranking out the last of my custom orders. This weekend is a full house at the forge for class and I’m sure lots of new pictures will follow! If you’re looking for a last minute Christmas gift for someone special on your list, check out my 2 Day Knife Making Class Gift Certificate! In the beginning of January I’ll be adding more class dates going into July. There’s a lot of exciting stuff in the works I can’t wait to share with you as soon as they become finalized, so stay tuned and Merry Christmas everyone!
Starting tonight at midnight (11-25) and running until the end of the day Black Friday (11-27), every item site wide ships for free! Plus, all san mai blades have a price that’s as low as I can go and 2 day knife making class gift certificates are 10% off! Have a bountiful Thanksgiving, looking forward to a great Christmas and happy holidays to everyone!
Classes are quickly approaching, with a lot of dates already filling up for the season. I added a new shop tour page to the website to show current students and prospective students the area and some of the tools and equipment they’ll be working with. Enjoy!
Starting out on your own with a new venture often means having to do things on a limited budget. It’s not easy, there’s always a lot of work to be done in making face to face contacts, social media marketing, actually making product, general maintenance and adding infrastructure necessary for day to day operations. Granted, I’ve been doing this a while, but for the past several years I’ve been under someone else’s roof. Now I’m standing here, out on my own, and while it’s not a bleak horizon I’m gazing at, it can be a little daunting and more than a little draining. Let me tell ya, a blacksmiths shop takes more than just a nibble from your wallet with equipment costs and set up, even when you have 95% of what you need. Anyway, it really makes you get clever when you think about things like marketing. Sure, I could put an add in every towns newspaper between here and NYC, but how many thousands would that cost? Facebook is great, so is Google+, I’ve been featured on Instructables, I’ve put up Craigslist ads – where do I go next? Well, I think I figured it out. I turn to you. Yes, that’s right, I’d like your help in getting the word out. One of my primary focuses is teaching – I absolutely love it, and I’ve even been told I do a good job at it, lol. I’ve got my classes listed up on Eventzilla, but let’s face it, as a booking application it’s wonderful – for marketing, it sucks. Where marketing really works for me is right where my demographic is, (that’s marketing 001 for ya), but I can’t be everywhere and there’s far too many places where my ad would work, but I’ve never visited or even heard of. So that’s where I want your help. I made a simple poster, it’d in PDF format, it can be printed out on your inkjet or laser printer in color or b&w – it doesn’t matter. All I’d like you to do is print it out, perhaps pre-cut the little tabs at the bottom, and the next time you’re at a place with a community bulletin board, hang it up. Don’t make a special trip, just print it, put it in your car and the next time you’re somewhere where you think would be a good place, drop it off. Where? Any place with a community bulletin board is good – like Home Depot, the gym, Lowes, Tractor Supply, your local gun shop, a community center, the grocery store, the laundromat, a shooting range, a fabric store, a booth at a Renaissance Faire (wink wink nudge nudge to some of my friends at PaRF and elsewhere), your table at an event, the recycling center, Kmart, Walmart.. the possibilities are endless! Just don’t put it up where it’s going to get ripped down for not being allowed! We’re in a new digital age, and while all this online stuff is great, there’s still something to be said for good old fashioned street team work. Whether you’re in the same town as me, or out in New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio or even halfway across the country, it doesn’t matter – there’s always someplace I haven’t thought of. I’ve had students from as far away as Washington state, it just proves that people are willing to travel to what they’re looking for. So please, if you can help, I’d truly appreciate it. Thanks for the support!
I’ll keep this post short and sweet. Some of you may have been curious as to what’s going on and, frankly, there’s a lot happening. First and foremost, I am no longer associated with LaForge Weapons in any way. This means I will no longer be demonstrating bladesmithing at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire in the near future. It also means that they will not be carrying any of my blades. I have completed my move of all my large equipment from the old shop and have consolidated everything into the new one.
Secondly, I’m happy to announce that the Pyrates Treasure will be carrying my current and future inventory. That’s right, the new shop is up and operational and I’m still working on new and exciting pieces!
Knife making classes will still be happening as planned and they’ve begun booking up so save your spot soon! I’m really looking forward to classes in the new shop!
As some of you know, swordsmith Jeremy Eichelberger has joined me in this new adventure and we’ve already begun work on new projects and some future venues, so stay tuned we’ll be showing some of them off shortly.
Lastly, as we go through this transition, I figured it befitting a change of name. It’s no longer just me in the shop and, while I’ll still be using the name JWS Blades – very shortly we’ll make the change to our new name for our new venture. While a little premature until the branding is finished, let me be the first to say, welcome to the new Underhill Forge!