Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thanks for your support!

I am most grateful for all the email support I have received. I had been keeping the situation private until I was sure the building was actually sold but the situation has been causing me sleepless nights for a while. Now I guess most people understand if I've been a bit testy. Sorry about that.

As everybody can imagine, I've put a lot into my shop over the last 10 years and the thought of seeing most of it on Ebay is a total bummer. I know that at 53, if I loose the shop, I ain't likely to get another one - at least not with a €25,000 cnc milling machine. And honesty, without that machine, knife making can't be more than a hobby for me: as a business/job it would be hopeless.

And exactly what I would do for a business / job, well, that will remain an open question for now.

The biggest killer for any small business is overhead. Overhead too high = business dead on arrival. If I can locate a place where I can work for the next 5+ years at least - that I can pay for - then I will somehow manage the moving costs. If I can't, I will have no choice but to sell out and quit. That's about as simple as I can put things.

I am looking and I do NOT think things are hopeless!

Who knows, maybe I'll end up with a better space than I have now?!

Many people have suggested building a building !! or moving to another city. None of these are going to happen. I reckon most people with any idea about real estate will know why the first idea isn't an option (lack of Capital) and moving away is not an option either. My wife is quite happy in her job and she has been the main breadwinner in the family for a long time now anyway.

What I will miss in relocating is my neighbors around the shop. The other three firms in the same complex have all become friends over the years and we all cooperate all down the line. When I need wood cut, the cabinetmaker upstairs has that covered. When somebody needs a knife sharpened, the knock on my door. I will miss that.

The Berlin district called Wedding where I have my shop now is home to many people of Turkish descent. Over the years I have studied the Turkish language at evening school and gotten to know many people in the area. We talk at lunchtime, they help me with Turkish grammar and it all makes the days more pleasant. I certainly recommend Turkish to anyone interested in languages. It is fascinating. I have also learned a lot about a culture and people about whom I really knew nothing and I've had a chance to hear about a lot of social problems and situations from a perspective I would otherwise not have had access to. If I have to leave the area, I will miss all of my friends there.

But for now the focus has to remain on finding a new spot AND keeping some production going to generate income. Looking at real estate is time consuming.

I do have a few new things in the works:
Two - count 'em, 2 new fixed blades. One is kind of a Tactical Steak Knife and the other is a Military Field Knife with hidden tang construction I've wanted to finish for a long time. The Military Field Knife will be going into short run production asap. The knife has a 105mm blade. More info as soon as I can release anything in public.

Thanks again for all your support and good wishes. Keep those real estate tips coming in via email too