Introducing myself as a hand made knife artisan only tells part of today’s story. Yes, I have a keen interest in hand made knives and hand forged blades. However, my business efforts are two fold. There is the forge, but there is also The Farm which has been the larger part of my efforts to return to meaningful employment since July of 2006. Today, I am adding hand made knives to that effort by bringing my hobby online in much the way I brought the farm online. So what happened so many years ago that still presents lingering challenges? It has been a double whammy of sorts.
Whammy One – In July of 2006, my life changed suddenly and dramatically. In an event which utterly destroyed my 13 retail business in Columbus, OH and career as author and speaker, I was left with cognitive challenges after a moderate Traumatic Brain Injury via electrocution. A lengthy personal injury lawsuit managed to pay the lawyers and some of the medical bills, but with one child already in our lives and one on the way, we were left near destitute. The irony of this fact being that we had planned our second child because we thought we could afford him.
We moved to the hills of Kentucky looking for a simpler life, one I could manage. Gradually, I became a sustenance farmer. If I could not figuratively put food on my family table, I would do it literally. Gradually, I was able to exceed our needs for produce. Some of what I grew found its way to market. Eventually we found a niche in peppers. Today that business, Peppers by Mail, continues to grow year after year. But considering the limited months of harvest, it has never been a cash cow.
Whammy Two – The traumatic brain injury did more than leave me with cognitive challenges. It left me with a damaged pituitary gland. That damage resulted in a horrible case of diabetes. We believe this is why I have had such a problem with bone infections and reoccurring bouts of sepsis. I have now had four separate partial amputations of my feet. Enough damage has been done that I rely on pain medication to stand or walk for any serious amount of time. Even with the medication, the time on my feet is extremely limited. Farming has become a challenge.
Return to the Forge
So today, more than ten years after the initial injury, I am looking to hand made knives as a meaningful source of income. Hand forged knives have been a hobby of mine for more than that decade, but with the initial accident the travel involved in how I sold knives became impossible. But if a farm can transition to online sales, it seems possible for hand forged knives to do the same. This web site is intended to accomplish just that.
I thank you in advance for your support. Not everyone needs a hand made knife. Not everyone will enjoy the hand forged knives and other crafts I offer and share here. But just your being here. Just your viewing what I produce. Just your interest, that is desperately needed and appreciated support. This is going to be a long uphill battle and I hope you will continue to be along for the ride and the discovery.
A. J. Drew