The online community of knife collectors, A Knife Family Forged in Steel
Doug Metzger, the owner and founder of Premium Knife Supply (PKS), started Premium Knife Supply 8 years ago in 2007 out of love as a hobbyist and the need to make an income. The requirement was to come up with something small enough to ship easily that could be sold via the internet. He did not anticipate the demand and the collectability of knives.
Premium Knife Supply has developed its own brand of well recognized knife blanks and the company has engaged in all aspects of design, manufacturing and sales of knife components in both the consumer and commercial markets. Their growth has led to expansion into the business to business realm now.
I had an opportunity to sit down with Doug and the President of Premium, Cayce Price, both this week. They were gracious enough to share with us a few plans for the business and how it effects the knife community as well as our local community.
Question: Most folks know Premium strictly as a “blank” company, what would you like to tell them about the company?
Cayce: Premium Knife Supply, Inc. was established in Hayesville, NC at the beginning of 2007 as E Knife Supply, Inc. Premium Knife Supply was the DBA for EKnife Supply for many years. In April of 2014, Doug also started Premium Manufacturing Group, LLC. The idea was for PMG to become the sister company for Premium Knife Supply and any other business subsidiaries in the future. The company has engaged in all aspects of design, manufacturing and sales of knife components in both the consumer and commercial markets.
Question: So what is the next step for Premium?
Cayce: In early 2014, Doug decided to expand the manufacturing line of business to meet the growing demand of knife components within the industry. One of those recently took place with us obtaining the exclusive rights to a Navy Patent, which consists of a new locking mechanism that gives a folding knife partial tang capabilities. The prototype for this Navy knife will be completed within a 3 month period with the first production run within the year. This knife is being solely produced by Premium Manufacturing Group.
Premium Knife itself will continue to outsource some of its blanks because the demand for quality blanks at a lower price point still exists. Some makers have their own designs turned into blanks to shorten the time it takes to produce quality knives for their customers, setting their own specs for the designs and steels used. Premium does this type of order in amounts as low as 25 and as large as 25,000. These orders are now, and will continue to be done, by both the outsourcing and the US makers right here in the Appalachian Mountain range.
The creation of PMG will allow the company to add 2 local jobs within the next year and more jobs will be created as we move forward.
Question: With this manufacturing portion on Premium not being in the original business plan, what prompted you to do the expansion here in a rural community?
Cayce: One of the key factors in this decision was the desire to create more jobs within our local community. The most common complaint that we hear in our community is that there are not enough quality jobs to support the workforce. This is most evident in the 18 – 35 age demographic. Younger people entering the workforce either out of high school or post-college believe that they have to move out of the county to find work. While we will not be able to solely meet this need, Premium Knife Supply is dedicated to doing our part and hopefully encourage other entrepreneurs to follow suit. Currently, PKS designs and develops its products in-house and utilizes dedicated facilities within the United States, as well as dedicated off shore facilities to manufacture these designs with the focus on quality and innovation. Presently, PKS employs 5 people in the Hayesville location with an expectation to hire 5 to 7 more employees in the next 24 months.
So the next time you see Premium Knives, stop and say hi. Get to know the company creating more USA knife making careers. Watch for the newest locking mechanism, coming soon. Blade show booths will be 203 & 205.
Look for Donnie and I to be spending a little time with the guys there and picking up some great materials!!
nice article jan!
Great to hear a little bit about the company and what they do. I had no idea the company was involved in all thses things.
Very nice to hear what PKS is all about. Thanks for sharing Jan!
Great interview Jan.
I look forward to seeing the domestic products, I know for a fact their imports are of great quality.
Hope they are able to grow and employ even more local people.