We had the good fortune of connecting with Anthony Eggert and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anthony, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
When COVID-19 started, my work slowed down a lot. I knew I had to do something else to supplement my income, but I wanted to do something fun and unique. I have been in construction for 20 years, so starting something like this was out of my wheelhouse. My wife, Rachel, and I quickly started brainstorming on how we could make it work and she came up with a brilliant idea. Since I have always liked knife collecting and playing with fire, forging knives seemed like a natural choice.
Please tell us more about your business. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
What sets me apart is my versatility. If I see it, I can build it. If you need it, I can make it. If you can dream it, I can make your dream a reality. Most knife makers have a set of styles that they stick to. Since I don’t limit myself to only a few styles, I continue to learn and grow. I visited a buddy of mine in Alabama a couple of years ago. He took me to his dad’s bladesmith shop. I was amazed! I wanted to make knives so bad!!! But I didn’t have the time or the skills, so the idea kind of faded into the back of my mind. I watched a few different knife making and bladesmithing programs and thought to myself, “I can do that!”. But I still didn’t have the equipment or the time. Then, for my 10th year wedding anniversary, my wife bought me a small blacksmithing set. After that, I spent every spare moment making blades. It wasn’t easy at all. This craft requires a lot of patience and endurance, especially when working in the heat. Some days here in Houston it was 102 degrees outside, and I was standing next to an 1,800 degree forge while waiting for my steel to heat up. Another challenge for me was, photography and using social media. I’m not that great with social media. So, when my wife offered to help me with my business social media account, I was thrilled!!! To overcome the challenges, I had to be smart. Patience came at the cost of making mistakes that could have been avoided. Endurance came from the patience I learned. And I overcame the social media challenge by relying on my wonderful wife’s help. As for the heat……. well, there’s nothing you can do about that except drink two gallons of water every day and buy a canopy. LOL!!! Lesson 1. Don’t rush. Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. You can mess up art by rushing, then it takes you more time to repair the mistakes you made. Lesson 2. Always ask for help. If you don’t know how to do something, google it or ask someone who has done it before. Lesson 3. Set aside a good portion of what you make to reinvest back into your company. Buy better tools. Get better materials. Build up your stock. You won’t regret it. I started this business with 5 tools, $100, and the support of my wife and friends. You don’t need a lot to turn something you love into something amazing. I am a bladesmith because it is something I love doing. I love seeing people’s faces when they see their newly crafted knife for the first time. I love the challenges my customers send me, because I’m not scared to grow and try something new. If you never give up, you will never fail. You will only stumble. If you stumble and don’t try again, then you have failed at something. I turned my love of knives and fire into something that I can share with people and support my family with. I will continue to make quality knives and tools until I can’t swing a hammer anymore.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take them to Discovery Green park in downtown Houston for a show or whatever event is going on. The Silos at Sawyer Yards is great place check out some cool artwork. The Boot in the Heights has awesome Cajun food, drinks and live music. Bon temps!!! Astral brewery is one of my favorite local breweries. They have great IPAs, free shuffleboard, ping-pong, and Super Nintendos. The ambiance is fun and lively.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My wife Rachel has been the biggest support to me. Her creativity and eye for detail makes me better at what I do. I can always count on her to give me honest feedback about my work. Her love for me makes me want to keep pushing when I’m tired of hearing my grinder run. And her drive to want to see me succeed is second to none. Without her, none of this would have been possible.