We had the good fortune of connecting with William Tresten and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi William, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I think I always had a bit of a passion for knife making, it started out mostly as a project because I felt I could make a better one after carrying some of the best fixed blades in the industry. Coming from a martial arts background I know the difference between making a video look cool, and actually being able to deploy and use a blade for Self-Defense. I wanted to make a product that right out of the box required little to no training, and was reliable and dependable. I wanted to make a product not just for operators out in the field, but everyday concerned citizens.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Our business is designed to give the customer the best, and most reliable D2 knives on the market. Each blade is handmade right here in Houston, and is made from the steel that cuts our stainless steel at my other job. In fact that’s where I got the idea to make our blades from D2. They also hold an incredible edge, and we’ve come a long way from where we began a few years ago. Our first run was a complete bust! I messed up the heat treat so bad that they couldn’t cut a water bottle. I try to sell them as glorified throwing knives now haha! It was through a lot of trial and error we got to this point, but when we released our first 3 knives God really blessed us. We sold 39 knives in a little over a month, so I brought it some more steel and made some upgrades and we’re almost sold out yet again! We’ve got back orders on our Defender Bowies, and have a few of our other models still available for purchase on our website. One of our best upgrades is the BlackStone coating from IA Coatings here in Houston, 347 times stronger than Kevlar! The more you use it, the more the coating adheres to the knife and I think we’re one of the only ones offering that kind of coating in the industry right now. Unfortunately over the course of the winter storm we got hit with some horrible news, Guy Harries from Harries Blades had passed away.. He was my friend and our knife maker on the project. He knew more how to make blades from D2 than anyone else, he was also the first Forged in Fire Champion. Even though the good Lord has called him home, I was left with a choice: Either find another knife maker, do it myself, or close shop. So I’ve taught myself the whole process on how to do it. It hasn’t been easy, but the process has been well worth it. So now I don’t just design them, but make each blade myself.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
City Center always has a lot of fun things going on, could also check out the Museum District. There’s plenty of coffee bars, and always new restaurants opening around town. Escalantes is best for Mexican food hands down. Memorial Park is always fun to take the dogs and go for a stroll. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I give all the Glory to God! I wouldn’t have this opportunity without Jesus’ amazing love for me, and without Him I have nothing. He directed people in my life like Rick Short, Justice, Paul, and others as instructors and mentors. I’ve trained with lots of people over the years – and love honest, open conversation and learning from one another. But without God none of it would be possible.
William Tresten – Tresten Knives