Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in cutlery but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jared Lees, Founder of J Lees Knives, located in Tallmadge, OH, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I'm a one-man custom knife shop. I mainly make high-end, hand-forged kitchen knives for enthusiastic cooks and chefs.

Tell us about yourself

After years of collecting knives, I thought it would be fun to try and make one, and that's all I thought it would be, but I shared a picture of the one I made on social media, and from that day on, I had ordered. I didn't really know what I was doing at the time, but I realized I was going to have to figure it out because I really enjoyed it. Now I'm motivated to keep refining And improving my process and skills and continue to do the best work I can for my customers.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I think being invited to be a featured artist among some of the best and most well-known blade smiths in the world at an event in California felt pretty great.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Honestly, I think the biggest challenge is everything is handled by me. Balancing my time between making the products, marketing, communicating with customers, keeping the website current, and handling all of the shipping, I really have to plan my time.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Be patient and take your time.
  2. Focus on quality over quantity.
  3. If you're not good at photography and graphic design, don't be afraid to spend money on those services! They're very important!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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