Owner, Chris Williams Knife Co.
As a young boy, Chris Williams did not expect to be a knife-maker. But he did grow up hanging out in his Grandfather’s work shop watching him turn old band saw blades into knives. Fascinated with the idea of blending steel, wood and other natural materials together into something useful, Chris slowly began to develop his own style of knife making using everything he had learned from his Grandfather and adding his own special style. For Chris, it was a passionate hobby that he would and is still trying to perfect.
Chris graduated from college and pursued a career in finance and achieved early success. In his limited free time, he would make knives in his own work shop that he built to look just like his grandfather’s. An avid outdoorsman and foodie, Chris loves to hunt, fish and cook. And, as you might expect, he often crafted knives that he could use in pursuit of his hobbies. He would pull out his knives in the kitchen when friends were over or carry his knives with him into the field. His knives caused quite a stir. People would beg him to make something special for them. Those were the first Williams knives; only there was no Williams Knife Company – not just yet. So, Chris began to make a few very special knives for a select few. It’s here that Chris honed his craft, making one knife at a time, choosing steel and experimenting with new styles, woods and other materials. Soon, he was staying up late at night and getting up early to get into the shop and slowly the fire of financing began to fade and the fire to create beautiful one-of-a-kind heirlooms grew intensely brighter.
Of course, one thing led to another and complete strangers began to call Chris and ask him to make knives for them. Many of these were custom requests using special wood or with special engraving on the blade. One day, Chris walked out to his shop and saw 15 knives in various stages of completion and realized that every time he walked into the shop the stress of the day left his shoulders and was replaced by joy and passion. That’s when the idea of turning his love into a career first began. So in 2009, the Greenville native traded in his suit for his small workshop on John’s Island, just outside Charleston, South Carolina with a grinding wheel and a fresh new outlook on life. And so the dream began.