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November 15, 2017

Urban EDC Spotlight is an original, exclusive content series highlighting those who are making an impact through notable creative work in their field.

Don't miss out - gift shop items available at the end of the spotlight.

Quick Facts:

  • Occupation: Owner & Founder at DB Blades
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
  • Hobbies: Hiking, camping and travelling

This conversation is between Dom (DB), Founder of DB Blades and Phil (PY), staff writer for Urban EDC Supply.

PY: Hey Dom, we are big fans of your work. Your level of craftsmanship is impressive! So tell us, how did you first get started?

DB: Well, I guess knives were always something I was always interested in as a kid. I made my first (real) knife at around 14 and from then on I was obsessed. I was saving Christmas money and stealing old files to make knives as often as I could.

PY: Now that’s a cool origin story. Do you still have that first knife you made, or did you sell it off?

DB: I sold my first knife at 16-17 years of age. It was just a standard little combat/utility looking knife with G10 handles. I sold it to a collector I met at a local knife show. And that was probably one of the happiest days of my life. I used that money to build another knife, and another and so on until I started to build what was to become DB Blades.

PY: In a sense, that first knife you sold was not only a milestone but also a tipping point of sorts.

DB: Yes definitely, and at 18 when I graduated high school, I essentially said “fuck it” and plunged straight into full-time making. In hindsight that was a TERRIBLE idea, and the first 2 years as a full-time maker were incredibly stressful. But through a combination of stubbornness and straight up luck I managed to build DB Blades into what it is today.

PY: As they say, hard work and dedication always pay off. Can you also share your creative process? How do you usually come up with a new design?

DB: I like mixing curves and angles in my design. Sort of a combination of organic natural shapes meeting a harsh industrial look. I try and sketch knives and shapes as often as I can. Most of those don't go anywhere but if I like a certain design I might cut a few out of steel.


PY: It's intriguing how you draw inspiration from different areas to create a unique aesthetic. Now, aside from crafting a signature look, another key point that many tend to overlook is the business side of things. What is your take on that? Can you share your biggest challenge in the process of getting DB Blades to where it is now?

DB: My biggest challenge was probably my immaturity in general. I was incredibly irresponsible with money and very little knowledge about running a business. As you can imagine that's not the best combo. At the end of my first year, I was almost out of money and I almost had to shut down DB Blades.

PY: How did you overcome that setback? Any tips that you can share with aspiring makers or business owners?

DB: Don't charge too little, know your profit margins and keep track of every cent that comes in and out of your business. I learnt the hard way that not being careful with money can be incredibly dangerous.

PY: Wise words indeed! What do you think is the greatest contributor to your current success?

DB: It's probably my tenacity. I work more than anybody else I know. 7 days a week, most days late into the night. But the big turning point was my financial screw-up. It was a big wake up call for me. I drastically changed up my approach to knifemaking and started treating knifemaking as a business so I would never get to that point again

PY:
 It’s time for the fun bit. What would a full-time maker like yourself carry in your pocket? Can you share your everyday carry with us?

DB: Most of the stuff I carry are either prototypes or stuff that didn’t make the cut to be sold. At the moment I’m carrying my liner lock proto and a CPM10V surgeon that got rejected at quality control.

For a pen, I have a DB/MIG pen prototype with a missing clip that was used on a customer’s pen. I’m also carrying a custom wallet made for my by J Burke, a friend of mine and a Kingdom hank.

If I’m not in the knife shop, I’m carrying a prototype titanium ring I made about a year ago. And finally and easily the most used item is the Streamlight Stylus Pro.


PY: Awesome, thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with us! Looking forward to greater (and sharper) things from DB Blades!
 

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