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View Full Version : Cut Booklyn Again (and again): On "The Story"



Justin0505
05-17-2012, 12:53 PM
He must be talking to the right people / making some good friend's because Joel Bukiewicz was just in the media again. This time he was interviewed on a national radio show: "The Story" which is hosted by Dick Gordon and distributed by American Public Media (Wednesday, May 16 2012's episode).
The show was primarily about Studs Terkel, American steel workers, and manufacturing / labor in general. Dick is pretty blatantly liberal and sometimes annoys the heck out of me, but he often has interesting people on his show and he does a pretty good job of getting them to open up in the interviews.


You can listen online here:
Episode page:
http://thestory.org/archive/The_Story_51612.mp3/view

Stream the audio here:
http://thestory.org/archive/The_Story_51612.mp3
The interview starts at about 30min in.

or, the show is also available as a podcast and the sections are all broken out in pieces there.


A lot of the interview is repeated info from videos the articles, but I did hear some interesting new things: Joel talks about going online to "places where small communities of knife makers meet" when he was first starting out and needed to learn the basics. - I wonder where that was and if / where he goes to learn these days.

Joel consistently comes across as a likable guy with a good story and the more I see and hear, the more curious I am about his knives... I guess publicity works, huh?

Eamon Burke
05-17-2012, 02:12 PM
I love The Story.

Crothcipt
05-17-2012, 06:00 PM
A good publicist will do that for you. They are very expensive too.

Line cooked
05-18-2012, 05:01 PM
I met Joel a couple of years ago and he invited me too come see his shop which I think has since moved. I have never had a chance to use one of his knives, but he is a super nice guy who seems super pasionate about what he does.

Marko Tsourkan
05-18-2012, 08:27 PM
A good publicist will do that for you. They are very expensive too.

Yes they are, particularly, the New York Times articles.

M

Noodle Soup
05-18-2012, 08:57 PM
That and the New Yorker plus maybe Savier do seem to be the ticket to the yellow brick road don't they?

labor of love
05-19-2012, 09:25 PM
well, keep in mind the price of a publicist among other assorted string pullers when you throw down 575 for a 240mm prospect. gotta pay the bills right? the cost of advertising explains his steep prices.

99Limited
05-19-2012, 09:33 PM
Yes they are, particularly, the New York Times articles.

M

Hey Marko, when you're all cranked up and ready to go we should pass the hat and get you hooked up with a publicist. Those people wouldn't know what hit them once they saw your work. They'd be saying, "Joel who?"

Marko Tsourkan
05-20-2012, 12:42 AM
Haha, I don't need to get more busy, to be honest, not unless I buy myself a Kuka robot or farm out most work to subcontractors. :)


M

BloodrootLS
01-03-2015, 11:46 PM
I hesitate to resurrect an old thread here, but I'm a bit surprised at the rancor expressed toward this guy. Also, having had much more press for our business than we've deserved I can say that I would be very surprised if Joel had a publicist of any kind or at least paid any money for one. Perhaps, but I would be very surprised. Press begets press. For us it was a blog that David's wife followed and she thought might be interested in our work/story. She sent them a short email about us and they ended up posting a little two paragraph or so blurb. Magazine editors, little did we know, also watch that blog, among tons of others like it looking for press fodder. Magazines, TV producers etc. are honestly desperate for new material and since that one half-hearted email to one blog we've never tried to get press and even turned some down, but it keeps escalating to the point where we just think it's kind of funny. It's like rolling a snowball down a hillside. Press is great, don't get me wrong, but it can also be a PITA for small producers like us as we get saturated with work very quickly and don't want to scale our business into something bigger/different than we have it. I imagine it's very similar for Joel. He's just a guy doing what he loves, and a cool guy from what it seems. Luck, being approachable and interesting, having decent work, and having at some point been in the right place at the right time, likely accidentally, is my guess what's doing it for Joel. In one sense he's along for the ride in the design community. Most of the guys here on the forum who are makers aren't selling to the design community and therefor not getting knives passed around in those circles perhaps. Editors are unlikely to come to places like this to look for material by what I can see, though it would make sense to me for them to do so. Some of the press we've been in it's been obvious that the editors don't care to check quality or functionality pretty much at all. Other press outlets have been much more discerning and have asked for knives to use in their test kitchens for weeks/months to vet quality. Press/popularity is definitely a mixed bag for small producers and seems to destroy brands as often as it makes them. Marko's last comment is very wise!

~Luke

ecchef
01-04-2015, 02:27 AM
I see your point Luke, media exposure can be a double edged sword.
I think one of the differences between Bloodroot and Cut is location. New York media exposure seldom comes without some kind of price; either the "pay me now or pay me later" type or the stress of having to be a whore of a microculture that has a very fleeting and unforgiving memory. This is how it was described to me by someone in the 'rag trade' anyway.

marc4pt0
01-04-2015, 03:05 AM
Well spoken, Luke.

Noodle Soup
01-04-2015, 10:41 AM
As someone that until very recently was employed by the New York "rag trade" :) I have to say most publishers are just trying to stay above water. And that takes both circulation and lots of advertising. I don't know how it works in other craft fields but from personal experience, large numbers of knifemakers come to the table with the view "I'm an artist and society has the duty to support the arts." Meaning give me lots of exposure, praise my blades, and make me famous but don't ever expect me to advertise. None of this will keep the doors open at a specialty magazine.

Lefty
01-04-2015, 11:09 AM
I'm with you, 100%, Luke. I've spoken to Joel, and he is a very likable and passionate guy. He's invited me to his shop, and we even promised each other a "jam session" if I'm ever in town, where we can do a piece together. Super nice guy, and honestly, I have one of his knives at home right now, and it's a very nice piece, of good quality. The profile doesn't agree with my style, but still, a beautiful piece.

Also, as a guy who has been lucky enough to have been "discovered" - and trust me, I know there are a ton of guys who do much nicer work than I do - it can just happen, out of the blue, and as Luke stated, it is like rolling a snowball down a snow covered hill. I'm amazed at what doors have been opened, and I do know that many likely think I am not worthy of any of the attention. That is fine, but I would be a fool to not ride the wave, and follow the current through the doors that it opens. It is allowing me to do more with my passion, and for that I am very grateful, as is Joel, and I'm sure are like and David...oh and some legend named Bob Kramer.

Zwiefel
01-04-2015, 11:16 AM
I'm with you, 100%, Luke. I've spoken to Joel, and he is a very likable and passionate guy. He's invited me to his shop, and we even promised each other a "jam session" if I'm ever in town, where we can do a piece together. Super nice guy, and honestly, I have one of his knives at home right now, and it's a very nice piece, of good quality. The profile doesn't agree with my style, but still, a beautiful piece.

Also, as a guy who has been lucky enough to have been "discovered" - and trust me, I know there are a ton of guys who do much nicer work than I do - it can just happen, out of the blue, and as like stated, it is like rolling a snowball down a snow covered hill. I'm amazed at what doors have been opened, and I do know that many likely think I am not worthy of any of the attention. That is fine, but I would be a fool to not ride the wave, and follow the current through the doors that it opens. It is allowing me to do more with my passion, an for that I a very grateful, as is Joel.

Well-said Tom. I know most here think highly of your work, BTW.

eto
01-04-2015, 09:22 PM
The beer was really good when I visited the shop! Good for him, and good for us as knife enthusiasts!

http://i1249.photobucket.com/albums/hh513/Jasoneto/imagejpg1_zps466d25c2.jpg (http://s1249.photobucket.com/user/Jasoneto/media/imagejpg1_zps466d25c2.jpg.html)

Jason

marc4pt0
01-05-2015, 05:05 AM
Very nice!

CutFingers
01-05-2015, 11:21 PM
His handles remind me too much of a Cutco knife...I just can't dig that.

Chuckles
01-06-2015, 12:36 AM
I have been lurking their available knives recently. Not sure what I'm looking for but he's got me intrigued.

BloodrootLS
01-06-2015, 10:57 PM
As someone that until very recently was employed by the New York "rag trade" :) I have to say most publishers are just trying to stay above water. And that takes both circulation and lots of advertising. I don't know how it works in other craft fields but from personal experience, large numbers of knifemakers come to the table with the view "I'm an artist and society has the duty to support the arts." Meaning give me lots of exposure, praise my blades, and make me famous but don't ever expect me to advertise. None of this will keep the doors open at a specialty magazine.

I definitely understand what you mean and actually in college I had a job as our newspaper's business editor out banging down doors getting people to advertise and then actually pay for the advertising they got- not a whole lot of fun. . . However, I will say the style and food magazines are also in a way competing for what's hot and hip and if somehow you get perceived as being that by some kind of stylemaker then everyone is interested in including your work in order to stay on the style wave. Knifemakers that advertise are few and far between as it just doesn't make sense for how little we can produce. Many of them don't even have websites or interfaces where people can find them or see their work as they simply don't need it to do well. Knifemakers thrive well in very small markets due to low volume. When we had articles come out in F&W, Martha Stewart Living, and Southern Living, and some more local outlets all the same month a year and a half or so ago we were exposed to 3.5 million people in press. Since then it's continued at a high pace and it can be hard to get in the shop and actually get work done and get paid. I spent weeks doing 6+ hours/day on email and phone when those articles came out all at once. None of that is paid time as its not making knives. If it takes under a couple hundred customers a year to saturate your business's production capacity that kind of press coverage gets crazy and top-heavy and in the end just drives your waiting list out far enough that many of the customers that you would have if you had a shorter list don't want to wait that long. What's really funny is that we get approached all the time by companies in India, Pakastan etc. who manufacture knives asking us to work with them to produce knives for us. We're just two guys in our backyards making knives because we like it and it would be easy to forget that. The only "advertising" that we've ever paid for is this forum and it wasn't to drum up business, but just to participate in the community and help us keep pushing ourselves to better quality. Building knives for critics is a PITA but it makes you better.

BloodrootLS
01-06-2015, 11:13 PM
I see your point Luke, media exposure can be a double edged sword.
I think one of the differences between Bloodroot and Cut is location. New York media exposure seldom comes without some kind of price; either the "pay me now or pay me later" type or the stress of having to be a whore of a microculture that has a very fleeting and unforgiving memory. This is how it was described to me by someone in the 'rag trade' anyway.

This is possibly the case, though most of our press has been based in NY like F&W, Bon Appetit, T Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, and several network TV outfits and they've never asked us to advertise and have all been really cool, though sometimes last minute. The only magazine that's asked us to advertise was The Local Palate based out of Charleston and that was after they ran a little blurb about us, however incorrect. I think the "fleeting and unforgiving memory" is likely very true, though some like Bon Appetit and Food and Wine have been at least with us more relational. It could also be that Joel has made friends with people in the design world circles and they root for him. If so good for him I say!

BloodrootLS
01-06-2015, 11:19 PM
I'm with you, 100%, Luke. I've spoken to Joel, and he is a very likable and passionate guy. He's invited me to his shop, and we even promised each other a "jam session" if I'm ever in town, where we can do a piece together. Super nice guy, and honestly, I have one of his knives at home right now, and it's a very nice piece, of good quality. The profile doesn't agree with my style, but still, a beautiful piece.

Also, as a guy who has been lucky enough to have been "discovered" - and trust me, I know there are a ton of guys who do much nicer work than I do - it can just happen, out of the blue, and as Luke stated, it is like rolling a snowball down a snow covered hill. I'm amazed at what doors have been opened, and I do know that many likely think I am not worthy of any of the attention. That is fine, but I would be a fool to not ride the wave, and follow the current through the doors that it opens. It is allowing me to do more with my passion, and for that I am very grateful, as is Joel, and I'm sure are like and David...oh and some legend named Bob Kramer.

That was pretty crazy to see happen with you and I'm happy for you! I hope you're able to put the attention to good use and that it promotes you and your family's happiness. Good point. When opportunities arise just take the next step. Not that we'll all end up Bob Kramer ;-)

Noodle Soup
01-07-2015, 03:00 PM
I definitely understand what you mean and actually in college I had a job as our newspaper's business editor out banging down doors getting people to advertise and then actually pay for the advertising they got- not a whole lot of fun. . . However, I will say the style and food magazines are also in a way competing for what's hot and hip and if somehow you get perceived as being that by some kind of stylemaker then everyone is interested in including your work in order to stay on the style wave. Knifemakers that advertise are few and far between as it just doesn't make sense for how little we can produce. Many of them don't even have websites or interfaces where people can find them or see their work as they simply don't need it to do well. Knifemakers thrive well in very small markets due to low volume. When we had articles come out in F&W, Martha Stewart Living, and Southern Living, and some more local outlets all the same month a year and a half or so ago we were exposed to 3.5 million people in press. Since then it's continued at a high pace and it can be hard to get in the shop and actually get work done and get paid. I spent weeks doing 6+ hours/day on email and phone when those articles came out all at once. None of that is paid time as its not making knives. If it takes under a couple hundred customers a year to saturate your business's production capacity that kind of press coverage gets crazy and top-heavy and in the end just drives your waiting list out far enough that many of the customers that you would have if you had a shorter list don't want to wait that long. What's really funny is that we get approached all the time by companies in India, Pakastan etc. who manufacture knives asking us to work with them to produce knives for us. We're just two guys in our backyards making knives because we like it and it would be easy to forget that. The only "advertising" that we've ever paid for is this forum and it wasn't to drum up business, but just to participate in the community and help us keep pushing ourselves to better quality. Building knives for critics is a PITA but it makes you better.

And this is why you really don't see that much in-depth coverage of kitchen cutlery in even the culinary magazines. There is no return on it. Running an occasional human interest "cool and hip" type sidebar/press release is about all readers should expect.

Salty dog
01-07-2015, 08:00 PM
I definitely understand what you mean and actually in college I had a job as our newspaper's business editor out banging down doors getting people to advertise and then actually pay for the advertising they got- not a whole lot of fun. . . However, I will say the style and food magazines are also in a way competing for what's hot and hip and if somehow you get perceived as being that by some kind of stylemaker then everyone is interested in including your work in order to stay on the style wave. Knifemakers that advertise are few and far between as it just doesn't make sense for how little we can produce. Many of them don't even have websites or interfaces where people can find them or see their work as they simply don't need it to do well. Knifemakers thrive well in very small markets due to low volume. When we had articles come out in F&W, Martha Stewart Living, and Southern Living, and some more local outlets all the same month a year and a half or so ago we were exposed to 3.5 million people in press. Since then it's continued at a high pace and it can be hard to get in the shop and actually get work done and get paid. I spent weeks doing 6+ hours/day on email and phone when those articles came out all at once. None of that is paid time as its not making knives. If it takes under a couple hundred customers a year to saturate your business's production capacity that kind of press coverage gets crazy and top-heavy and in the end just drives your waiting list out far enough that many of the customers that you would have if you had a shorter list don't want to wait that long. What's really funny is that we get approached all the time by companies in India, Pakastan etc. who manufacture knives asking us to work with them to produce knives for us. We're just two guys in our backyards making knives because we like it and it would be easy to forget that. The only "advertising" that we've ever paid for is this forum and it wasn't to drum up business, but just to participate in the community and help us keep pushing ourselves to better quality. Building knives for critics is a PITA but it makes you better.


I would call this a "cross roads". When you get into business they come up. Best case scenario is when you're prepared for them and have a plan. If not, plan for the next one.
Good luck, the real world of money changes perspectives. For the good and the bad.

BloodrootLS
01-09-2015, 01:16 PM
I definitely understand what you mean and actually in college I had a job as our newspaper's business editor out banging down doors getting people to advertise and then actually pay for the advertising they got- not a whole lot of fun. . . However, I will say the style and food magazines are also in a way competing for what's hot and hip and if somehow you get perceived as being that by some kind of stylemaker then everyone is interested in including your work in order to stay on the style wave. Knifemakers that advertise are few and far between as it just doesn't make sense for how little we can produce. Many of them don't even have websites or interfaces where people can find them or see their work as they simply don't need it to do well. Knifemakers thrive well in very small markets due to low volume. When we had articles come out in F&W, Martha Stewart Living, and Southern Living, and some more local outlets all the same month a year and a half or so ago we were exposed to 3.5 million people in press. Since then it's continued at a high pace and it can be hard to get in the shop and actually get work done and get paid. I spent weeks doing 6+ hours/day on email and phone when those articles came out all at once. None of that is paid time as its not making knives. If it takes under a couple hundred customers a year to saturate your business's production capacity that kind of press coverage gets crazy and top-heavy and in the end just drives your waiting list out far enough that many of the customers that you would have if you had a shorter list don't want to wait that long. What's really funny is that we get approached all the time by companies in India, Pakastan etc. who manufacture knives asking us to work with them to produce knives for us. We're just two guys in our backyards making knives because we like it and it would be easy to forget that. The only "advertising" that we've ever paid for is this forum and it wasn't to drum up business, but just to participate in the community and help us keep pushing ourselves to better quality. Building knives for critics is a PITA but it makes you better.


I would call this a "cross roads". When you get into business they come up. Best case scenario is when you're prepared for them and have a plan. If not, plan for the next one.
Good luck, the real world of money changes perspectives. For the good and the bad.

Thanks for the advice! Call me an idealist if you want, because I am, but we mostly do this for lifestyle, not money, so the opportunities that come along that could take aspects of our knifemaking out of our own sweaty paws have not been hard to say no to in the least.

alterwisser
03-12-2015, 04:12 PM
I met Joe when looking for someone to fix a knife that a friend who visited had ruined. Even though he told me after about 2 seconds to go to Korin in the Financial District he chatted with me for a good 20 minutes even though I was a complete novice back then (somewhat still are). Very cool, typical Brooklyn guy with a nice shop in an area that is still a bit rough around the edges. I tried one of his knives and it just performed beautifully. I like the look as well, although personally I think there are more beautiful knives out there. His former apprentice Moriah makes gorgeous knives, and you guys at Bloodroot obviously. None are cheap, so I don't see an issue with Joels prices. Plenty of people in NYC can afford knives ten times as expensive without even flinching ... LOL