Ep 42: Stu Shank on Starting a Family Knife Business

Adventure Made Podcast Episode 42
Download file | Play in new window | Recorded on | Speakers: Seth Spears, Stu Shank

Stu Shank is the Co-Founder and CEO of Reiff Knives, a new direct to consumer, family-owned American made knife company, 

Last summer, I first became aware of them when they launched a very successful crowdfunding campaign to back their knives. I was super impressed with their branding, marketing strategy, and, most importantly, the quality of their blades.

My brother Adam and I had the pleasure of hanging out with Stu and his brother Ben last month at Blade Show Texas, and all four of us really hit it off over drinks talking about family-owned businesses, the outdoor industry, and our passion for creating high quality, American made products. 


"Be passionate about what you do."

"If you're going to be stressed out about something, it might as well be your thing and not somebody else's." 

Topics Discussed:

  • Stu's background & previous work experience 
  • Starting a family business
  • Going full time with Reiff Knives
  • Working in the outdoor industry
  • From conception to launching a company
  • Navigating a Kickstarter & pre-orders
  • Knife designing
  • Being a steel nerd
  • The "perfect" knife
  • G10 handle benefits
  • American Made
  • Drop point vs. Tanto 
  • Crowd Funding
  • Industry relationships
  • Being in love with the outdoor experience
  • Personal responsibility for nature
  • Building quality products
  • Principals, ethics & a moral compass
  • Scaling a startup
  • Building a generational business
  • Essential outdoor gear
  • CPM3V Steel

Resources Mentioned:

« Ep 41: Reuben Bolieu on Travel, Blades, & Minimalistic Gear Ep 43: Adam Gall on Timber to Table & Guiding Hunts »
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