Hi, please introduce yourself and your business.
Hi my name is Owen King and I am the owner of Warrior Woodworks.
Why did you start crafting business and how does your passion still drive your business today?
As strange as it sounds, my business started kind of by accident. I bought a used wood lathe and then tried to decide what I was going to do with it! I came to the conclusion that pen turning would be a good way to start. At first I was making pens and giving them away to customers when I was a car salesman. After a while I decided that I wanted to make more expensive items and so I broadened my products and started promoting my business more as a business rather than simply giving things away as gifts. I discovered along the way that the process became a great outlet for my creative and artistic side. I am now constantly on the hunt for new methods, new materials and new products to market.
At what point did you realize this is what you wanted to pursue and that the potential to make a living from it was there?
I think that when I realized people really liked what I made and my skills and quality of products were going up I knew that my hobby could start paying for itself. I also wanted the ability to create more and more interesting products and knew that to do so I would need more equipment. In order to pay for new equipment I really needed to sell more and become better at marketing.
Was there a turning point or what made you want to switch this from a hobby to more of a business?
I think when I began getting large orders from bigger clients such as 30 to 40 items at once I realized I needed to make this more of a business than simply a small hobby.
What brought you to selling your products with Handmade Saskatchewan?
I was selling products online through Facebook and Instagram for some time before coming to the Handmade store. However most of my sales came from friends and family and it's difficult for people to appreciate a well-made product when they can't hold it and touch it in person before buying it. That's where a physical store really outshines online buying. I came to Handmade Sask because a friend was already selling her products there and was raving about it.
What do you attribute your success to?
I am never content. I'm always learning new techniques or learning how to create new products. The quality of my creations has only gone up over the years because I am always seeking perfection.
If you could speak face to face with yourself when you first started, what pearls of wisdom would you impart?
Don't settle. Never say "it's good enough". Keep at it until you get it right and don't accept anything else but perfection.
What new products have you been working on? Any you would like to highlight?
I've been working on some incredibly nice knives. From pocket knives to hunting and kitchen knives. It's an interesting learning curve as it's quite different from other things I usually make.
When it comes to making knives, are you learning how to smith as well now? Or is there a smith you work with to create the blades?
I don't make the blades. I have a supplier that makes the blades to my specs. I make and fashion the handles.
How has the pandemic affected your business?
Other than a drop in sales for May, there hasn't been many issues.
Thank you for your time!