After the announcement was official from Queen Cutlery on Wednesday regarding their cessation of operations I received a couple of emails and phone calls asking me did this affect Trestle Pine Knives and if so… now what? The short answer is I don’t know.
First, I hope they come out of this reorganization whole and can continue operations. The knife industry has changed dramatically in the last 10 years making it harder for everyone to maintain a big enough share of a shrinking market to survive. When I say ‘shrinking market’ I mean there are more and more products vying for a limited number of consumers. Queen had a unique niche manufacturing an old name representing a quality product that I hope they can focus on again.
Obviously, the fortunes of Trestle Pine Knives was/is tied to the ongoing operations of Queen Cutlery. I haven’t had any substantive conversation with anyone from Queen since the first part of October. Emails and text messages have gone unanswered or only vague replies were made. More recently, I sent in several customer knives for repair/replacement which were returned to me marked “delivery refused”. There are other personal and financial issues that make this particularly disappointing to me. In brief, I’m totally in the dark as to the future of Trestle Pine Knives. It all depends on Queens ability to recover.
I’ve been asked if I would work with another manufacturer. IF it were possible, I’d consider it. One of the problems is that the Trestle Pine’s are built using only premium blade steels which some manufacturers can’t or won’t work with. Second, not everyone is willing to work with some of the exotic woods that I’ve used with Queen. That leaves the option of following the market and building another traditional bone handled folder. Not an option for me.
It was a hope that I would continue to scale back the business this year and focus almost exclusively on the Trestle Pine Knives going forward. I had really hoped to have another knife released by now. The acceptance of the line has been steadily growing and Sven’s efforts in Germany has been great. But for now….. I don’t have a clue what’s going to happen.