Every person I know in the military and veteran community carries a blade on them. It is just a normal part of their everyday wear.
I personally keep a very small Karambit knife on me. Having a knife that is both easy to use and accessible makes sense to all of us for numerous reasons.
So when custom knife maker Kaila Cumings obliged Havok Journal with an interview, we were all very excited. In addition to being a custom knife maker, Miss Cumings is a competitive shooter, an avid hunter, and professional survivalist. She also recently stared on Discovery Channel’s “Naked and Afraid,” otherwise known as “the show every single military guy I know wants to be on.”
We asked Kaila how she got started and about her business. This is what she had to say:
Q: How long have you been making knives and what got you into it?
A: I originally started doing reviews on knives on my YouTube channel, and then 4 years ago I decided I wanted to try making them instead of just reviewing them. It started out as a hobby and I totally fell in love with it and decided I wanted to make a career out of it. Haven’t looked back since then.
Q: What is your favorite part of the process, and what is your favorite knife to make?
A: I love being able to make something that started out as a lump of steel and turn it into a piece of art that is not only beautiful but fully functional. My favorite pieces to make are daggers, big meat cleavers, mini tomahawk. Unique pieces.
Q: When did you decide to turn it into a business? What was your biggest concern starting it?
A: Right away I knew I wanted to do it full time. It took a lot of time and hard work. At one point, I was actually working 3 jobs just so I could pay for all of the knifemaking equipment. My biggest concern starting the business was that no one would buy my products
Q: What has been your biggest challenge?
A: I typically make anywhere between 5-20 knives a week depending on size, materials, etc. My biggest challenge has been keeping up with demand. A lot of people think because I work for myself I have a lot of free time but I work 7 days a week from 7am to 10pm.
Q: What is your favorite business accomplishment?
A: Making my customers happy. Seeing them post pictures of my knives being used whether it be out hunting, or camping, or on the job.
Q: What are your future plans for your business?
Q: There are not a lot of well-known female custom knife makers, what is it like being one of the few in the industry? What would you say to other women that are interested in forging steel?
A: I love being one of the only few females in a male dominant industry. I’ve worked very hard to get a good name and build a good reputation in the industry. I say for any female wanting to pound out some steel go for it!! If you’re passionate about it then go for it! We need more ladies I’m the industry!
Q: Have you ever thought about going on Forged in Fire?
A: I unfortunately can’t go on the show because I am in contract with the Discovery Channel but who knows maybe someday.
Q: What keeps you busy when you are not making knives?
A: I love shooting my bow and hitting the range. I also have a 10 year old who is always with me and goes and does everything with me as well. Including shooting our bows and guns together. We go hunting together as well.
Q: You’re a big supporter of a lot of Veteran groups (G4G), what drew you into supporting the groups?
A: I have always supported our troops, I have so much love and respect for everyone who is serving or has served. My father and brothers both served.
Q: And our last question: Will we see you in anymore TV shows?
A: You will have to stay tuned and see 😊