Hovey Smith Shoots a Bullseye with SEOPA Outdoor Entrepreneur Project Award
Lakeland, Florida, Oct. 6. Hovey’s Knives of China, a new knife-making company based in Sandersville, Georgia, won the First Place Award for an Outdoor Entrepreneur Project at the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association’s (SEOPA) annual meeting in Lakeland, Florida.
This award is sponsored by Mossy Oak Brand Camo and includes a plaque along with a cash prize. The award is part of SEOPA’s Excellence in Crafts competition where members compete in categories for the best newspaper, magazine, book, video and other media published during the contest period. The Outdoor Entrepreneur Project is unusual in that it is, “Any original activity, product or service created between the contest dates by the entrant and related to the outdoors demonstrating creativity and risk-taking, and designed to produce a profit…”
The creative aspects of the new company is that more than 15 patterns of cooking knives have been made based on ancient designs used during the Chinese Bronze Age and now made of modern materials for today’s Chefs and cooks. The designs had undergone hundreds of years of development and were used as inspiration for a series of cooking knives that are more efficient than any in use today.
Risks in launching any new product in the culinary market are that knives are durable tools, a wide variety of styles are already available at sometimes nearly give-away prices and low-volume production custom-made knives must command premium prices in order to be profitable. For those who cannot afford costly hand-made products, many low-cost substitutes are readily available.
New cooking knives must have distinctive designs, high quality, be demonstrably functional and aggressively marketed to be successful in today’s market. A low-volume maker cannot hope to compete in price against inexpensive unlicensed copies made in China and elsewhere. Patents offer no protection in today’s knife market, as even most minor variation in design or materials may be claimed to be a new knife, and the cost of lengthy court battles would quickly consume any profit from the products.
Considering these realities, the business plan for Hovey’s Knives of China is to produce the knives and license their designs to anyone who wishes to make them for a small royalty. The knives are so distinctive as to be unmistakable, regardless of who makes them. Hovey’s Knives will recognize, display and publicize knives made under license by custom makers and larger manufacturers at trade shows and other events. This way these eminently useful knife patterns will be quickly available worldwide to anyone who wishes to make dishes of quality and character using effective tools that have ancient cultural roots.
Low cost publicity about these knives is being produced through social medial including some 30 YouTube videos about the knives on a dedicated channel, blogs (www.hoveysknivesofchinablog.co), Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other outlets. Added publicity on these knives will also result from reviews in magazines, newspapers and TV outlets.
Prototype production has begun at a new shop located in Sandersville, Georgia, and custom production of stainless steel designs will start in January, 2017, following an extensive period of product testing.
According to Hovey Smith, the company’s founder and owner, “We are now testing designs, hardening techniques, evaluating steels and production methods in the field and kitchen to make these designs. Each knife will be custom made. We have a variety of patterns and sizes to fit the users’ hands and satisfy their needs. The new designs include left and right-handed versions of chopping knives, fish-cleaning knives, utility knives, paring knives, cleavers and sushi and lox-cutting knives along with a special design for caterers.
“This isn’t all. We also have the “Billy Joe Rubideoux” line of forged knives, such as might have been made in the Lower Louisiana Delta by a fictional cook and entrepreneur from whatever materials he had at hand to make the tools he needed. Included in this group are a Chef’s and bread knife along with a sharpening steel made from an 150-year-old scythe blade and a rib flipper and forge cleaner made from a piece of lawnmower steel. A version of the “rib flipper” will be produced as a commercial product.
“We have an exciting adventure ahead of us, in bringing these eminently useful new knives to market, and I look forward to showing people how to use them to make some dishes that may not been seen for 1000 years.”
For additional information contact Hovey Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (478) 552-7455. Cooking demonstrations with the knives and media visits to the shop are available to media representatives by prior arrangement along with limited overnight housing.
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