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Farewell

Dear Customers,

We have decided to sell our business to another very fine Knife Dealer whom we have done business with for many years.

We started this journey as a family—both direct and extended—7 years ago.  

Without a doubt this has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life.  

As many of you are aware I started collecting knives when I was 5 and made a choice to take what had been a lifetime hobby and turn this hobby into a business.  The timing was perfect for my family and I to start this journey.  Adult children either moving through or having finished their education and a great family who was completely supportive of this vision.

My oldest Son Grayson and I were the primary initial drivers. It was a unique opportunity for me to mentor my Son in what I termed as a “Living MBA” where I trained him in all aspects of creating a business plan and manage/growing every aspect of a business.  

We were surprised by how fast our business grew and exceeded our business plan substantially and well ahead of schedule.  As the business grew my lovely Wife Vicki, my Sister-in-Law Vivian my other child Kalam all joined in along with contract labor to cover peak demand.

After this business was well established and growing I stepped back into a couple of Executive roles driving turnarounds at 2 different companies.  My work as a Chief Restructuring Officer at one company and VP Global Supply Chain & Trade and Interim Chief Financial Officer at another compay.  The work at these turn arounds preserved over 1,500 U.S. jobs and U.S. based services and manufacturing.

Our customers were our best asset.  You bought into  our vision of sourcing and selling only 100% Made in U.S.A and 100% Made in Japan knives and cutlery.  Most of our Made in U.S.A. Knives were “Handmade” by some of the finest craftsmen on the planet.  We sold other makers designs and enjoyed seeing our own designs transferred from paper into Custom Knives.

Here are a few highlights of our journey:

While selling kitchen cutlery we spent a couple of years in the top 10% of Amazon Sellers as measured by volume of unitis sold.

We sold over a thousand 100% Custom 1-of-a-kind Made in U.S.A. Knives.  Some of which were purchased by a Hollywood producer to be used in a variety of Movies and TV shows.  There was a market here for “functional” period knives.

Overall we sold 10,000 of knives; mostly at a price point between $100 to $1,000 each.  These were not the cheap imports made of inferior metals that we term as “throw away knives”.  

On the personal side we had our set backs along with our successes in business.

My Sister-in-Law who was also our photographer developed Hodgkins Lymphoma.  When this occurred we took a step back from our business to provide both physical, emotional and financial support.

One of my children also became severely ill and lingered in a health challenged state for over a year.

However, we have taken all of this in stride viewing life as a journey that has ups, downs and detours.

After all our success it is normal to ask why we are selling what has been a very successful business.  It is primarily a personal choice.  

After 10 years of driving company transformations in a variety of roles, I decided to step back into a larger company and apply all of my experience and capabilities there.  However, this change required me to relocate across the country to the East Coast.  Additionally my oldest Son has started a new venture with some great people, my youngest has embarked on their own adventure, my Wife has retired and my Sister-in-Law is still in a weakened state having fully recovered from her Cancer.  

We close all of this down on a high note.  We are retaining our Trade Mark “We Have The Edge” and will likely sell this to a different buyer.  

I can’t thank you all enough for being a part of our business for the past 7 years.  Although the sale of our company does not close until January 2nd we have already delisted all of our knives from all sales venues.  

All of our inventory has already been transferred to the buyer of our company.  He is one of the finest humans I have ever known and only due to his age has he been collecting knives longer than I have.

All the Best,

Gary Starr

President 5 Starr Knives & Cutlery

 

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