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Many of you have probably wondered about my spontaneous and unannounced withdrawal from social media. I've read a few speculations about this in various forums.
Before I answer that specifically, I would like to say something general about myself and my way of working and thinking:
If there's one thing I've learned in the last almost 10 years of working full-time as a cutler, it's that I'm always at my best and most productive when I really enjoy a job and when I'm confident in my work. When an activity really suits me and my personality and I am completely absorbed in it. As banal as this realization seems, it took me a few years to understand and internalize it. In the first few years of my work, for example, I concentrated a lot on what was currently desired in the (German) knife scene and oriented myself strongly towards that. And then I was surprised that things weren’t going “smooth” and that I regularly felt stressed by my work.
About 4-5 years ago I systematically began to redesign my company and my activities. I focused more on what “felt” right than what I believed was expected of me. For example, I have significantly reduced the amount of commissioned work. I don't like doing too many customs because then I feel like I'm limited in my creativity!
Do not get me wrong. In your professional life it will never be the case that you only do activities that you enjoy. There is always a necessary evil. But I'm now lucky enough to be in a position where I can decide for myself where I want to go. Trying things, realizing I don't like it, and then trying a new thing.
I'm now really broadly positioned in my work. I have my material shop. I enjoy getting good “deals” when purchasing goods. I have a capable employee who supports me with the shop. I make my kitchen knives according to my own ideas and occasionally a custom one. I do iron smelting regularly and have buyers for the material. I produce larger damask packages or blanks from special steels for selected customers in the gold and art forging sector. And much more.
And now comes the bridge to my presence on social media. I'll start with very honest words. I don't like social media! I am a deeply analogue person. The kind of staging that is necessary for successful self-presentation on social media is disgusting to me. I feel a great reluctance within myself to post anything regularly. I also feel that most social media is conceptually designed to arouse desire/greed, envy, comparison and resentment in an inexperienced user.
I carry out my work well and conscientiously and produce kitchen knives to a very high level of craftsmanship. I hope that customers will choose one of my knives carefully for these reasons. And not because there is a staged hype.
Of course, I know that in today's world, as an internationally active cutler, it's difficult to get by without social media. And I don't plan on completely turning away from all social media. Rather, I ask myself the specific question of where the journey can go.
I've always been proud that my knives look better in person than in my photos ;-) I like to explain things, explain the background and pass on my knowledge. I can explain complicated issues simply and correctly. Maybe it would be time to produce some informative YouTube videos?
So why haven't I been active for a long time? I felt more and more uncomfortable using social media every day and needed time to think and sort it all out.
Thank you very much for your attention.