Entrepreneur Spotlight: Nicholas Nichols, Founder of Nicholas Nichols Knives

Who Is Nicholas Nichols?

Nicholas “Nic” Nichols is a North Carolina resident and founder of a premium knife company that shares his name. Nic has spent the last several years selling premium knives for everyday carry and kitchen use. His passion for this craft started after his grandmother passed away and he began investigating his family’s past. His quest to discover his family’s roots revealed that  his great-great-grandfather was a blacksmith. This revelation is what fueled his interest in the trade and started Nic down the road to becoming an expert knife maker.

Before he founded his own business, Nic trained as a professional chef at Johnson and Wales, where he developed a deep appreciation for what makes a great meal. Nicholas was inspired by the endless assortment of ingredients you can use and the tools at your disposal to express your creativity. He began to understand the importance of having a knife with a strong blade and sturdy handle. It wasn’t long before he realized the impact the right knife can have on the meal you are preparing.

He also loved the idea of creating something one generation could pass on to the next. He took pride in knowing that his products would be at the center of important family gatherings. The knives he made would not only create memories today, but would be passed on from generation to generation to create new memories for decades to come. His commitment to these ideals helped him launch one of the premier knife brands in North Carolina.

Once a resident of Leland, NC, Nic now resides in Southeastern North Carolina with his wife Amanda and three kids. While he is sure to keep the knives away from the little ones, that doesn’t mean they don’t help in the family business. Everyone pitches in, from cleaning the shop to running the brand website. As you can see, family is the key component to Nic’s success business.

What Makes These Knives So Special?

It’s no secret that the motivation for creating these knives centers around family values and producing a quality product. What also sets these knives apart are the materials used in manufacturing both the blade and the handle. Nic often uses various elements,  including a special background to craft his blades. Most notably, his award-winning “Battleship Teak Large Chef Knife” features a  blade developed from the steel of an actual battleship.

The wood used in the knife handles often have unique origin stories as well. Nic often tries to repurpose unique wooden products found within the United States. This includes pieces of teak wood from the deck of the USS North Carolina and other decommissioned battleships. He has also been known to leverage wood from old barrels of whiskey and Gibson guitars. Most recently, he was able to acquire wood from famous sports stadiums and plans to use it to create future blade handles.

His biggest challenge as a premium knife maker is meeting typical consumer expectations.  Most people who order online expect to receive shipments within 48 hours. It can be challenging to develop high-quality knives when other online retailers can deliver mass-produced kitchen knives at a much quicker pace. However, Nic stands firm, knowing that the knives he creates are of a higher quality and well worth the wait. His happiest moments are hearing from customers about how pleased they are about the performance of their new knives.

Regional Recognition and National Fame

Nic and his array of custom knives gained regional recognition when his “Battleship Teak Large Chef’s Knife” earned the 2020 Made in NC Award for the Home and Garden Category. Nic has always been passionate about the story behind each one of his knives. This unique, award winning knife is special because of the connection it has with his fellow NC residents. The steel used in the blade originated from the USS North Carolina .  Anyone with a connection to the ship will also share a connection to the knife.

As impressive as the award was, Nic gained national fame when he appeared on the History channel’s hit show, “Forged in Fire” in July of 2020. “Forged in Fire” challenges four expert bladesmiths to recreate history’s most iconic edged weapons. For those who may be interested, Nic appeared on Season 7, Episode 33 entitled “Japanese Ono”.

How To Purchase Nic’s Knives

You can purchase Nic’s portfolio of knives through his branded website. You can also learn more about his origin story, view product photos, and purchase merchandise such as bottles, mugs, hats, shirts, and hoodies. You can also purchase his knives from certified dealer partners including USA Made Blade, Old Towne Cutlery, and Cooks Station.