Chris Williams

Chris Williams

When you first put a Williams Knife in your hand, you know you’re holding something special and immediately begin to wonder, “Is this something I can use, or is it a work of art?”

For Chris Williams, it’s both.

As a young boy, Chris grew up hanging out in his grandfather’s shop, watching him turn old band saw blades into knives. Fascinated with the idea of blending steel, wood and other natural materials together into something useful, Chris slowly began to develop his own style of knife-making, using everything he had learned from his grandfather and adding his own special style.

An avid outdoorsman, Chris loves to hunt and fish. And, as you might expect, he often carried his knives with him into the field. When his friends would see the knives, they would beg him to make one for them. Those were the first Williams Knife Company knives; only there was no Williams Knife Company – not just yet.

Chris soon began to make knives for his friends in the small shop behind his house. It’s here that Chris honed his craft, making one knife at a time, working with different steels and experimenting with new styles and woods. Because of his friends, complete strangers began to call Chris and ask him to make knives for them – custom orders with special wood or engraving on the blade.

When Chris walked out to his shop one day and saw 15 knives in various stages of completion, he realized that the stress of his fast-paced job in the investment world would leave his shoulders, to be replaced by joy and passion. That’s when the idea of turning his love into a career first began.

And in 2009, he did. The Summerville, SC native traded in his successful, 13-year career in Corporate America for a small shop on John’s Island, a grinding wheel and a fresh, new outlook on life. And so the dream began.

Chris Williams
Chris’ first big break came when he decided to design an oyster knife – one specifically made to tackle the small, tightly clumped-together oysters found along the coast of the Carolina Lowcountry. Named the Edisto, the knife’s tip is more pointed than a standard oyster knife, perfect for prying the clumps apart and digging into the small hinges. The blade is stout and flares out at the middle, which makes it easier to spread the oyster wide as you open it. The Edisto is both ingenious and beautiful at the same time.

On a whim, Chris entered the knife into Garden & Gun Magazine’s Second Annual “Made In The South” awards. The Edisto was up against some stiff competition, including beer makers and craftsmen making furniture from old bourbon barrels. But the judges saw something special and unique not only in the Edisto, but in Chris. The Edisto was Garden & Gun’s Overall Winner in 2011, and the award catapulted Chris into the national spotlight.

While the Edisto is still clearly the most requested Williams Knife, Chris offers many styles to choose from, including hunting, skinning and filet knives. Every knife that leaves the shop receives the attention commanded to meet the standard of excellence that Chris demands. This dedication to quality and beauty lives on with a lifetime guarantee for all of his knives. Most recently, Chris launched a line of kitchen knives that are very popular among some of Charleston’s most renowned chefs – and now they’re available to everyone.

Today, Chris has a new perspective on the meaning of the “daily grind.” No more catching 5 a.m. flights and missing tee ball games with his kids. Instead, as he opens the door to his shop every morning, he can picture his grandfather there, saying “If you do what you love, you’ll never work another day in your life.”