Hi I’m Wilko Verboom.
I have a great passion for forging, sharpening and craftmanship, and even as a child I drove my parents crazy with collecting knives and tools to make them.
At the age of thirteen I had built and welded my first own forge. and used my mom’s hairdryer to blow air into this makeshift forge. I melted the front of the hairdryer. One could imagine that my mother was not very amused by this… That was also the first time I discovered what it’s like to have welders eye.
I started to sharpen the tools from family and friends by using my dad’s old bench grinder. I had no idea of the hardening concept of steel so my work was far from perfect, But my 13 year old me had great time doing it.
When I was 19, I met a great guy named Ferdinand Balvert who is now a dear friend of mine. He gave me the opportunity to open my own workshop in the back of his company. I still use the same workshop today. I never realised I could really make a profession of forging and sharpening so I started to study engineering (industrial product design), and later on I also worked as a mechanical engineer but it never felt quite right. I had to design amazing things but when the designing was done other people would build it. So when the pay check came all the money I earned was invested in the workshop so I could build things myself. I quickly realised I lived for the weekends and that is not how I want to live my life.
Then the switch in my life came and I decided to follow my heart and start my own business! Because of my background and education I am able to help my costumers to design and create the Knives and tools of their dreams. Since I love to cook, I decided to focus the most on making kitchen knives.
I was (and still am) verry grateful of this opportunity and that I have made the right decision for me. So choosing a name for my brand and company was not a hard decision to make.
Grateful Knives was born.