Six years ago, then–media sales executive Travis Weige decided he needed a lifestyle change. “I was working in front of a computer 40 to 60 hours a week or always on a plane,” he says. “I wanted to spend more time with my family.” So on a whim, he started watching knife-making videos on YouTube, and knife making became his new hobby. Turns out, he had a knack for creating custom knives out of the highest-quality steel and wood.

After about three years of honing his craft, which included making knives in his spare time, reading every knife-making book he could get his hands on, and taking a course at the American Bladesmith Society in Arkansas, Weige decided to make the jump to being a knife maker full-time in September 2014.

Today, his random hobby is a full-fledged business, and Weige is one of the most revered knife craftsman in the United States, with a 14-month waiting list for his custom Weige Knives creations. And the best part? “Now I work from home, so I can pick my kids up from school and play with them outside in the afternoon,” he says.

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