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Think Twice, Cut Once

by Rebecca Barr | Aug 6, 2020 11:50:00 AM


Growing up in a knife factory, playing with sharp, shiny objects may seem like a little boy’s dream. But that wasn’t the case for Tim Reeve, son of Chris Reeve, the kinship of Boise-based and world-renowned Chris Reeve Knives. Tim jokes that his mom filled out his W-2 the day he was born. But as he grew up, he started to resist the family business.

“Tim declared he never wanted to be involved,” said Anne Reeve, Tim’s mom and current CEO. “It’s the last thing he wanted to do.”

But fast forwarding to now, Tim manages product development and has his hands in almost every aspect of the company. He gleams with pride as he stands in the middle of shop, sporting his CRK hat, saying he knew he had big shoes to fill but wanted to continue the legacy.

The company is far different now than it was when it first started. In 1984, in Durban, South Africa, Chris Reeve made the decision to become a full-time knife maker. He grew the company to five employees, but a few years later scaled back down to just he and wife, Anne, when they relocated Boise, Idaho.

Over the years, the company has found tremendous success and has grown at a steady pace that allows them to increase production without sacrificing quality. Here, they take manufacturing knives to a whole new level. As Tim explains, it’s a balanced “mix of utility and art.” 

Everyone at Chris Reeve Knives takes pride making the best product and striving to be the “yardstick” of the industry. Its their collective and perpetual hope that this pursuit of excellence leaves others to question, “Does it compare to a Chris Reeve Knife?”

The longtime dedication to their product has paid off as they have built a high level of trust with their customers who have turned into a large fan base across the globe.

“That’s not something that comes over night,” Anne said. “It’s 30 plus years of doing it the right way.”

Their consistent dedication to their craft and customers has not only earned them a loyal following, but it’s also helped them earn their BBB Accreditation.

“We are very honored to have a great reputation across the industry for integrity and doing the right thing and treating our customers well. But belonging to an organization like Better Business Bureau is a very valuable tool to add to that credibility,” said Anne.

Five years ago, Anne took over the company when Chris officially retired. She explains that she took a leap of faith, describing that, “It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s never been dull!” (And that, my friends, is a knife pun!)

But taking over the reins of a company with so much success comes with immense pressure.

“There have been times I’ve been awake at 2 a.m. lying in fetal position wondering how I’ll make payroll,” she said.

But she conquers the stress by answering the question, “How do you eat an elephant?” with “One bite at a time!”

And with each bite, or hurdle, she faced, she always kept in mind her love for her team and her love for their knives.

“It’s a mixture of being anxious sometimes and then just being enormously proud of what we have all have been able to accomplish. Because I sure didn’t do this on my own.”

For more information or to hear more stories about Accredited Businesses, visit trust-bbb.org.

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