My Name is Billy Nelson, I'm the knife maker and owner here at Eleven. I'm a former Chef and Illustrator. When the pandemic started in early 2020 I left my well paying, executive chef, job in Washington DC and started building things in my father's workshop in Virginia. I started out building contemporary mid-century furniture and cutting boards. I found a coal forge in the barn that spring. I cut up an old scraper blade off of a dead tractor and started hammering out knives. Or at least things that looked like knives. I was lucky enough to fall in with the Hardway Workshop crew here in Richmond and I started developing my skill set. I would drive from my father's house in the Northern Neck and stay in Richmond for a few days at a time. Making knives 10-16 hours a day and sleeping in the back of my truck... in August. Eventually I rented a small space in the building and basically started squatting. For the next 6 months I did nothing but make knives. Over the past few years I've worked 6-7 days a week developing my skill and trying to find my own style. In spring 2022 I left the safety of the community shop and built Eleven. Having my own space has allowed me to grow in ways the community shop couldn't. In Jan 2023 I felt comfortable enough with my ability to start offering knife making classes. I'm the father of a very cool 8 year old boy, I have an amazing girlfriend, a solid knife crew, and a Belgian Malinois named Xiro.