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Meet The Team

Knifewear's Knife Store (Hamono-ya) quietly opened in March 2008. The Knife Store has become a destination/hang-out for those who love Japanese steel and are addicted to sharp. We carry knives not found in any other shop in Calgary. We like exclusive, scary sharp, high performance blades. 
We aim to offer expert knife knowledge, an enjoyable purchasing experience, after sale support and knife passion.


Calgary

Kasumi / Manager

Since early 2010 Kasumi has been bringing a bit of class to Knifewear. Though she insists she's not a knife nerd, we often catch her contemplating her next purchase. She makes bagels at home and ice cream too, how cool is that? Kasumi is now our Manager of both Calgary stores. We often wonder how she ended up with a bunch of misfits like us.

Tojiro Atelier VG10 Damascus Sujihiki 270mm

Colin / Assistant Manager

Back in the day Colin cooked at a couple restaurants in Edmonton, and he used to make knives too. He later moved to Toronto and was seduced by a career in music, though he continued sharpening knives for friends and family. By night, he DJ'd and produced beats as Ronin E-Ville, and by day he taught music at several universities, all while training to become a kung fu master. Colin eventually moved to Ireland, working as a music researcher for a couple years and learning to make shillelaghs. Since returning to Canada, Colin is stoked to be getting back to his roots with knives, happily nerding-out on steels, blacksmiths, and sharpening. If you want to know about Chinese-style cleavers (chuka bocho), Colin’s your guy!

Sugimoto No 2 Chinese Cleaver 220mm

Samii

Samii is our expert ceramic artist in the shop. Having spent years in the food industry while attending art school she is a lover of art, good food and beautiful knives! Fanatic of all things funky, flashy and perhaps a little gaudy. You're guaranteed to spot Samii in the shop rocking some flamboyant bright hair and fashion, and she's a big ol’ ray of sunshine and spunk in or out of the shop. You might see Samii out in the world at her art studio in Inglewood, hustling at markets being a badass local maker for her own brand Fox Den Studio or enjoying beers, punk rock and trivia in the city.

Masashi Shiroshu Kiritsuke 210mm

Connor

If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain, you’re not the type of person for Connor, because he hates both of those things. He’d rather replace those rainy days and slushy drinks with Dungeons and Dragons, metal and punk, and comically bad puns. Connor comes from an industry background, graduating from the culinary program at SAIT, and busting out plates at local joints before making his way to the knife life. There’s good reason that we all refer to him as Sunshine, and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone with a shinier personality and positive mindset. With Connor, we’ve always got Sunshine on a cloudy day.

Yu Kurosaki R2 Senko Santoku 165mm

Kyle

Kyle joined us all the way from Manila, Philippines with a prolific background in coffee and photography. He found Knifewear when he used to work at the coffee shop down the street, coming in on his breaks to see cool knives was foreshadowing, and now he's a fellow knifenerd like all of us. His culinary endeavors involve mixing his traditional Filipino food with other cuisines. Catch him on his days off taking incredible photos, looking for hidden local coffee shops and killing a filipino cosplay of Jacob Black 24/7.

Sakai Takayuki Homura by Itsuo Doi Kengata Santoku 195mm

Matt

Joining us from Manchester, UK, by way of Vancouver, Matt was introduced to Knifewear during the pandemic when West Coast Knife Nerd Ryan hooked up the kitchen with free sharpening (rewarded with a super sexy grilled cheese, of course).  Since then, Matt has put his 10 years of kitchens behind him to get a grip (geddit?) on some awesome knives!  Rocking some colourful tattoos, be sure to ask Matt about mid-west Punk, Pork Belly, and Pizza.

Hado Sakai Ginsan Kiritsuke Gyuto 240mm

Jacob

Meet Jacob! While bouncing around national parks and the west coast of Canada, one thing remained constant for him, his love of Barbecue. If you see him, feel free to ask him anything smoking related, because he loves a good brisket. Hailing from Calgary, Jacob came back from his adventures to be closer to family, and to go to marketing school. His love of food and sharp things eventually landed him a job at the Inglewood location, where they needed someone to reach stuff off the top shelf. If you see him, you’ll be greeted with a smile and wave, and he’s happy to help you find something that fits you perfectly!

Kobayashi SG2 Santoku 170mm

Sebastien

From chef to knifenerd, Sebastien came to us from Sky360 when he realized his favorite part of being a chef was talking about the knives he owned. If you like random fun facts and out of nowhere tips and tricks, Sebastien is your guy. He often spends his free time refining his game builds and using molecular gastronomy to deconstruct his food like an alien from the future.

Sakai Takayuki Homura Guren Kengata Yanagiba 300mm

Kat

Meet Kat! A born and raised Calgarian who joined the Knifewear team after she escaped her life as a manager at a grocery store. She is a lover of flavourful body-builder food who wanted to explore the world of cool kitchen knives. She can often be found attending local shows and throwing herself into the mosh pit. If you ever need advice on which local shows to attend or how to make your recipe allergy friendly then Kat is your gal. 

Masakage Koishi AS Bunka 170mm

Edmonton

Kris / Manager

A veteran of many great kitchens, Kris spent over a decade chained to stoves cranking out fine dining. After easing back into civil society by cheese mongering he found his way to Knifewear in the summer of 2014. Kris has a soft spot for 210mm Gyutos and an affinity for the amazing Aogami Super. He believes that no kitchen is complete without at least one Koishi.

Fujiwara Denka Gyuto 150mm

Adam / Assistant Manager

After a decade of being chained to the stove, Adam enrolled in the Knifewear Chef Rehab Program, meaning he's almost a normal person! Our resident axe nerd and outdoor enthusiast, he's also a Kiritsuke connoisseur. Stop by with any axe questions or ask him about that time he won third best Donair in Edmonton!

Moritaka Ishime Kiritsuke 210mm

Steve

Steve came to us from the world of bartending but has quickly realized that awesome Japanese knives are where it’s at. As someone who loves to cook at home, his approach to knives and how to use them is so helpful for everyone who is not a professional chef. He started off with a Masakage Koishi Bunka, and is now adding a Kurosaki Shizuku Gyuto to his collection. It’s safe to say that if Steve can use a sharp knife and not cut himself to pieces, anyone can do it.

Fujimoto Hammer Tone SLD Nakiri 165mm

Ai

We’re very proud to have Ai Yamamoto from Kawaguchi-Ko on the team in Edmonton! She left Japan to come to Vancouver in 2004 and has called Edmonton home since 2007. She says getting used to our harsh winters was the biggest challenge to overcome, but she loves it here because of all the friendly Canucks! She fell in love with all our awesome Japanese knives through working at restaurants, both back in Japan and here in Canada. Come see her to exchange recipes for Udon and to share photos of kitty cats!

Masakage Zero Bunka 170mm

Mary

Mary brings a youthful energy to the store, and her passion for Japanese knives is infectious! She is excited to help everyone find their perfect knife and is your go-to gal for all the neat info about each blacksmith. Mary also runs an awesome hand-pinched ceramic company called Skavenger Ceramics. Pop in, and ask her about her love for Masashi-san’s knives and her new Fujiwara Denka! 

Fujiwara Western Denka Gyuto 180mm

Gabe

Oh Hey! It's Gabe from Knifewear! Gabe is not a burned out chef but rather a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada! Ask him about his love of Oreos, he was in a commercial once. An instant convert to the world of Japanese knives, Gabe now has a growing collection and some sick sharpening skills!

Mazaki Shirogami Nashiji Nakiri 180mm

Lauren

Look! It’s Lauren, aka Lucette aka our resident rockstar! Lauren loves sharp knives, cooking like a seasoned pro in her home kitchen, and blue jeans! Seriously, she really likes blue jeans. Of no little fame, you can stream her music on any platform and even hear it in store! Come by and ask about her favourite bars in Nashville or chat about smoking meat.

Masashi KOKUEN Bunka 165mm

Jess

It’s Jess! After 9 years of cooking, Jess has finally made it to chef rehab and is officially a classic knife nerd! She loves making pasta and sushi, and her ability to work with her hands has made her a quick study of knife sharpening. Ask her why the Tadafusa Hocho Kobo petty is the most important knife a line cook can own.

Tadafusa Hocho Kobo Petty 125mm

Ottawa

Vancouver

Wearhouse

Mike / General Manager

Mike was a chef for 15 years and and has been a knife aficionado for most of them. His love of Japanese knives began, coincidentally, when Knifewear began. Mike decided that it was time to get out from behind the stoves and hanging out at Knifewear wasn’t paying the bills so he hired himself. We rehabilitated him into a life of knives and shaving in 2012. He loves to talk about food and cooking as well as knives. Mike is the General Manager of all our shops.

Masakage Kumo 270mm Sujihiki

Ellie / Digital Operations

Ellie is a Shopify expert and tinker with with all types of software solutions. She started selling knives in the store, but saw how things could run more efficiently, and made it so. Ellie is passionate about products (just ask anyone she knows about quality canned seafood) and does her homework on every single item she purchased for herself and the store. In her free time you can find her arguing about mop buckets and planting the seeds of queer femme joy wherever she goes.

Tojiro Oboro Petty 135mm

Naoto / Cultural Ambassador

Naoto came to Canada several years ago and we aren't letting him go back. After getting angry with his roommate's dull knives, he started to dream of sharp Japanese knives. Naoto graduated from University of Calgary with a bachelor degree of art, majoring International Relations and finds that selling Japanese knives is his own way of doing international relations. Naoto is our Head of Shipping and receiving. You can also see him in SpringHammer looking cool and holding it all together.

Hado Sakai Sumi Gyuto 240mm

Tiffany / Warehouse Manager

What can we say about Tiffany. One day she bought an axe from us, and then another one, and then she decided she wanted to work with sharp stuff all day long! Now she's crushing it running the warehouse, making sure that your packages get out in a timely manner. Tiffany has no problem getting her hands dirty out and about with axes, knives, and here in the shop sharpening. When you need insight on your next outdoor excursion, give Tiffany a call.

Moritaka Ishime Honesuki 150mm

Nathan/ Brand Communications Lead

Nathan started at Knifewear in 2013, when he left the restaurant industry to slang knives. Nowadays, he handles our communications, social media, and YouTube channel. If you're reading words on this website or watching one of our videos, Nathan was involved. He spends his spare time growing food, cooking, fermenting food and booze, and enjoying the great outdoors.

Moritaka Ishime Gyuto 240mm

Mason / Brand Design Manager

Mason's job is to make Knifewear and Kent of Inglewood look cool. Which is an easier job than it looks (don't tell Kevin) since both are much cooler than Mason. He enjoys owning knives that make him feel like a much better cook than he actually is, and looking at razors that make him wish he shaved more than once every five years.

Masakage Yuki Santoku 165mm

Brenda / Operations & Administration Assistant

Brenda’s first passion in life is pizza.  She also loves dinosaurs, Ninja Turtles, crocheting and cycling.  She is wildly talented at customer service, and is the fastest in the West at quick draw telephone pick-up.  She’s usually the one you talk to when you call the warehouse, she is amazing at solving a shipping problem, and sometimes she brings cookies to work which makes her team happy.

Masakage Koishi AS Petty 75mm

Skye / Brand Communications

With a background as a professional photographer, Skye has done more than a few light tests with the shiniest knives she can find. Her big passions are food and photography, but ask her anything about cicadas, obscure church plays, or sharp things if you want her to seriously nerd out. Other interests include cozy video game nights in, wild day trips out, and cooking with obscene amounts of really good confit garlic olive oil.

Fujiwara Maboroshi Santoku 165mm