Saturday, September 19

Building a Blacksmithing Business Case Study: Brown County Forge

Brown County Forge
Dream shop location (CCC-era shelter in Brown County State Park)

This is the first in a series of posts chronicling one path to starting a blacksmithing business. In this first post I'll be laying out the overall goal and main steps along the way.

This will be happening in real-time so you can follow along as I fail and succeed at each stage. I hope you enjoy it!

Let's start with the "Why?"

I have an excellent job that allows for a lot of free time, fresh air, and travel. Why would I want to go through the pain and frustration of starting my own business? Especially in an obscure trade?

I can't not work for myself. Or at least try. I've found through the years that I'm most content when I'm responsible for my time and what I can produce with it.

Here's what we'll assume:

1. You know how to make things that people maybe want to buy.

2. You're willing to give up a substantial portion of your time to devote to something that might not work.

3. You're willing to talk to people or have someone who will talk to a lot of people for you.

Our Objective

Start the process of building a blacksmithing business that provides you with a livable income within 18 months.*

*This timeframe may be longer or shorter depending on the resources (monetary and otherwise) you have available.

Here's what we'll do in 5 steps

1. Pick a name and start branding yourself (You could call your company Vulcan's Mt. Doom Dragon Forge, but simpler is usually better).

2. Find adequate space (rent, buy, share).

3. Build a following (social media, your own website).

4. Learn to sell (soft selling, giving it away, making conversation).

5. Plan for the future (where do you want to take this? how much do you need to live on?).

*These steps may happen out of order and a couple at a time. That's okay. This isn't going to be neat and tidy.

If you're interested in following along, you can find updates here and on the DIY Blacksmithing Facebook page


  1. Terran, I can't wait to see you knock this out of the park! If I can be of ANY help at all, just give me a holler. I'd love to get involved and help if I'm able to.

    1. Thanks, Benton! Once I get back to Indiana in November I could definitely use some help getting things going.

  2. Aaron HardestyDecember 13, 2015

    I'd die to learn the trade! I've tried everything else I thought I'd be interested in, and blacksmithing is still the oonly thing that rings true in my heart of hearts.

    1. Hey Aaron-

      That's awesome! It's definitely something you can pick up on your own with the right resources. If you have the time and interest I also offer classes:

      In January I'll be covering the basics (scrolling, drawing out, proper heat, etc.) with an emphasis on making traditional fire steels (fire starters).

      Give me a holler!

  3. I'm trying to do the same thing but in the U.K. And I'm jus looking for somebody to help and talk me through starting my own blacksmith business

    1. Hi Zach-

      I'd be happy to lend a hand. It will be easier to discuss through email. If you'd like to talk more, send me a note at .