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Spyderco has one employee we term our “far-away guy.” Spyderco employs a full-time man on the ground who nurtures and grows our European presence. Meet Jurphaas van Rietschoten. Jur joined Spyderco part time twenty-two years ago and is based in Leiden, the Netherlands. After retiring from his career in the Dutch Air Force he began representing Spyderco full-time by traveling through Europe and meeting with dealers, distributors and end line users. He is our European steward and exhibits at a number of trade and consumer shows in the marine, outdoor sports, hunting and knife markets.

While spending time with Jur during the recent Amsterdam Meet and IWA trade show, we asked him a few questions about his perspective on Spydero and our place in the European knife community. We thought you might enjoy his insights as much as we did.

1. What is Spyderco’s position in the European knife market?

“Spyderco is known all over Europe with an excellent reputation and is highly respected among European collectors, hunters, fishermen, professional users, Save & Serve personnel, security specialists and martial blade artists. Spyderco holds a strong position in the EU market as a premium brand, offering modern, high-tech, reliable, and extremely functional cutting tools.”

2. Where do you see Spyderco in Europe 10 years from now?

“I see Spyderco making maximum use of our newly built production facility being constructed now in Golden. I tend to believe that production of our moderately priced value folders and the byrd series will continue to grow. The current research & development team consisting of Sal and Eric Glesser will change at some point in time when Sal retires. I see Eric continuing R&D and keeping Spyderco a leader in the export industry. The byrd line will continue to grow. Sal and Eric showed some of the latest re-designed byrd models, a new Raven in G10, and the Meadowlark 2 and the Cara Cara 2 in titanium at the Amsterdam Meet and at the IWA Show in Nuremberg, Germany.”

3. What are the advantages of having an employee on the ground in Europe?

“Operating as Spyderco’s European representative takes me on the road constantly but keep in mind that Europe today consists of 51 independent countries, of which, 28 are members of the European Union. I travel and organize trade and consumer shows in Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and France. I meet with our import dealers and distributors and assist store keepers, sales staff and end-line consumers. Spyderco makes high quality products with many very technical aspects to them; ergonomics, blade steel, handle materials, special production methods, and hidden technical or ergonomic design features. These features need to be pointed out and explained to our sales partners in order to enable them to offer adequate advice and support to their customers and the end- line user. My motto is: “Have a Spyderco Knife, Will Travel”.”

4. What are the advantages of having Meets and exhibiting at trade and consumer shows overseas?

“Being competitive is the key to our business. We are a small company but we have dozens of new releases every year. It is my privilege to present these new releases to the European market. Yes, I break ground for Spyderco and I am extremely persistent in that. I'd love to meet you too, either on my turf in Europe, or while being part of the Spyderco crew, at a show on your side of the Ocean!”

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Spyderco, Inc
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