Monday, December 29, 2008


This is a re-post of the original post I wrote about the 20% off sale on Wolff 200 Series Beauty shears. This is just a reminder that the sale ends on the 31st!

I just wanted to let everyone know that Wolff is running a 20% off sale on their 200 Series Beauty Shears for the rest of December. You must order 6 pair to get the 20% off, but you can mix and match those 6 beauty shears any way you wish. You'll see a flier on this starting next week in all your orders. This is 20% off the wholesale price, so it's a great deal. If you'd like more details, the best thing to do is call. I can't put pricing on an open forum like this.

The 200 Series Wolff Shears are some of the best on the market in their class. Your customers will love them! Give them a try! If you've never sold shears before, and you have some questions, I'm happy to help. Just give me a call at 800-888-3832 and I tell you some easy ways you can sell a shear for a profit (without FEELING like your selling).

Note: Screws and finger rests are gold!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Many of us remember the old A-1 Twice as Sharp™ Scissors Sharpener. Many would still like to get their hands on one. Well you still can if you act fast! We pulled our last A-1 motors out of stock last week and we are closing them out for good. I called around to a number of people I knew would want one, and they snapped a few of them up. There are 3 left though! So if you want to own a piece of sharpening history, or if you just prefer the old style motor, here's your chance.

The part number to order one of the A-1's is A-1-NW. The machine will come without wheels, but it has the Twice as Sharp™ arm attached and it is balanced. This sales price is just $275.00. Give us a call at 800-888-3832.

To see some of our industrial and floral shear close outs, click here and click here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Monday I was asked, "What's the difference between an industrial straight trimmer and a bent trimmer." The only difference is the placement of the center of the handle in relation to the blade.

The blade on the straight trimmer is inline with the center of the handle.

The blade on the bent trimmer is inline with the finger part of the handle.

The benefit of the bent trimmer over the straight is it's better for cutting on a table. The customer doesn't have to hike the material up as much to make a cut, so it makes it easier to cut a straight line. Wolff sells far more bent trimmers than straights. Most of our straight trimmers are sold to the poultry industry for trimming fat.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I was thinking about this yesterday as I sat in a meeting all afternoon. How important is it to learn how to sell? Some don't think it can be taught. Some think you can either sell or you can't; that's just not true.

While I won't argue that some people are more "gifted" than others when it comes to sales, sales is as much a science as an art. When I first started selling, I was scared to death. I did it, but I hated it. Then I started to study it and fell in love with it.

Much of my progress came after I was fortunate enough to meet Jeffrey Gitomer. I had read one of his books and saw that he was speaking in my area, so I went to hear him. When the seminar ended, I hung around (one of the things he taught to do) and caught his ear. I asked him what the best single piece of advice he had for me was. He said, "Become a student of sales." I've been following that advice ever since.

If you'd like to follow that same path, here are a list a books that I've read that have been a big help to me:


Selling the Wheel

The Sales Bible

Selling the Invisible

Sell Your Way to the Top


All Marketers are Lairs

Made to Stick


These are just a few in two different categories that pertain to learning to sell (I've read many more), but they are some of my favorites. The economic situation we're in right now provides both a perfect time, and motivation, to learn new things that will help us grow our businesses. If selling is one of your weaker points, become a student of sales starting today.

Image: rcsj

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

OVER 70,000 HITS!!!

WOW! Over 70,000 hits! Thank you so much for reading my blog. I really hope you find it worthwhile. I do my best to provide information that will help you grow your business, even in difficult economic times like this.

Here are a few of the posts I wrote that I think have some value since I last said thanks at 55,000 hits:

Scissor Sharpening Machines and Equipment - What is the difference between your Twice as Sharp®, Ookami Gold®, and Hira-To® Sharpening Systems? This is a question I get often here at Wolff Industries. Here is a quick break down...Click here to read on.

A Great Reason to Buy a Flat Hone from Wolff - One of the great things about Wolff Industries is that it's a business...Click here to read on.

20% Off Beauty Shears - This is just a reminder that Wolff has their 200 series beauty shears on sale for the rest of the month of December if you order them in lots of 6 or more. Click here to see the details.

What Goes Into Stainless Steel - When training, I discuss stainless steel and the different kinds of metals that are mixed into it. One of the tools I use...Click here to read on.

Another Video I use in Class - Last week I mentioned that I show a video by Alton Brown about the make up of steel to my students. Another video I also often show during class is... Click here to read on.

Be Sure to Seat the Washer - I was talking to a sharpener the other day and he was asking me about a problem he runs up against from time-to-time. He said that on occasion, a pair of shears he's sharpened will come loose in the pivot and...Click here to read on.

Free-Fall - When preparing to test a shears free-fall, be sure...Click here to read on.

Different Beauty Shear Handles - There are many different handle styles on beauty shears, but the three most common you'll run into are...Click here to read on.

Monday, December 8, 2008


We've been getting a lot of great feedback from the sharpeners that are using Wolff's new Corru-Gator to corrugate their customers shears. It is simple to put the serrations on a shear with this machine. It's cork-screw wheel draws the shear across itself creating a perfect run of evenly space teeth. Wolff's Corru-Gator is foolproof when it comes to serrating a grooming shear or industrial shear. If you'd like to learn more, please visit the Corru-Gator Website. Here is the address:

If you have any questions, please give me a call at 800-888-3832.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Selling the shears you carry shouldn't feel like selling. It should feel like one friend telling another friend about a great deal!

Sharpeners think that selling something, other then their sharpening service, is unpleasant. That's just not true! If you have a line of shears you believe in, maybe even love, when you tell someone about them you're not "selling" them, you're "telling" them.

Stylists need shears to work, right? As their sharpener, you're one of their trusted advisers, right? So if you have a favorite line of shears you should tell them about them, right? Right! And you should do so with excitement!

Try this. Order a nice shear holster you can hang on your side, just like the ones your customers wear. Make sure it's a nice one! Fill it with shears you sell. That case will get noticed! When it does say, "You think the holster is nice, you should see the shears!" Then show off the line. It doesn't have to be hard to sell! And if you really do love the line, all you'll be doing is telling them what you like. If they don't buy, it's not a failure. You just told a friend about something you like, that's all.

I know "sales" is hard. One of the main reasons many people avoid selling is because of the failure rate. Don't let this be you! Look for opportunities to tell others about the products you love and that you know will help them. Don't push, provide. Don't sell, tell.

Image: thomashawk

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I just wanted to let everyone know that Wolff is running a 20% off sale on their 200 Series Beauty Shears for the rest of December. You must order 6 pair to get the 20% off, but you can mix and match those 6 beauty shears any way you wish. You'll see a flier on this starting next week in all your orders. This is 20% off the wholesale price, so it's a great deal. If you'd like more details, the best thing to do is call. I can't put pricing on an open forum like this.

The 200 Series Wolff Shears are some of the best on the market in their class. Your customers will love them! Give them a try! If you've never sold shears before, and you have some questions, I'm happy to help. Just give me a call at 800-888-3832 and I tell you some easy ways you can sell a shear for a profit (without FEELING like your selling).

Note: Screws and finger rests are gold!

Monday, December 1, 2008


I was writing about setting the tension of a beauty shear and testing its free-fall the other day. It was in the article about seating your washer in the December issue of On The Edge Newsletter*. Just to be sure everyone knows what I'm talking about, I wanted to write this post.

When preparing to test a shears free-fall, be sure the tip is pointing straight up at the ceiling.

Then take your finger blade and lift it up so that it's at 180 degrees apposed to your thumb blade to form a cross or plus sign with the shear. The thumb blade should still be pointing at the ceiling.

Let go of the finger blade and it will "free-fall" toward the other blade. If tensioned properly, the finger blade should come to a stop about half way up the thumb blade. If the shear falls all the way shut, tighten it a little more and test again. Continue adjusting the shear until the free-fall is tensioned properly and the finger blade stops at the half way point. If you have any questions concerning this, just give me a call at 800-888-3832 or on my cell at 864-909-3381.

*On The Edge is a 12 page monthly newsletter that is designed especially for Scissors Sharpeners and Clipper Blade Sharpeners! A one year subscription is only $39.95 for the paper version or $34.95 for the electronic version. If you'd like to order a subscription to On The Edge, or find out more, please call 864-909-3381.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


First and foremost I'm thankful for my faith and my family. I'm thankful I have the greatest job in the world, and I'm thankful for the many friends I have in the sharpening industry.

It may sound mushy, but it's the truth!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and thanks so much for being my customer! Remember, I'm here to help, so if I can ever assist you in your business please call me. Enjoy your day tomorrow and I look forward to working with you in the future.

Image: vintagehalloweencollector


For those of you that may not know, David Wolff has started a blog. That's right folks, yet another blog!

Here is the link:

David's Blog

It's geared toward industry, so if you've been thinking about expanding your business into the industrial sector (which you should), you'll pick up some great tid-bits of information. Regardless of whether you think this may be a fit for you or not, please take a moment and click on the "David's Blog" link above. The traffic will help his ranking, and if you know of anyone that may benefit from the info you find on David's blog, please tell them about it.

Monday, November 24, 2008


I was ranting about this topic today. So was Seth:

"I know you've heard this before, but it's really simple:

The only reason to answer the phone when a customer calls is to make the customer happy."

Customer service is IMPORTANT! We need to remember this in every aspect of our business!

Image: seychelles88

PS - This is one of the reasons a person always answers the phone during business hours here at Wolff.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I've been working with our new video camera as Glen and I get ready to shoot some video for Wolff; much to everyone's dismay. :)

Vocals: Trashing the Camp

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I was talking to a sharpener the other day and he was asking me about a problem he runs up against from time-to-time. He said that on occasion, a pair of shears he's sharpened will come loose in the pivot and he has to go back and tighten them up. I told him he needs to do a better job of seating the washer.

What many sharpeners don't realize is that when you put a high end shear back together, the washer under the head of the screw doesn't always cup back over the head properly. You need to give the shear a good wiggle to get the washer to pop into position. This is simple to do, but you need to do it properly so you don't damage the screw. It's good that this fellow needs to learn a little more about this, because he's a subscriber to On The Edge* and I just finished an article on this topic for the December Issue.

Most sharpening issues are not difficult to fix, it just takes a little knowledge to overcome them. If you ever have sharpening questions, I hope you know you are welcome to call me and I'll try to help how ever I can.


*On The Edge is a 12 page monthly newsletter that is designed especially for Scissors Sharpeners and Clipper Blade Sharpeners! A one year subscription is only $39.95 for the paper version or $34.95 for the electronic version. If you'd like to order a subscription to On The Edge, or find out more, please call 864-909-3381.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


For the past few days I've been working on putting together that last few details for our new Twice as Sharp Website. I just finished the basic content yesterday and I'm working on some questions and answer stuff the rest of this week. Here is a picture of what the home page will look like:

We'll be adding some tabs across the top and some info below. When you scroll over the boxes underneath the machines, a small window will pop up explaining the basics of each unit. To view more, you'll be able to click on the box and go to a detail page.

This site should be up and running in the next couple of weeks. As soon as it's up, I'll let all of you know.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


"It’s easiest to keep doing what you’ve been doing. It’s no effort at all to keep looking at the same metrics, make the same moves, do the same thing with a new name, even. Your customers are good enough. Why prospect for more? The way you tell your product’s story is excellent. It’s worked for several years. Why change it?"

I read this today on Chris Brogan's Blog. (Click here to read the complete post) It made me think about what one of the sharpeners I know is doing to help increase sales. He's raffling off chances to win a Kenchii Matrix shear and donating all the proceeds of the raffle to his local food bank. He's been surprised by the the number of customers that have bought tickets because it's for a good cause, but he's also been surprised by how it's helped his sales. When he makes the offer, the stylists always ask to see the shear they'll have a chance to win, and once they see the Matrix, they want to see more. Just today he called and told me he made a sale during a cold call because of the raffle, and after that, one of the local TV stations found out about what he was doing and ask if he'd be willing to talk about it on their morning program. Not bad for an off the cuff idea! He'll be doing a write up in On The Edge about the ins-and-outs of the promotion next month, or the month after.

I know the economy is bad, but if you work on thinking outside the box, you'd be surprised what you can do too! Don't keep doing the same old thing. Try something new.

Image: jamesjordan

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


It looks like I may have to change the way I do my pick up and delivery service for my sharpening business. I found this in business week:

Package delivery company DHL may have conquered the world, but it admitted on Nov. 10 that it couldn't conquer the U.S. The unit of Germany's Deutsche Post (DPWGN.DE ) announced it will stop making express deliveries within the U.S., close all of its 18 main distribution hubs there, and lay off all but a few thousand of its remaining 13,000 U.S. workers.

Although DHL will continue to make deliveries to and from the U.S. and other countries, its withdrawal from the domestic express business is another setback for a blue chip German company in the world's biggest market. (Click here to read the rest of the article)

I need to call to find out if this means that they'll be halting all ground deliveries as well just to be sure, but it sure looks like the company has crumbled according to this article. I've been using DHL for a few years now and they've done a great job. Much better than one of the other carriers I use from time-to -time!

This goes to show that in this economy, you need to be prepared to roll with the punches. You need to stay focused and on top of your game. Watching your overhead and providing stellar service are two musts right now! I'll let you know what happens as I look into other carrier options.

PS - Sorry for all the silence. I've been away for the past few days.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


What is the difference between the Twice as Sharp®, Ookami Gold®, and Hira-To® Sharpening Systems? This is a question I get often. Here is a quick break down.

Twice as Sharp®
The Professional Twice as Sharp® is designed to sharpen both industrial and low end barber and beauty shears. It is fitted with a 120 grit aluminum oxide wheel and a 400 grit honing wheel. It also comes equipped with an arm and clamp assembly to set and hold a precise angle as you sharpen. This machine has been the sharpener of choice for the majority of professional sharpeners for the last 25 years. The retail price for this system is $449.50.

Ookami Gold®
The Ookami Gold® Sharpening System is the next step up from the Professional Twice as Sharp®. The complete system will allow you to sharpen the highest end salon shears right down to the lowest end industrial shears. The complete Ookami Gold® comes fitted with an 800 grit diamond wheel and pressed composite polishing wheel for sharpening beauty shears; it also comes with the Professional set of wheels. These two wheel set ups, combined with an array of other necessary tools for sharpening higher end shears, makes the Ookami Gold® Wolff's most versatile sharpening system. The retail price for this system is $834.95.

The Hira-To® Sharpening System is Wolff's premium salon shears sharpening system. Designed specifically for sharpening high end beauty shears, this system mimics the precise movements and skills it takes factory trained sharpening technicians years to develop. The Hira-To®'s fixture will allow any sharpener to recreate the convex on a beauty shear without the worry of sacrificing a consistent sharp edge. The retail price for this system is $3082.75.

Each of these machines are designed to fulfill different tasks, but all of them complement each other and would make an excellent addition to your sharpening arsenal. Wolff has been a proud supporter of professional sharpeners for over 25 years, and offers technical support to help you as you grow your business.

If you're in the market for any of the Wolff  sharpening machines, be sure to give me a call before you buy. I know all the best places to buy at the best price! Call 864-381-8697 or email me at

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Friday, October 31, 2008


I've written about this before (like here and here) and I will probably write about it again. But I don't think I can stress enough just how important dressing to impress and first impressions can be.

With this in mind, I'd like to point you to a favorite blog of mine called The Art of Manliness. In todays post you'll find an excellent write up on how to be a well dressed man. Now I'm not suggesting, as sharpeners, we all don tailored suits, but the points that article makes about impressions and their value are something we all should consider when we present ourselves to our customers. Here is the link to the post below:

PS - I love the old pictures on this blog.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


You know, some people might think this post is a little lame, but I love it when I find something like this and wanted to pass it along to you. One of Louise Radanovich's customers gave her a copy of this song. She was an elderly music teacher and this was one of the songs she used to teach her students. Louise wrote...

"I don't know how to read music, so she sang the song to me in my truck!"

One of the things I like best about the sharpening profession is the history. It's long and colorful. Thanks for sending this song to me Louise, it will make a nice addition to my collection of old writings on sharpening and antique sharpening equipment.

Click on the picture for a larger view.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Written by Glen Burke

!Sold Out!
Best sales on record!
Most machines sold in a show!
But is that what makes a good show?


Several times throughout the weekend I was approached by attendees with comments like “I am so glad I came”, “This is my “nth” time attending a Wolff/Huff show”, “This is great that you guys do this, I’m learning so much”, “this has helped me so much”, “it was well worth coming.”

There is only one way to evaluate the value of holding a show and that is if it was worth it to the attendees. I had sharpeners asking when the next show would be. Not where, but when. They want to come and learn some more. The most exciting time was the hour and half before and after the actual show time each day. Sharpeners asked for additional hands on time and additional training on machines. Those sharpeners asked for 110% and got 120%. It’s very exciting to see sharpeners so hungry to learn and improve their skills to help their customers, thus improving their bottom line.

So was it a good show and worth the expense of travel for those that came? Based on your comments and feedback, we had a very good show! Thank you to all that came out to attend the ’08 Wolff/Huff show in Anaheim. Your participation has given us insight as to how we can best serve you and we look forward to more of the same in the future.

There will be a full write up about the show in the November Issue of On The Edge. To find out more about On The Edge, call 864-909-3381.

Friday, October 24, 2008


One of the great things about Wolff Industries is that it's a business that puts the needs of its customers first. You hopefully see that in Wolff's support system!

One thing you know about Wolff, is that when you call, you always talk to a person during business hours. We have a firm belief in building personal relationships, and we believe the worst thing a business can do is get lazy and allow a machine to be its customer service manager.

Another thing you'll notice about Wolff is the sharpener support system we've built. If you have a question, we are only an e-mail or 800 number call away. We have multiple people here ready to help.

What you may not be aware of, is Wolff's Hira-To loaner machine program. When you buy a Wolff Hira-To Flat Hone Sharpening System it's quite an investment. Wolff understands that you use this machine to make money, and if your Hira-To ever needs service, we want you to be able to continue making money when you send it in. That's why we have loan machines on the shelf we can send to our Hira-To owners if the need ever arises.

Thus far, because of the quality of the Hira-To, only one customer has had to utilize this service. When he called to tell us his machine was out of commission, it was dropped by accident, he was amazed we offered such a service. He was back up and running the next day while we fixed his machine.

Wolff is dedicated to its customers! When you purchase a piece of equipment from us, we support you. When you're ready to make a large purchase like a Flat Hone System, ask any of the other suppliers you may be considering if they have a program like this. If not, this is just one more reason to buy the Wolff Hira-To.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I haven't had time to put a post together today because of a number of meetings, but I did get to look over some of the Blogs I follow and wanted to point you toward one. It's called the Entrepreneurial Mind and author had some good insight in his post about the economy. Take a look:

Image: myeye

Monday, October 20, 2008


I received an e-mail from a sharpener last night. He was asking about a shear that was mentioned on one of the online forums. He said it was FDA Registered and was asking if any Wolff shears are registered with the FDA. They are not. He also asked if FDA Registration means the product is approved by the FDA.

To answer the latter part of that question, registration does not mean approval, but that does not mean the product doesn't do what the manufacturer claims it does. As for the the first part of the question, a manufacturer can register with the FDA by filing an "establishment registration” and/or a “medical device listing" with the FDA, which comes with a fee.

If you'd like to find out more about what's involved with registering a devise or product with the FDA, there is a good write up about the ins-and-outs of it on the Inergetix Website. To see the article, click here. In this article they mention that you can search the FDA Establishment Registration and Device Listing Database online to see which companies are registered, here is a link to that site:

To search the database, just enter the company name in the Establishment Name Box and click search. I searched the company "Ondamed" named in the article I linked to above and found the two registrations the article mentioned. Go to the link above and try it yourself. (Click on the picture if you'd like a larger view)

I hope this answers the question. If any of you ever have any other questions about Wolff products, please drop me an e-mail or give me a call.

Friday, October 17, 2008


I just wanted to ask a question of everyone. I had an incident a few weeks ago where UPS damaged one of my boxes I sent to a great customer of mine. The side of the box was busted open and three clipper blades were missing. When she called me about it, we agreed together that the blades were older so I credited her order for 3 blades at $15.00 dollars each. On top of that, I also sent her an apology letter with a $25.00 off coupon to use with her next order. I haven't heard from her since this happened and will be calling to see if I've lost her as a customer because of this.

My question to you. How would you have handled this? If you have some other suggestions, please take a moment and post a comment below or send me an e-mail at I honestly though this was a fair deal. I'll find out of it was when I call. :) I'll let you know what happens.

Image: oberazzi

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


One of my favorite things to do is spend time with like-minded people. People that love sharpening, people that love business, people that love marketing and sales. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of having lunch with one such individual, Olivier Blanchard.

Olivier writes The Brandbuilder Blog. It's one of my favorites, one of the few I visit every day, and I encourage you to visit Olivier's blog too. For someone like me that does much of the marketing at Wolff, The Brandbuilder Blog is a Godsend. I'm also fortunate that Olivier lives in my area, so I get the added benefit of a personal relationship as well. There's nothing like setting aside a couple of hours from time-to-time to trade ideas with people you respect and that aren't afraid to challenge you to improve your business and yourself.

But why am I telling you this? The reason is, I was reminded yesterday just how important networking is, and how encouraging it can be to sit down with someone that's on the same page as you. This is why sharpeners need to spend time together. We need each other! One of my favorite things I hear from sharpeners that attend shows like the Wolff/ Huff Show coming up this weekend, is not how great the classes where, but the stories of relationships sharpeners develop with each other. Many have made friends that last far beyond the show, and these friends often become cheerleaders for each other as they each grow their businesses.

So I encourage you to do two things. First, if you've never attended a show where sharpeners meet together, consider setting aside some time in 2009 to do so. Second, look for like-minded people in your area that love business and have an entrepreneurial spirit like you do. Look for others that will help you stretch and grow.

Image: emdot

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I need to let everybody know that unfortunately, I won't be able to make it to the show in Anaheim this weekend. This is because of medical reasons and my Doctor would rather I not fly at this time. Please rest assured though, my condition is not uncommon for a man of my age, it's not life threatening in any way, and I am on the mend; I'm just not well enough to travel yet.

With that said, I now get to share some good news, Glen Burke is my replacement. Many of you have spoken to Glen on the phone and he is an excellent sharpener! Here is a copy of his write up in the show program:

Glen has been sharpening since the 1990’s. We first met Glen at the 1999 Wolff Show in Reno where he graciously offered to man our camera during the seminars. That led to a friendship that saw him approved and certified as a Wolff Industries trainer and eventually led to us moving him from Salt Lake City, UT to Spartanburg, SC to work for Wolff full time. Glen specializes in sharpening training and technical support, he also builds our Hira-To® systems and assists our machinist in the manufacturing of our other equipment. He has been a great asset to Wolff over the years.

He'll do a awesome job for you and is looking forward to meeting many of you. I'm so sorry that I will not be there and will be thinking about all of you this weekend. Enjoy your time together and I look forward to hearing all about the show.


Thank you for all your help. The young lady has been located and all the blogs that posted her missing poster are taking them down as the family works to move on from here. The response of the online community was overwhelming and helped lead to her being found safe and sound.

Image: vernhart

Monday, October 13, 2008


A few months ago, I started building a relationship with Jeff Esposito, one of the public relations guys at VistaPrint. I had mentioned VistaPrint here at Jim Sharp and he e-mailed me to thank me. Pretty impressive! That started a few e-mails back and forth that lead to this interview. You’ll see two powerful things here. The first is VistaPrint cares about small business; see this in the special offer he makes to sharpeners at the end of this interview. The other is the fact that VistaPrint was looking. They saw my post on my blog, sent a simple thank you, and that netted them even more exposure. Well done Jeff! And thanks for the great example of how to market a business!

On The Edge (OTE): Tell us how VistaPrint got its start.
Jeff Esposito (JE): VistaPrint was founded by our CEO, Robert Keane, in Paris in 1994. Our first Web site was launched in 2000 and has grown to a $255 million company during the 2007 fiscal year. The company’s growth and popularity has been tied to many of the free products that we offer. The most notable has been the offer of 250 free business cards. To date there are currently over 3.4 billion of these cards in circulation, and on the reverse of each of these cards is the slogan “Business Cards are FREE at!”

Early on, VistaPrint was a place for small businesses and consumers to create high-quality printed products for a low cost. However, as the company has evolved over the past eight years, we have really become a small business marketing company that offers these businesses many options to promote their businesses. For small business owners that either do not have the means to hire a graphic designer or have limited design knowledge, VistaPrint offers Creative Services. This service has a team of VistaPrint designers who create marketing materials with input from the business owner. Businesses looking to start a direct marketing campaign can create a mailing online and send it out using VistaPrint’s Postcard Marketing service. Businesses can also do mailings in as little as 50 pieces. Recently Web sites have also been added to the product repertoire. Small business owners can expand their customer base with a custom Web site starting at just $4.99 a month.

The company also offers promotional products like hats, T-shirts, sticky notes and pens for an affordable rate.

OTE: Sharpeners typically market their businesses with business cards, fliers, brochures and post cards. How can VistaPrint help us do that more affordably?
JE: Traditional printers typically cater to large run print jobs. Many small and medium sized companies are not going to be producing these large orders and printers will usually turn away a small order, or charge a price that often is too high for the company’s budget. These customers typically head to office superstores or copy centers that offer a limited number of design options and minimal customization. VistaPrint employs patented technology to offer small run printed products at an affordable price. The Web site is also convenient, because it offers thousands of designs and you can get all of your promotional products in one place.

OTE: Some sharpeners like to market their business with a newsletter, either on 8 ½” X 11" or ledger size paper. Do you have a cost effective suggestion on how to do this in full color?
JE: Flyers are a product that sharpeners would be able to create on VistaPrint’s Web site. All of VistaPrint’s products are offered in full color, so sharpeners would be able to get flyers starting at just $29.99, as well as order other matching business identity products to help expand upon their brand. Businesses looking to give their newsletter a new look can also choose to design a brochure that could convey the latest happenings along with pictures in a mailable format.

OTE: Where would you suggest we go on your website to learn how VistaPrint can help us market our businesses more effectively with your products?
JE: Aside from being a top-notch Web site that offers small business marketing products, our company also has a number of highly-skilled marketing professionals who offer tips for small businesses in our Learning Center. In this section, sharpeners can sign up for one of our free live Webinars that give tips on certain topics like logo design, Web sites and postcard marketing. If they can’t make one of those, they can always view a video of past Webinars in the On-demand Marketing section or read marketing articles penned on topics from promotional marketing to marketing over the holidays and public relations 24 hours a day.

I appreciate the time that you have given me today to speak with the sharpeners. I would also like to extend a special 25% discount to your readers by going to


Thursday, October 9, 2008


I just wanted to pass along this information to you. I received a couple of notes from Kenchii yesterday:

Kenchii News:
In honor of breast cancer awareness month Kenchii is selling the Pink Poodle and the Pink models for $199.00 retail and [please call Wolff for price] wholesale. Please note you may advertise them for less than $298.00, but not less than $199.00. (Click here to read Kenchii's MAP policy for advertising their product)
The prices on the Pink Poodle and the Kenchii Pinks have been adjusted on the Wolff Website.
To see pricing and view the Pink Poodles, click here.
To see pricing for the Kenchii Pinks, click here. To view one of the Kenchii Pinks, click here.

Kenchii News:
We also are selling all the Leopard and the Tribal models to distributors [please call Wolff for the price. I can't put distributor pricing on a public site like this, BUT it's a sweet deal]. To get this special price you must order a minimum of 6 pieces total. These will be sold on prepaid terms only and must be sold as discontinued. They will not be sold with the Kenchii box. (To view one of the Leopard shears, click here)
You'll have to call in to order these. There's no easy way for me to enter these into the system here at Wolff at this discount, we'll have to adjust the prices on the fly.

Wolff News:
As far as Wolff is concerned, I also wanted to let everyone know that the 30 micron silicone carbide PSA discs have arrived. Click here to see the related post.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I was reading Seth Godin's Blog today. He was writing about luck versus effort. It's a great post and I wanted to share a few points from it with you.

Seth said...

People really want to believe effort is a myth, at least if we consider what we consume in the media:
  • politicians and beauty queens who get by on a smile and a wink
  • lottery winners who turn a lifetime of lousy jobs into one big payday
  • sports stars who are born with skills we could never hope to acquire
  • hollywood celebrities with the talent of being in the right place at the right time
  • failed CEOs with $40 million buyouts

It really seems (at least if you read popular media) that who you know and whether you get 'picked' are the two keys to success. Luck.

I've known a number of "lucky" sharpeners in my time, but the reality is, most of the sharpeners I know that have created successful businesses have done so through hard work and diligent effort.

Seth also wrote...

Effort takes many forms. Showing up, certainly. Knowing stuff (being smart might be luck of the draw, but knowing stuff is the result of effort). Being kind when it's more fun not to. Paying forward when there's no hope of tangible reward. Doing the right thing. You've heard these things a hundred times before, of course, but I guess it's easier to bet on luck.

A great list! And one many of us can relate to, especially the "showing up" part. How many times have we heard from our customers that their regular sharpener only shows up when it's convenient to them.

But Seth goes even further...'s a bootstrapper's/marketer's/entrepreneur's/fast-rising executive's effort diet. Go through the list and decide whether or not it's worth it. Or make up your own diet. Effort is a choice, at least make it on purpose:

1. Delete 120 minutes a day of 'spare time' from your life. This can include TV, reading the newspaper, commuting, wasting time in social networks and meetings. Up to you.

2. Spend the 120 minutes doing this instead:

  • Exercise for thirty minutes.
  • Read relevant non-fiction (trade magazines, journals, business books, blogs, etc.)
  • Send three thank you notes.
  • Learn new digital techniques (spreadsheet macros, Firefox shortcuts, productivity tools, graphic design, html coding)
  • Volunteer.
  • Blog for five minutes about something you learned.
  • Give a speech once a month about something you don't currently know a lot about.

3. Spend at least one weekend day doing absolutely nothing but being with people you love.

4. Only spend money, for one year, on things you absolutely need to get by. Save the rest, relentlessly.

If you somehow pulled this off, then six months from now, you would be the fittest, best rested, most intelligent, best funded and motivated person in your office or your field. You would know how to do things other people don't, you'd have a wider network and you'd be more focused.

It's entirely possible that this won't be sufficient, and you will continue to need better luck. But it's a lot more likely you'll get lucky, I bet.

Growth and success takes dedication and a willingness to do what others won't. Most people are not born sharpeners, they develop into them over time with training and with practice. Take Seth's challenge to heart and start working on ways to help you become the sharpener you want to be. Whenever I forget that "luck" takes hard work, I watch this video below and wonder how many year of effort and practice it took this musician to get this good.

Image: krikit

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I always make a mess when I pack! We're just about ready to send our stuff out to Anaheim. Glen and I have a few more machines to go through, then we can pack up the pallet.

If you are still looking to come to the show, it's October 17th - 19th at the Holiday Inn Resort Hotel in Anaheim, CA. We still have a couple of seats available, so if you're interested call soon. Seating is limited to 50.

If you have any questions, please give Wolff a call. And remember, we're giving away a free Twice as Sharp at this show! Thanks to all that have signed up. We'll see you soon.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Just a heads up that Wolff now carries 6" Silicone Carbide PSA micron discs for the Hira-To. They are the same price as the Aluminum Oxide discs and come in 30, 15, and 9 micron. We have the 15's and 9's in stock, and the 30's should be here soon. For more info, give Glen or myself a call at 800-888-3832. I'll be adding these new discs to the Wolff Website next week.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


There are many different handle styles on beauty shears, but the three most common you'll run into are shown in this picture.

The shear on the top is called a straight handled shear. The finger holes are directly across from each other and the center of the handle is inline with the blades.

The shear in the middle is called an offset shear. On this shear, the thumb hole is moved forward which makes it more ergonomically correct.

The shear on the bottom is called a crane handle. On this shear the thumb is moved forward and the finger handle is inline with the blades. This allows a stylist to hold the blades directly in front of them at 180 degrees without having to lift their elbow. This helps keep stress off the shoulder.

Click on the image for a better view of the shears.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Sorry for the lack of posts. My brother and sister-in-law have been in the States this past week, so that's taken up a good bit of my time. They flew back to China this past Sunday, so I'll be catching up on posts this week.

If you have any questions or need help with anything, just give me a call. Also, there are still a few seats left for the California Show if you'd like to come.

Image: My brother-in-law and my oldest son.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I recieved a call from a sharpener today. He was asking if I might be able to fix a pair of texturizing shears he came across in his area. Apparently the previous sharpener sharpened all the notches off the teeth and it got worse from there. After listen to him describe all the problems, I suggested that he tell his customer it's time for a new pair. He told me that was what he figured I'd say. The stylist was quite upset with this other sharpener, she loved the shears so he was hoping something could be done.

One difficulty we have as sharpeners is the temptation to try to fix everything. Not everything can be fixed, and many others shouldn't be. While there was the slim possibility that that texturizer could have been fixed to where it would work again, how well would it serve her? She makes her living with her shears and sometimes the most responsible thing we can do is insist that a new shear be bought.


Thursday, September 18, 2008


Last week I mentioned that I show a video by Alton Brown about the make up of steel to my students. Another video I also often show during class is on the Fan Out Website. It walks the viewer through many of the steps that go into manufacturing beauty shears. It shows hollow grinding on a mill, creating the inside line, hammering set, and more. Click here to go to the Fan Out Site and view the video.

Image: rogersmith

Monday, September 15, 2008


The Start Up Blog wrote a post today titled, Classic Mistakes, Part 1: The Over the Top Entrepreneur. Christopher and Gregg make some good points, but the ones that hit home for me (and they are areas I see many other sharpeners struggle with too) were the sections about Lack of focus and Excessive drive and competitiveness. Click here to take a look at the post, and be sure to check back for part 2.

Image: ihtatho

Thursday, September 11, 2008


When training, I discuss stainless steel and the different kinds of metals that are mixed into it. One of the tools I use to explain this is a video by Alton Brown about Shun knives. In the video, Alton compares the make up of steel to cake. It's a simplistic, but great illustration. Click here to watch.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008


A good friend of mine just went out on his own to sharpen full time. He came to me to train on clipper blade sharpening and discuss some of his goals for his business. In the course of our discussion, I realized he was setting his goals low so he wouldn't be disappointed with his results. I told him he was aiming too low. After all, if you aim high and miss your mark, you're still hitting pretty high right?

Never be afraid to set your goals higher than you think you may be able to reach. Having lofty goals will help you stay focused and drive you to accomplish more. Do you have written goals? Are they detailed? If not, click here and read over this post at Orangebloom. It will help you understand the difference between a goal and a good idea.

Image: gareandkitty

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Wolff Industries will be giving away a free Professional Twice-as-Sharp at the October Wolff/ Huff Show in Anaheim. To qualify for the drawing, you need to be present at the meeting. All names will be put into a bowl and we will draw the lucky name at the end of the show.

There are still some seats available, so sign up soon! If you have any questions about the show, please don't hesitate to give us a call. The dates for the Show are October 17th - 19th. Click here for more details.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Sorry for the silence last week. I ended up getting pretty sick and it took all the wind out of my sails. Time to jump back in though!

While perusing the web, I found these two links: - A new styling franchise concept that targets men.


The gentleman's guide to the calling card - an interesting post about how men used to use calling cards in social occasions. I like nostalgic posts like this one because it reminds us of times past, and some of the things I wish we still had in the 21st century.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


It's been kinda quiet in cyberspace over the last couple of days. I haven't really found any posts that have knocked my socks off that I've wanted to share, so I though I'd dig up a few posts I wrote way back when I first started writing Jim Sharp.

Give to Get

How Do You Present Yourself?

Teaching at Beauty or Grooming Schools?

What Are Your Prices

Don't forget that the Anaheim Wolff/ Huff Show is coming up soon. There are still a few seat available, so if you're interested, be sure to give us a call.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


As I grew up, one of my favorite board games was Monopoly. I loved what it taught about risk, money, and business. It's a tool I now use to help teach my children about all three of these things.

That's why I was excited when I found this post on Business Pundit today. It illustrates many of the ways the game mimics what we do everyday in our businesses. Take a look.

Image: N00

Monday, August 25, 2008


Just got a link to this site promoting a new shear called ShearFuzion. It's a combination shear/comb developed by a barber in downtown Pittsburgh. Take a look at the site here.


Friday, August 22, 2008


This is just a heads up. I've been adding all the Kenchii Beauty Shears to the Wolff website over the past two days. Except for a few shears, you'll see that only the part numbers are listed. I'll be adding the pictures next week. Once I'm finished with the beauty shears, I'll start on the ones for the grooming industry.

Image: Wolff Industries