Lance Seme has always wanted to run his own business.
“It’s more rewarding to work for yourself,” Seme said.
And with the help of his girlfriend, Lael Owens, he’s doing just that. Seme and Owens started together this summer.
The two graduates—Seme is 20 and Owens is 21—work together to keep their business running smoothly. Owens said her father has helped out a lot, helping them pay for the necessary classes and machines, and the business is officially located in her family’s basement.
L & L Knife Sharpening can handle a variety of tools, from kitchen knives to gardening supplies. Seme said the kitchen knives have been the most common request so far.
Seme uses a wet grinder with a low speed and a low temperature so he doesn’t damage the blades. When he’s done, he tests the sharpness using a piece of paper and polishes it. Seme said it can take anywhere from one to 10 minutes to sharpen the tool, and just about a minute to polish it.
Much of their work is drop-off, but the two also visit farmer’s markets and do in-store demonstrations. Owens handles the front end of the business, talking to people and helping set prices, while Seme does the manual labor. The high school sweethearts say working together has its ups and downs, but they’ll be celebrating their four-year anniversary next month.
Owens also helps run Pawsitively Savvy Pet Sitting with Seme’s mother and volunteers at animal shelters. She’s training to be a veterinary technician at . Seme plans to start school next month, and he hopes to open other businesses in the future. For now, his goal is to grow L & L Knife Sharpening over the next few years.
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