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Smithey Ironware Leverages Local Roots

Smithey Ironware is continuing to push its growth plan with both the introduction of a new cast iron skillet as well as a unique partnership with another local business.

The company recently launched its new 10-inch chef’s skillet, a cast iron skillet that is manufactured with curved interior walls to promote movement and ease of serving and has the company’s signature polish finish.

“The new skillet has done really well so far. It’s more rounded in shape and a lot of our customers liked that feature about our 8-inch skillet, but wanted it in a larger size,” said Will Copenhaver, vp/sales and marketing, Smithey Ironware.

Smithey Ironware’s local roots played a role in the launch of its new Farmhouse skillet. The skillet, which is made from carbon steel, was inspired by the company’s relationship with Charleston artisan and blacksmith Robert Thomas. The 12-inch skillets are hand-forged, which ensures that each skillet is unique. However, the carbon steel cookware also has fundamental design elements to make usage easier for consumers, the company said, including a handle design inspired by traditional fire tools and the signature Smithey three-holed helper handle.

While the company has been busy with these launches, Copenhaver said that Smithey will not be resting on its laurels. The company is gearing up for several anticipated new launches in the third and fourth quarters of the year as it continues its growth trajectory.

Copenhaver noted that the Maker Movement, shop local movement and preference for goods made in the U.S. have also been instrumental in the growth of Smithey Ironware, especially with the continued ease of information and education consumers can attain online.

“The web and social media have made the world of manufacturing much more transparent. People can hop online and pretty quickly ascertain whether a product is mass produced somewhere overseas or made by an artisan who cares very deeply not only about the skillet in our case but about the experience someone will have with that skillet over the course of their lifetime. As an American manufacturer, we’re proud to pull back the curtain and let consumers see the passion and hours that we put into each of our skillets— being made in the U.S.A. is a core part of our DNA,” he said.

However, he noted, the company has allowed the products to speak for themselves, as the quality and durability standards amongst consumers are more important than an array of other factors, including craftmanship.

“Smithey is a premium brand and the reality is that there will always be cheaper products on the market. We’re focused on telling the story of lifetime value— a Smithey skillet is one of the few items that you can buy once and literally use every day for the rest of your life. Low cost manufacturers reliant on overseas production and sourcing may start to move more production back to the U.S., but that really doesn’t impact what we do,” said Copenhaver.

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