From GE Engineer to Bladesmith: Jonathan Bahlatzis’ Epic Exit Strategy

Jonathan Bahlatzis spent 15 years in corporate America,  11 of which were spent working as an engineer for GE. He rose through the ranks and took on leadership roles that gave him all the trappings of success. But even with all that safety and security, he had a passion he needed to follow.

In 2016 – in the midst of his GE career – Jonathan launched Kopis Designs, an artisan blade company where he designs and hand crafts beautiful knives and blades. Kopis’s tag line is “Form, fit, and function for every day carry.” A successful Kickstarter campaign established a following for Kopis Designs. He finally made the decision to make Kopis Designs his full-time job in January 2023.

In this episode, Jonathan discusses his engineering career, his decision to leave that behind to become a full-time bladesmith, and the personal challenges he faces on a daily basis. He offers unique perspectives as a newer entrepreneur and talks about where he lives, at the intersection of artistry, manufacturing and craftsmanship.

Second Act Stories theme music: “Between 1 and 3 am” by Echoes

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