Mike Dawid is one sharp salesman.
Known to his clients as Cutco Mike, this creative young man with entrepreneurial spirit has personally helped more than 15,000 customers, most in the metro area, benefit from using what he believes is “the world’s finest cutlery.” In 15 years, he has generated more than $4.7 million in career sales and branded himself with his best-in-class approach as a national leader in marketing.
His cutting-edge career began at age 19 while living in Chicago. “A friend encouraged me, and I began selling Cutco cutlery part time while attending community college because I had no money, no car and no rich family,” Dawid says. “My dad worked as a maintenance custodian at a grade school in Chicago, and I learned from him how to appreciate people who work at less sought-after jobs.”
Dawid reminisces about the day he worked with his dad for one full day at age 16. “It was the hardest day of work in my life,” he says. “My mom was born in Poland and moved to the U.S. as a teen, working both in a bakery and at a Polish smorgasbord. Our family was rich in values but not in money. I was taught the importance of hard work, respect, religion and tradition while growing up. But until I had the job at Cutco, I wasn’t able to use some of the things I was taught.”
Dawid moved to St. Louis in 2005 at age 20, when his manager received a promotion to run the St. Louis division and chose him as assistant manager. “We ended up breaking all records and becoming one of the best teams in Cutco history,” he says.
At 21, he opened his own Cutco district office in Sunset Hills, which he ran for three years, recruiting more than 1,000 Cutco representatives and meeting his future wife. “Rachel was my highest-selling, ‘fast-start’ salesperson, selling $10,000 in her first 10 days there,” Dawid notes. “We later turned our business relationship into a little more than that.”
Married for six years, the couple now has two children, the excitement of a third child due in May and two dogs adopted from Stray Rescue of St. Louis.
Dawid says that, though he loved his Cutco product, he didn’t feel fulfilled as a manager: “I love the thrill of a sale and being with the customer. In 2010, I closed the office and went back to selling Cutco full time as a sales rep, making a commitment to be the best rep possible. I set personal goals and branded myself as Cutco Mike because I wanted to create a brand with a ring to the name.”
In 2019, he sold more than $769,244 in Cutco products – now including flatware, cookware and business gifts – to achieve the distinction of No. 1 rep in the Midwest and No. 5 in the world. “It was my best year ever, and I am humbled by this honor,” he says.
Dawid now works about 150 days at trade shows and events per year. “Being likable, positive, trustworthy and professional is how you sell $4.7 million worth of knives,” he says of his success.
“As a kid, I yearned to be a pro baseball player, but I turned that drive into selling cutlery. At the end of the day, Cutco is a household brand. People are happy with the world’s finest cutlery – made in America since 1949 – and they remember who sold it to them.”
Dawid concludes: “I give all the credit for my success to God. Once I put my faith in God, my sales began to increase, and doors were opened that I had never dreamed of.”
An innate storyteller and award-winning photographer and writer, Alice Handelman provides Ladue News readers with a glimpse into lives that enrich St. Louis.