Interview with a Maker - Nick Skrepenski
Nick has been apart of our Brass Tacks Family since the beginning and to us he embodies the true spirit of a maker. From his one of a kind always unique creations, to his love for meeting other like minded artist, and the true joy he gets from talking with shoppers and customers - Nick is a huge part of the reason we do what we do.
What do you Make/ what is your business all about?
In a nutshell, I'd say my business is all about simplistic art that is unusually creative. Creativity is more than just being different. Anyone can plan to be different, but making something simple be awesome, that is creativity. The great Dr. Seuss once said, "think left, think right, think low, think high, the thinks you can think up if only you try."
How did you get started?
In all honesty, I never intended on starting a business. While working as a Law Enforcement Officer for the past 20+ years and having an active family life, I never thought I would have the time to do much else. But when I began to understand the toll that some "not so pleasant" experiences can take on your life, I realized life is way too short and I needed to find more ways to enjoy everyday.
I have always been a creative person and felt a great sense of pride in making and designing anything and everything for family and friends. I realized the time I spent working on projects made me relax and also relieved stress. With some encouragement from my family, I decided to put my skills to the test and start a small business and the rest is history.
What's your biggest SUCCESS this far?
The way I would measure my biggest success is by the incredible number of sincere compliments I received from people that own a piece of my artwork. I feel very humbled by the number of people that come up to me during the Makers Market and tell me how they decorated their home, cottage, or office with a piece of art they bought from me.
Nicks work is always unique and one of a kind
What's your biggest Failure?
The biggest failure to this point is the fact I do not have my own website and lack in the area of of social media advertising. I am constantly asked how someone can purchase from my website. I sound like a caveman when I have to explain that I do not have my own site.
What do you love the most about making/your business?
What I love most about my business is that I can guarantee you will not see the same thing twice. When I make any piece of art, I like to break the mold and start over. You may see some similarities in each piece, but nothing will be exactly the same.
What is your business Super Strength?
The "super strength" of my business is that every piece of art has a story. I love to use "up-cycled" materials in everything I make. I have traveled all over the state and collected weird items such as wood planks from an old factory, ceiling tiles from a 100+ year old Victorian home, and steam pipes from an old school house. I have found that people truly want to know why a piece is designed a certain way and where the accoutrements came from.
What advice do you have to those makers/ entrepreneurs afraid to take the next step?
The advice I would give to any maker/entrepreneurs would be "find what you love and let it kill you." I understand this sounds strange and morbid, but that is truly not the intent. I came across this quote when reading some work by an author/poet by the name of Charles Bukowski. I am definitely not a philosopher, or even a "bibliophile", but this quote stuck with me. So much so that I had it tattooed on my forearm.
To get down to the brass tacks :), find you passion and put all of your energy into it. Let it consume your energy, creativity, and spirit until there is nothing left. And if this passion is your demise, at least if was your choice.
What is your spirit animal and why?
I was not sure how to answer what my "spirit animal" would be so I took a few spirit animal quizzes I found on line. I not exactly sure what this says about me, but my spirit animals ranged from a whale to deadpool.