I was born and raised right here in Kingston, ON! My Mom & Step-Dad lived in the west end and my Dad & Step-Mom lived downtown so I had a pretty good spread of the city growing up. I went to Welborne Ave. PS and Frontenac Secondary School. I have a mix of full, half and step siblings, including older and younger sisters and older brothers. I like dogs, the water and good food!
How did you join the industry?
I grew up sailing and teaching sailing so, a job at Sail Canada was a very natural fit. It wasn’t until I came back to Kingston after school at OCAD that I started working there. I left about 3 years ago to pursue a more creative path, which is when I started working at Urban Outfitters as the display artist. During my time there I got back into woodworking which I hadn’t done since university and started making charcuterie boards. I didn’t love the corporate lifestyle at Urban, and the company went through some major restructuring, so now I’m back at Sail Canada and it feels so good. I do charcuterie boards on the side because I love making them and teaching people how to make them, and it’s fantastic supplemental income.
What do you want to accomplish before your next birthday?
My Birthday is next Month, so I’d just like to fill my February Class – which is already 60%! sign up at nickallinson.ca!
What is one small adjustment that has had a big impact on you professionally? / What is the best advice you have ever received?
These two go together and that was to keep it simple. I used to constantly be looking for how I can broaden my spectrum of products and I found it just complicated everything. With charcuterie boards, I know exactly how much they cost to make, what they should sell for, how long it’s going to take me, what tools and consumables I’ll need, where to get materials etc. etc. Every time you add a line to the equation it takes away from your earnings. I try and take this approach to everything I do – right down to drinking my coffee black, so I don’t have to worry about expired dairy!
What is the last big change you made in your life?
My partner Kevin moved in with me. Having someone you can read an email to before you send it, (I read this to him) make you dinner when you’re in the workshop all night or make a special gift for, allows me to stay inspired. Love you Kev!
What’s your favourite icebreaker question at a networking event/best conversation starter?
I like to ask people “What do you like to do?” instead of “What do you do?” I can read your business card and figure out what you do pretty quickly, and if I can’t I’ll ask. I want to know what you do on your day off, what you do when you’re bored, or what you look forward to. For me it’s spending time with my partner and pooch, gardening, cleaning/organizing my workshop, getting out on the water, building something new or doing some home improvement. Anything creative, outside or educational!
“Who won’t be ruled by the rudder must be ruled by the rock”