Student’s passion drives him to start a small business

May 04, 2022

Photo of Nick Planeta with his woodwork

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Nick Planeta decided to take his hobby of woodworking to a new level.

Starting at 10 years old in boy scouts, Planeta found his passion for woodworking and began to create projects from scraps and tools he found around his home as a hobby. In high school as an eagle scout, Planeta continued to improve his skills and upgraded his equipment while his work began to gain interest. When he found himself with a lot of free time during the pandemic, he decided to start selling some of his products and created a website to showcase his work.

“I would get up extremely early every day and complete my online school assignments just so that I could spend the remainder of the day doing woodworking,” said Planeta.

His products include cutting boards, coasters, signs, home décor and so much more that use materials that are 100% sourced from the United States. He also does customs orders and goes by his saying “You name it, I build it.”

Now a first-year civil engineering major, Planeta still manages to find time in his busy schedule to complete orders and has been able to take courses that have helped him run his business.

“My microeconomics class has helped me a lot in understanding how consumers act when it comes to buying products or services from a company. I have even implemented some concepts of production theory into my shop that help me stay productive while making my products,” said Planeta.

Planeta explained that running a small business can be difficult with competitors selling similar products of lesser quality for cheaper prices.

“Many people might ask, ‘why spend $150 on a cutting board and wait two weeks for it to be made when I can order one on Amazon for $50 and have it tomorrow?’ This is the divide between people looking for something cheap and fast versus people who want something that will hold up to generations of use,” said Planeta.

While he doesn’t envision woodworking as his primary career in the future, he hopes to continue it as a side hustle with the main goal of sharing quality items with people that are interested and expanding his skills.

“The fun thing about woodworking is that I am always presented with a different challenge, whether it's a certain variation of a cutting board or a custom furniture piece, I always find myself learning something new on every project,” said Planeta.

To those thinking about starting a business of their own, Planeta says ‘go for it.’

“I think others who are passionate about a hobby should start their own business because it is not just a way to make money from something you like, it is a way to share your creations with the rest of the world,” said Planeta.

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