We had the good fortune of connecting with Nico Andresen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nico, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
In march of 2020, I was laid off when the covid lockdowns started. It was really a blessing in disguise, as it gave me time to reflect on what was important to me. I had already been woodworking as a hobbyist and discovering a real passion in that. I realized I wanted to take my career in a direction where I could work in a more aesthetic design space and also work with my hands. Especially with larger projects like built-ins, I may spend a good deal of time in a client’s home or business. The relationships that come from this are one of the most meaningful parts of this work for me. I’ve been invited to family dinners, gotten to know my clients’ children, and built lasting friendships. Being able to help create the spaces people live and work in with my own hands is what makes this work so rewarding.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My goal is to make my design process as personalized as possible, without the client having to do the design work themselves. I start by visiting the space I’ll be building the piece for, to see what it looks and feels like. We’ll talk through the basics of what the piece will be, whether that be a table of such a size, or a built-in to serve a certain purpose. Then I’ll ask questions to understand what the client likes and dislikes about the space. Maybe they like the interior design, but the space feels a little too “cold” or “busy.” These abstract descriptions help me to design in a way that subtly adjusts how a space feels. For instance, if a client wants to keep a darker palette but also doesn’t want the space to feel oppressive, a dark-colored piece with a more round, organic shape can help achieve this.
I do all of my designs in a 3D modeling program. This gives a much better understanding of what a project look like when compared to a sketch. It also allows me to fine-tune the design in real time. We can even place the model over a photograph of the space and adjust the lighting to understand what it will look like.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
An essential dinner stop in Denver is Domo. The ramen is delicious, but what really sets them apart is the outdoor dining area. The entire outdoor seating area is a Japanese garden courtyard with trees, bushes, big rocks, and running water. You’ll completely forget you’re in Denver.
Two bars I’d highly recommend are Union Lodge No.1 and The Cruise Room. Union Lodge is a dark, moody bar serving prohibition-style cocktails. The vibe makes you want to lean in and talk softly. The cruise room also feels like a blast from the past but in a very different way. High ceilings, red light, and super art-deco styling makes this bar feel like something out of the great Gatsby
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When I was first grappling with the idea of stepping away from my career in engineering and pursuing woodworking professionally, my friends were amazingly supportive. I felt so reassured and encouraged hearing their enthusiasm and affirmations of how I was right in pursuing my passion. However, I think the most pivotal moment in the beginning was in a conversation I had with my dad. I was really struggling with the dilemma of leaving engineering behind me in the long term. It is a well-respected field, with security, good pay, and a safe trajectory. My dad has always been one to play things safe, and I have been much the same way. One night we were talking and after a long pause in conversation, he told me, “it’s okay if you’re not going to be an engineer.” Hearing that from him gave me the courage to say the same thing to myself.
Elizabeth Nicole Productions