“It’s amazing how the little things that you do consistently, can add up to be this big monstrous thing.”
The gorgeous 4 x 6 driftwood picture frame by Saltwreck are created from washed up wood from the ocean of Nova Scotia's south shore. Handcrafted in a small workshop in Eel Lake, each photo frame has its own unique look and is truly one of a kind.
Saltwreck started in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, aiming to materialize the pride of Atlantic Canadian towns. Saltwreck strives to create high quality hand crafted goods that people can relate to. Saltwreck also makes prints, which are created to "tell the tale" of each town and coastal community in which they showcase.
I recently spoke with the owner of Saltwreck, Miguel D’Eon, and learned about how he started his business, and what drives him every day to continue to grow it.
What inspired you to start your business? My whole life, I have been entrepreneurial; I’ve had lots of ideas but never one that I felt I could jump on. I have a bachelor of commerce and worked in financial services after graduation. While I enjoyed helping people set and achieve their financial goals, I decided to go back to school for paramedicine. I love my ‘day job’, but still felt the urge to start my own business. One day, I was chatting with my friend Mark Dunkley about our love for maps and reclaimed wood. I said I wished I could make my own, and he said ‘why don’t you?” So, Mark become my partner/co-founder and together we built the website, launched our online store, and designed and produced our maps and frames from our small workshop near Yarmouth. Inspired by the pride of Atlantic Canada, we make pieces that are high quality, and relatable.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering starting their own business? I definitely consider myself a life-long learner. Though my formal education has ended (for now) I am always reading books that will help me grow personally, and grow the business. One book in particular I would recommend is “Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferris. In this book, Tim interviewed all of the most successful people in everything from sports and business to personal happiness and family focus. What I found to be the common thread, was that these people always stacked the odds in their favor by taking care of themselves first (through exercise, yoga, meditation, rest & play) and they did things consistently. It’s amazing how the little things that you do consistently, can add up to be this big monstrous thing. Other than reading this book, my advice would be to continue to do small things every day to grow your business, and to do those things consistently well.
What has been the most interesting thing you’ve learned (about yourself, the industry, being an entrepreneur, etc.) while running your business? Don’t underestimate the value of having a vision and sticking to that vision. If you Look at anyone who has been ultra-successful, it’s typically because they have this un-shattering vision they are working towards. They know that they might not go in a straight line, but they are going to get there no matter what.. and will keep going until they do.
I really enjoyed chatting with Miguel. He had such great optimism about the future of his business. I truly believe that having a vision, and fueling it with optimism are key drivers for success. I also love that Miguel is based in rural Nova Scotia. Often times people assume that the most successful businesses come from urban centers. On the contrary, many of Nova Scotia’s best companies come from the shores, fields and workshops in small towns around the province.