Aaron: Hey guys! My name is Aaron Massey from House One and today I am here with John Malecki. Thanks for joining us John.
John: Thank you, Aaron.
Aaron: Tell us a little bit about your content.
John: So, I build and produce custom furniture. I am based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and most of my content is on Instagram and my website johnmalecki.com. I also do have a supplemental website that’s metalandwood.us and that’s where I have all of my custom items that are for sale and usually where I point clients towards to see my whole portfolio.
Do you have any other creative channels?
John: Brad and I have a podcast, we met at a show just like this one and realized how much the maker space could use some people talking about the business aspect of woodworking and making DIY. So, we started a podcast called Made For Profit in which we talk about monetizing as a maker and making money in the shop. And it’s been going very well, we’re growing like a solid core audience and having a lot of fun doing it. It’s been a little bit of a learning curve, but I think Brad and I pull it off pretty well and we’re looking forward to the future.
How did you get started?
John: So, five years ago I was putting my hand in the dirt and smashing my face into people for a living. Some people call the sport football, but for the most part, you know, at its bare bones, that’s what it is. I was fortunate to bounce around the NFL for about four years, and when I was doing that, I picked up woodworking as a hobby. Some buddies of mine actually broke a coffee table, I looked up a plan and built it to replace it and just kept doing that as I progressed out of football. I started to get more and more inquiries as the hobby picked up, and I put stuff out there on social, that turned into more opportunities for business. I started to produce and sell furniture in order to pay my bills and stuff and from there that turned into producing content around selling furniture, and now producing content to produce content. And so that’s, in a nutshell, the journey from blocking for mammoths on the football field to making coffee tables.
Does your past career influence your business now?
John: Yeah. The NFL teaches you a lot of humility—especially as a grunt. A lot of people see the top end of it—they see the high paid athletes that are constantly in the limelight. But there’s a lot of guys that flow through that are in and out that have ridiculous journeys and stories. And from there you learn a lot of humility, and you’re able to take that into business. Which, if you want to be successful as an entrepreneur, you should practice humility and be humble. From there, I was obviously able to learn how to deal with failure and I also learned some self-evaluation stuff and process in which I took the grind of how I got into the NFL and applied it to what I do now. I don’t know if that’s actually healthy, but it works for me and it’s been fun and it’s been successful. It’s been pretty cool to take anything from such a different world and being able to apply to what I’m doing now.
What are you best known for?
John: Recently, I’ve been doing some cool projects. I just released this massive river table that I’ve been working on for 15 months. It’s your quintessential disaster woodworking project that everything that could go wrong did. But I worked through it and I got to bring a lot of people along for the journey because of content sake, and a lot of people are getting to see the back end of that now as I just produce and released that video. Besides that I’ve been in a lot of these environments were people are like, “You’re the football guy, right? You’re the guy that used to play football.” So, it’s really cool to see fans from that side kind of being involved in the same thing I am now because they are so different and then just seeing any type of assimilation from my former life to now is pretty cool.
What is your favorite project?
John: That’s a tough one because my last project is typically my favorite project just because I continually am pushing myself to do something over the top or that I’ve never done before. I recently did this awesome industrial reclaimed kitchen island. It had a decent amount of metalwork, a decent amount of reclaimed work. It had cabinetry, it had carcass work, and it was really cool. It’s probably one of my favorite projects just because it was complex, involved woodworking and metal working and it ended up looking good which I think is a benefit when you’re doing any type of furniture.
What is your best advice for DIY’ers?
John: Advice to anyone that’s getting started in anything, in this space or as an entrepreneur in business and in any way shape of form, just be ready to grind. This is not easy, by no means did I wake up one morning and have a successful furniture business or a successful content platform. It takes a lot of time and dedication, and it also takes a lot of sacrifice. I lived in my buddy’s basement for two and a half years and I was in a disgusting shop space for a long period of time. You make the sacrifices in order to get the results you want and if you’re getting into this, just be ready that those things will come and they’re going to be part of your journey if you want to be successful.
Where do you find inspiration?
John: Like everyone else in this space mostly, I’m a big Jimmy DiResta fan, I’ve been watching him for a long time. I picked up kind of an aesthetic enjoyment and like from his content. And then you got Marc Spagnuolo whom I learned almost all the woodworking skills I have from—Big fans of theirs. And then you’ve got Ben Uyeda on the other end who I envy and look up to as the business side of what we’re all trying to do here in the content and makers space.
Aaron: So thanks for joining us, John. If you want to check out more of John’s stuff you can check out the Made for Profit Podcast and you can also check out his Facebook, Instagram and YouTube links. We’ll put those in the video description as well and thanks for coming and appreciate it. Good to meet you in person.
John: Thanks for having me.