A weekly podcast for people who work in the Trades and Construction, that aren't just trying to survive, but have the ambition and desire to thrive.
Join us on Bucket Talk’s final episode of the season, where our hosts are joined by someone you may have heard of, the namesake of our marquee boot, Matt Marin. After growing up playing hockey and taking on odd jobs across a handful of trades, Matt joined the carpenter’s union at 20 years old, which is where he still is today. Listen in as he chats with Eric and Jeremy about getting into the trades, joining a union and moving up in the ranks.
Join us on Bucket Talk this week as Eric and Jeremy catch up with Rob Rojas, a carpenter based just outside of New York City. After growing up with an abundance of creativity and curiosity about how things are made, he left college and took up the carpentry trade, working for one of the top names in the game. Listen in as he chats with our hosts about the merits of college vs. the trades, what he wants to do with his education and how he sees his future in carpentry.
A true maker at heart, Rob Rojas has had a creative spirit since he was young. This curiosity led him to carpentry class in high school, which he ended up studying three times a day by the time he was an upperclassman. He ended up moving on to college to study emergency preparedness, cyber security and homeland security, though he felt the pull right back to carpentry once he graduated.
“My entire life I was always involved in creating things whether it was when I was younger with Legos and clay or wanted to smash that old toy apart and figure out how it worked. And really, the whole carpentry thing started actually in high school.”
While he is interested in getting into hazard mitigation and natural disaster work in the future, he’s found that he truly enjoys the trades. Not only that, but he’s found himself working under one of the top makers in the game right now, Jimmy Diresta — a dream job for most folks in the maker community.
“So I thought about reaching out to Jimmy and just saying, hey, you know, can I work for you? I'll work for free, pick up the dog shit, whatever you want to do. And he just texted me the next morning and he's like, come on by and you know the rest has been history.”
Today, he’s focused on being a sponge, learning from Jimmy and others in the industry, like Anne of Anne of All Trades who works in Tennessee. He’s got a ton of options ahead of him, but he’s leaning toward fine carpentry, where he can really perfect his craft and design skills all under his own New York-based business, Rojas Carpentry LLC.
This week on Bucket Talk we chat with Kevin Martinez, an electrician who you might know as @_ksparky on social media. Hailing from San Diego, he’s long been an aspirational guy. After a frightening car accident turned his world upside down, Kevin bounced around a few different gigs before getting a job as a delivery driver at a San Diego electric company. After a while, Kevin worked up the guts to ask for an apprenticeship role, and the rest is history. Now, he’s a foreman and a testament to what hard work and perseverance can do for any tradesperson.
Kevin’s family moved to San Diego when he was in sixth grade and he lived the life most kids live through high school: he played soccer, got into graphic design and had to figure out what to do with his life. He decided to go to community college, where he wanted to major in Business Administration and minor in graphic design. However, after a tragic accident and some devastating injuries, he was forced to change his path. He takes this in stride, though, knowing that he learned a lot from the adversity.
“I don't feel like a lot of people have gone through anything close to that and I don't wish them to but it made me really realize and grow up as fast as I did, and mature as fast as I did. And you know, just start thinking about the way life is and all those things, right?”
After recovering, he linked up with a temp agency, he bounced around to businesses like Bose and Ashley Furniture. He did this for a while, but eventually he landed a gig working for an electric company in San Diego, delivering equipment to Northern California each week. He worked around the warehouse for a while, but then, thanks to some encouragement from his cousins, he got the guts to ask for a way into something bigger.
“So I got the guts, I went and asked them like, Hey, so what's up with the apprenticeship? And he just looked at me with a smile. He's like, Oh, so you're ready.”
Well, he landed the apprenticeship. Turns out having some gumption works. After patiently working his way through the apprenticeship, he was finally at the job site, like he wanted. This is where _ksparky was born. He was seeing people posting about the trades on Instagram and he decided he wanted to put his hat in the ring, too, sharing his day-to-day life in the electrician world.
“But it got me thinking, too, if I'm doing this every day, all these crazy job sites, you know, why not share my journey.”
This past April, Kevin got his certificate and was able to join his local union in San Diego — a huge step after a five year apprenticeship. Not only that, he’s already made it to foreman. He’s come a long way very quickly, but he knows he needs to keep growing and working hard every day to ensure he continues to be someone people can look up to, be it someone on social media or a lifelong tradesman who works for him.
This week, Eric and Jeremy are back with Geoff Britton, an artist, farrier and Marine veteran from Nebraska. After enlisting in 2013, he shipped out in 2014, where he served as a small-craft mechanic. When his time in the military began to come to a close, he decided to get onto social media to promote his art. He started by painting empty liquor bottles he found around the barracks and it all went off from there. Now he works on his art and as a farrier to make a living. Listen in as he chats with our hosts about his decision to stay, and then leave, the military, his decision to get into the art world, van life and more.
From an early age, Geoff knew he wanted to join the Marines. Once he made up his mind, that was the target he had his eyes on and it came to fruition in 2013, when he signed the dotted line. He served as a small-craft mechanic, working on outboard boat engines for most of his career. Though he was in the military and didn’t have an exact plan for the future, he knew he always wanted to incorporate art and social media into his life.
“So [art] was always something I kind of worked on on the side and just tried to grow and, you know, TikTok hadn't been around yet. So I was like, in the event, I do get out [of the military], maybe this could be something. Maybe, maybe not, I'm not sure. But it's fun.”
Once he decided to leave the Marines, he wanted to get into the freelance or art world in some capacity. After moving to Coronado for his final spell in the military, he decided that he’d like to live his life on the move. He lived #vanlife for a while, posting videos about that since he was not really able to share about military life on his social media channels anymore.
“I was like, let's just get a van. We do this all the time. When I ended up moving to Coronado, I was like, I can just do this full time, save my money. And I kind of started making videos about that, because I knew with the content I was creating, a lot of it was military based.”
After his time in the van had ended, he went back to Nebraska for a spell, but ended up back in California attending farrier school. Though he didn’t have any real equine experience, the career made sense to him and school was paid for by the GI Bill, so he went for it.
“I found there's a, there's a farrier school where you can learn how to shoe horses, and it's covered by the GI Bill…And I was like, Well, you know, that sounds like a decent paycheck…that sounds pretty cool. I can do that.”
Today, he’s got his hands full with his freelance art and photography work and job as a farrier, but he’s able to do it on the go. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but now that he’s out of the military and on his own, he’s able to find his own rhythm.
On this week’s episode of Bucket Talk, our hosts catch up with Danny Keiderling, a rig welder and pipe welder based in Wyoming. He knew he wanted to get into the nitty gritty and play in the dirt from a young age. While you can get dirty as a job (somewhere), Danny decided in high school that he wanted to become a welder. He got started in the shop at 15 and kept building up from there. Listen in as he talks with Eric and Jeremy about overcoming adversity, getting into the welding world and navigating social media as someone who prefers living life hands-on.
A Wyoming native, Danny got started in the welding trade at just 15 years old. He always knew he wanted to do something hands-on, even as a kid, so once he got to high school, he decided that was the direction he was definitely headed. At his first job, he started out at the bottom, fixing rough welds and cutting metal, but ended up working his way up to lead welder. From there, he went out on his own, contracting on different jobs, working for himself.
“I contract welded pipelines, compressor stations, basically [doing] the same thing I'd been doing for a while. It was amazing. I made some of the greatest money in my life, and it was fulfilling, you know — just a dream to me.”
Next thing Danny knew and he was starting a welding school. The school took off like wildfire and, thanks to the nudging of his marketing team, he dove into social media, posting tips and tricks in the welding world. Even our host Jeremy has relied on Danny’s welding tricks in the past. To Danny, being able to share his knowledge has been one of the best parts of his career.
“I appreciate that you say that I'm an inspiration because that means a lot to me, believe it or not, not not in an egotistical way. But it just warms my heart…That's what I live for. I love that.”
What’s next for Danny? He just wants to continue inspiring folks in the future. This shouldn’t be a problem — not only is he a master welder with tons of helpful tricks up his sleeve, but he’s on one of the most difficult roads to recovery you can imagine: a tragic accident left him without use of his arms or legs. While he has recovered some use of his hands, he’s still unable to walk. This hasn’t deterred him, though, and he wants to be known for his welding prowess, not his current condition. He knows he’s good, and that is inspiring in itself.
“I guess that was my claim to fame when I was out in the field: I was a pretty good welder, a pretty sought after guy to get on the job. And I think that was mainly just because I literally live, breathe, and sleep welding. It was pretty high up there on my goals list to just weld you know, anything welding, I just was always ahead of the game.”
While Danny isn’t able to do exactly what he wants to do right now, he has an infectious positivity. He is taking everything in stride, knowing that even if he can’t weld like he used to, he’s got so much to offer up, whether it is teaching or inspiring the younger generations. We can’t wait to see what is in store for him.
Lilly from the Elm Street House
On this week’s episode of Bucket Talk, we chat with Lilly, the woman behind the renovation at the Elm Street House in Lewiston, Maine. After spending her college years in Florida, she grew tired of life at marketing agencies and returned home to Maine, where she was born and raised, to put down some roots. She purchased a fixer upper and is now on the journey of returning it to its former glory. Listen in as she talks with Eric and Jeremy about starting out in marketing, finding old treasures in her home, what it’s like to put blood, sweat, and tears into a renovation and more.
Originally hailing from Maine, Lilly decided to spend her college years in Florida, just to get out of town for a while and experience something new. There she got a degree in marketing, an industry where she imagined she’d be able to combine all of her skills to really thrive. While she was successful there and continues to love her work, she was looking for something more, so she decided to make the move back home when the pandemic started.
“I'm from Maine, born and raised Mainer over here. I went away for college just to experience a new place, [to] rebel a little bit [and] be in a bigger city. But I was ready to come home.”
As a self-proclaimed personal finance geek, Lilly knew she wanted to capitalize on the benefits of owning a multi-family home. While the process of buying was tedious, she managed to get her hands on a fixer upper that ended up being a much larger undertaking than she expected. She took the challenges in stride, knowing it was what she really wanted.
“It was a daunting thing and an intimidating thing. But I couldn't shake the feeling that, like, this is my house. I just, I loved it too much. And before I could talk myself out of it, I went right home and called the realtor and got to work on buying it.”
While there are a number of challenges she’s facing, such as delayed plumbing and electrical support along with the frustrations of getting through a successful demo, she’s pushing forward, learning a ton on the way. She’s taking on this endeavor single handedly, albeit with some support from family and friends — but not too much support. At some point, she knows she has to be tactical in her requests to loved ones for help.
“There were like nine people at my house who came to help. And so from that point, I got a little more comfortable asking for help. But to your point, I don't want to overdo it. I have not found that line yet. And I'm happy about that. But I know it exists.”
Renovating this house is a huge task — she’s taking it from borderline haunted back to its former glory — but when things get tough, she just looks at adversity as a positive thing. One day, the home will be finished, she’ll have a little reading nook for herself and things will be just fine.
Interesting and well made
I work as a pipe fabricator for a large company and I am fortunate enough to be able to use headphones at work. I like hearing about other trades and to get a first person take from people who are in specific trades. I don’t know what I like more, my Brunt boots or the podcast. Thanks guys, keep ‘em coming.
Doing the Lord’s work
We need more voices like this to get the world re-dedicated to the trades!
These guys really know their stuff. Worth a listen if you’re looking for something to listen to!