Case Study - Nicholas Bukky


ImageThis month we were privileged to have the oportunity to meet up with long standing customer Nicholas Bukky and his son Ezra who were in the UK on vacation. From meeting Nick at several User Groups and having seen the excellent work he produces with Aspire and his CAMaster Cobra CNC. We could not let him leave without asking him some questions about his transition from traditional carpenter to building Victoria’s Secret store fixtures...

During Nick's 20 year career he has been active in nearly every aspect of home building that involves wood.  During the late 1990s, he began to specialize in interior trim and cabinetry and developed a business working with a partner in Breckenridge, Colorado. This business was going well but required a change of direction when the twists of fate determined that his family needed to move back to Ohio to take care of relatives. Once he'd moved it was another twist that turned out to be the catalyst to Nick’s new business becoming a success, we'll let him take it from here:

When we first moved back to Ohio I got a job at a carpentry company that ran work for Victoria’s Secret. As always I made sure I produced good quality work and developed good relationships with the people I was doing the work for. I did not realize at the time I was laying the foundation which is now the bedrock of my business. After building a house for my family I decided to start a cabinet shop working out of my 900 sq. ft. garage. I made sure to tell the people at Victoria’s Secret what I was doing and to provide contact information, in case they or their friends and relatives wanted any cabinets built. Then a few months later one of them called me and asked if I could make her a fixture for a display they were working on. Of course I was happy to do this and created and delivered the piece in just a few days. Then a week or two later another designer from Victoria’s Secret called with a different job and things just slowly built from there. Eventually I was so busy I was able to build a dedicated 2400 sq. ft. workshop which includes a 400 sq. ft. space for spraying and finishing.

ImageThe relationship with Victoria’s Secret meant Nick’s business did not really evolve as he'd originally expected but he’s not at all unhappy about this:

Over the years the work for VS has grown and now I have such a flow of fixtures to make for them that I rarely do cabinet work, this has worked out great though as I find their pieces and projects much more challenging and fun to work on. The Designers know they can send me anything from a sketch on a napkin to a fully formed 3D CAD model idea and I can engineer it to make it buildable then quickly create or modify all the files I need for the CNC [using Aspire] and then cut the parts. On top of this I offer them an absolutely top quality finish and very fast turn-around. So I have fortunately become one of the local shops they consistently use for making prototypes. I may end up making several versions until it gets approved for use, then if it’s a relatively small run or a one-off I’ll build it, or more typically they’ll contract out to a much bigger shop for mass production. It really is amazing to see what they need and what people want me to make for the stores. Not only do I do work for the designers at their head office but I also make and ship parts for them all over the US. I even had to widen my drive at the front of my house to make it easier for the big trucks to turn in to collect the parts being shipped.



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