High school junior Nick Belsaguy pulled a lot of all-nighters in December. He wasn’t cramming for science tests or writing history papers, though. He was in his backyard woodshop, crafting laser-engraved cutting boards until 4 a.m.
Nick has devoted a lot of time during the coronavirus pandemic to learning woodworking, primarily from YouTube videos. He started by building furniture for his family’s house, then started selling his work after his mom’s proud photos on social media led to requests. When supply chain issues raised the cost of materials, he switched from tables to smaller kitchen wares. Sales peaked this past holiday season, when Nick brought in almost $3,000 in profit in one month.
“(Woodworking) lets me go from the start of ideas in my mind then to a complete finished product,” the 16-year-old entrepreneur said. “I just love seeing that.”
That passion and focus rarely gets tapped at school, though. Nick said he sometimes rushes through classwork so he can use class time to respond to client inquiries or create laser designs on school software.
It was in one of those moments when Jacob Johnson, who is Nick’s teacher in a credit recovery class at Murrieta Valley High School, learned of his student’s thriving business.