“I’m still learning, still going, doing the best I can. I think I’m fair and reasonable.”- Shawn Masterson

Local man saw need, reinvents himself as repairman

Appliance repair service started last March in Nakusp

They say necessity is the mother of invention.

It’s also the mother of re-invention.

When Shawn Masterson couldn’t find work in his chosen trade as a heavy equipment operator, the Nakusp resident looked for other ways to earn an independent living in a small town.

He saw that locals had no easy way to get their fridges, dishwashers and laundry machines fixed — and there was an opportunity there.

“I was working at Home Hardware, and a lot of people would come to me and say ‘there’s something wrong with this or that, I wish there was an appliance guy around’,” he recalls.

“There was a guy who used to come in. But he’d charge crazy travel fees, I guess they were reasonable for the amount of time he’s driving, but it was pretty expensive for people to come and get him in,” says Masterson. “I just figured we could use one around here.”

He says his employer had considered, but turned down, the idea of starting up a repair service, so “I ended up leaving the company, and taking it on myself,” he says.

Masterson, who says he has always been a tinkerer, took online trades courses, getting his degree in appliance repair.

“I had some experience from personal work, fixing friends stuff and fixing my own — the handyman, jack-of-no-trades kind of idea,” he says. “The courses were about six months, pretty in-depth and detailed.”

Business has been steady since he started in March 2017, with most of his work coming through word-of-mouth. He says he plans to get more serious about promoting himself this year.

“Oh I can make a living out of that, for sure. I just have to fine-tune. I’ve been taking it easy, I didn’t want to get overwhelmed,” he says. “I want to work my way into it, get my confidence up, because it’s a first-time thing for me, running a business.”

It’s the big items that keeps Masterson busiest – washers, dishwashers and fridges, and ranges – but he says he can do small equipment too. However, he doesn’t bother with home microwaves and vacuum cleaners very often — “the amount they charge for them new, it’s not worth fixing them,” he says.

“Unfortunately, but that’s the way it goes. It seems they make a lot of appliances these days so they only last a couple of years, just to get past the warranty.”

Masterson will take unfixable equipment for parts as well, and can save customers money using ‘gently-used’ parts.

Being a novice, and learning as he goes, Masterson admits being tripped up a few times. But he says he perserveres.

“I’ve had situations where I’ve mis-diagnosed because of my inexperience,” he says. “I still run into stuff I’ve not experienced yet, and it can be pretty tricky. Hopefully it won’t repeat itself and when I do, I don’t charge.

“If I make a mistake, I carry it. That way it’s fair.”

Being the only appliance repair person in town means he’s not the lonely Maytag repairman of advertising fame.

“I’m enjoying it, it’s fun, and it’s a good feeling when you can do something for somebody, save them a bunch of money or save their food from spoiling,” he says. “They might have a bunch of kids and their washer/dryer’s not working. Then you come in and boom, you’re there the same day they call.They’re pretty grateful.”

Just Posted

Poker rally draws dozens

Harlow mountain ride a blast, despite the weather

Preserving Nakusp’s history and heritage

Celebrating Nakusp’s efforts to preserve its history

Critical Condition: ‘People are dying from treatable medical conditions’

Problems with ambulance service policies are systemic and province-wide, advocacy group leader says.

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

President praises nearly 1,800 volunteers at B.C. Games

Ashley Wadhwani sits down with the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games President Niki Remesz

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Original B.C. Games participant-turned-sensei officiating 39 years later

Langley judo sensei was a competitor at the inaugural B.C. Winter Games 40 years ago

Police watchdog probes B.C. man’s taser death in alleged parental child abduction

Independent Investigations Office called in after one male dies

PHOTOS: Harnessing diverse abilities on the court at the B.C. Games

Basketball is one of two Special Olympics events at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

B.C. VIEWS: Our not-so-New Democrats don’t rock the boat

Finance Minister Carole James takes the wheel, steers similar course

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Canadians all smiles after record medal haul

Team Canada is taking home a record 29 medals from Pyeongchang – 11 gold, eight silver, 10 bronze

‘All of us should be ashamed’: Calls for change after jury finds Raymond Cormier not guilty

Jury acquitted Raymond Cormier in the death of Tina Fontaine after 11-hour deliberation

B.C. girl hopes DNA drive will help her find birth parents in China

Isabelle Smit, 10, is one of 20 international adoptees from Chongqing looking for DNA samples

Most Read