“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

Kootenay unemployment rate down in April

Jobless figure stood at 5.4% last month

Rain, storms to hit Kootenays, Boundary amid flood crisis

Environment Canada is calling for 20 to 40 mm of rain by Friday

IH issues drinking water precautions

Be careful during and after floods

Thunderstorms headed to the West Kootenay

Environment Canada re-issued their special weather statement this morning,

Redfish Elementary ready to celebrate outdoor classroom

Timber structure officially introduced on June 8

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Woman’s death near Tofino prompts warning about ‘unpredictable’ ocean

Ann Wittenberg was visiting Tofino for her daughter Victoria Emon’s wedding

B.C. man facing deportation says terror accusation left him traumatized

Othman Hamdan was acquitted of terrorism-related charges by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in September

Will Taylor Swift’s high concert ticket prices stop scalpers?

Move by artist comes as B.C. looks to how to regulate scalpers and bots reselling concert tickets

36 fires sparked May long weekend, most due to lightning: BC Wildfire

As warmer weather nears, chief fire officer Kevin Skrepnek says too soon to forecast summer

Ariana Grande sends message of hope on anniversary of Manchester bombing

Prince William joins survivors and emergency workers for remembrance service

B.C. flood risk switches from snowmelt to rainfall: River Forecast Centre

Kootenays and Fraser River remain serious concerns

Pipeline more important than premiers meeting: Notley

“Canada has to work for all Canadians, that’s why we’re fighting for the pipeline”

Canadian government spending tens of millions on Facebook ads

From January 2016 to March 2018, feds spent more than $24.4 million on Facebook and Instagram ads

Most Read