Nelson excited to bring items to hometown festival

Monika Spaulding, Digital Editor

For the last few years, Chad Nelson has been dabbling in the business of creativity.

A trained nurse, he works weekends at Floyd Memorial Hospital. During the week, he works with his dad who owns Nelson Asphalt Sealcoating. He also has a wife and a six month old son. In his spare time...he works his self proclaimed side hustle Distilled Cuts.

Nelson creates hand crafted items out of Kentucky bourbon barrels, everything from small basketball goals to coasters.

Next month he will debut his items in Salem at the Old Settlers’ Days Festival.

“I’m really excited to do Old Settlers’ Days,” he said. “I haven’t done any shows yet, so it will be fun to do the first one in my hometown.”

Although he posts his projects on Instagram and Facebook, he said people need to see the items in person to appreciate them.

He said the small basketball goal is his favorite project so far and he will have those available for sale at the festival.

When asked how he came up with the idea for the business, he said it’s not an exciting story. His sister had a sign in her house that he saw and he felt he could improve it and make it better. So he took the idea and then put his own twist on it. The rest is history.

He began by making Indiana and Kentucky sings and eventually added onto the idea with ornaments, bottle openers, coasters, trays and more.

“I really transitioned from creating things you could hang on a wall to things you can use,” he said. “People are more interested if they have something unique that they can use.”

Nelson said he has several ideas for the business, but his biggest obstacle is finding the time.

His projects take a back seat and he works on them when he finds the time.

“I’ve just barely scratched the surface with my ideas,” he said.

While he has his own ideas, he also welcomes custom orders.

“Those are my favorite because they are usually things I hadn’t thought of.”

His goal is to have a nice variety of his items available for sale at the festival, including Indiana and Kentucky state signs, some furniture, bottle openers, coasters and more.

“The trays I make are the most popular items I’ve sold so far,” said Nelson, adding that he carves names and dates on them, which people like for gifts.

He said creativity is his motivator and he likes to be able to make extra money to support his family.

Nelson said he isn’t afraid to try new things and likes the challenge of the projects.

He and his wife, Paige (Hamilton) are both Salem High School graduates: Nelson in 2005 and Paige in 2007.

Follow Distilled Cuts on Facebook and Instagram.

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