BERLIN – What started as an effort to create unique artwork for his home has turned into a successful part-time business for one Berlin resident.
When he isn’t surfing, working or fishing, Randy Jenkins spends much of his time in the workshop at the back of his property, creating what he calls lifestyle wall art.
Using east coast cypress wood, he creates images that capture the coastal lifestyle or a memorable event.
“I created ‘The Wave’ for me and for everyone else who has a deep attachment to the ocean,” he said. “I created ‘rustic taxidermy’ because your typical fiberglass fish mount usually gets relegated to the garage or man cave – I wanted to put my fish stories on the wall with vibrant colors that my wife and house guests would appreciate – And I am currently working on a first-of-its-kind style of fan art for the reggae rock band The Movement.”
Jenkins said he started his side business, Rustic Underground, in the spring of 2018, when he moved into a new house and decided to decorate the interior with something that was unique to his family and not easily found at big box stores.
He said it was a serendipitous phone call while on a 10-hour road trip for some ceiling beams that lead him to a stockpile of east coast cypress, the material Rustic Underground uses to create its unique products.
“This is not Home Depot milled lumber” Jenkins said. “Every single piece has a different grain pattern, different knot locations, and different ratio of soft tissues that have been eroded away by the forces of time and the enzymes of Mother Nature. So therefore, every wall art piece I create for someone is one-of-a-kind, and I think that is a big part of the energy and vibe behind the products.”
Jenkins said Rustic Underground specializes in listening to a clients’ ideas and using custom colors to match their homes, businesses or styles.
He said Rustic Underground has become a profitable and exciting venture, but added it is more of an artistic outlet for him.
“It’s an opportunity for my customers to decorate their homes or businesses with a visual representation of their favorite beach, or their favorite surf trip, or their favorite fish story,” he said.
Jenkins noted that he also creates custom picture and mirror frames, coat racks, jewelry organizers and more.
He said he has also seen a trend toward the need for larger wall items that are two-by-four feet and three-by-four feet.
“The Billfish Foundation just received their approximately three-by-five-foot white marlin, which is the largest item I have made to date,” he said.
Jenkins said his business continues to teach him new things. For example, when asked about social media for his business, he explained that he never had a Facebook account or Instagram page until he began Rustic Underground.
“I love what I’m doing and I’m doing what I love, and I utilize Instagram as a picture collage portfolio of my work,” Jenkins said. “I welcome you to follow along on the journey.”
For more information on Rustic Underground, contact Randy Jenkins at 443-783-4302 or visit www.rusticunderground.com, the Rustic Underground Facebook page, or @RusticUnderground on Instagram.