Today we speak to Patrick Lake, one of the first tenants to move into our latest project – Cardiff Containers. His business has had quite the upgrade since becoming a Meanwhiler. From working long unsociable hours on his bedroom floor to now having the opportunity to start his own business by working in his own space. Here is what he had to say about it…
So how long have you been in your new space with Meanwhile Creative and what has it meant to you?
Well, I signed up as soon as I saw one of the containers. The space was just right for my needs. Until now, this was just a hobby, mostly performed sat on the bedroom floor or at the kitchen table. Since graduating, I’ve done all sorts of jobs and I’ve spent the last few years in cocktail bars, having fun, but working long and unsociable hours. Getting into my own space is wonderful and inspiring! Move-in was right at the very end of June and we’re now a few weeks into trading.
I am glad you are enjoying the new space! Why is Cardiff important to you?
Cardiff is home. I did consider moving to another city but Cardiff is pretty up and coming right now. A lot is happening here and there are plenty of musicians I can offer my services to.
Can you briefly sum up for me what your business does?
I’m offering guitar repairs (the official term is a guitar luthier), set-ups and one-on-one tuition. That includes electric and acoustic guitars, basses, ukes etc. I’ve had a mandolin and a banjo on the table this week too so I’m starting to look like a one-stop-folk-shop! We only started this year and it’s just me on the team though shout out to my dad for helping with some DIY on move-in day.
That sounds like a lot of work for one man! How did your business start?
Repair work and teaching are things I’ve always done on the side but this year I bit the bullet and set myself up after realising I needed an enjoyable and sustainable career. I now really enjoy getting to work at my own pace. I can throw on a podcast and do something I really enjoy.
There must be some tough parts to your business as well?
Yes, There’s always a little trepidation before taking a file,chisel or soldering iron to someone’s prized possession but it’s worth it for the outcome. Plus, it’s going to take some time to grow but that’s to be expected for now. However, I like seeing people’s reactions – exceeding expectation is always going to be rewarding and the work itself is often almost therapeutic.
After all the work you do, do you still find time to practice music yourself?
I’ve been playing the guitar since the age of 7 and I did my degree in Popular Music. It’d be great to get back out there and I’m sure I can find the time with my new schedule. You’d think I’d be getting sick of guitars, working with them all day but it’s having the opposite effect!
Well, we hope that you’re settling into your new space nicely! To finish off, what is it about Cardiff that you enjoy so much?
I love the history of Cardiff and the surrounding areas. The city has an incredible story from the remains of a Neolithic burial chamber on the outskirts to the castle slap bang in the middle. Brunel even re-routed the river when Cardiff was an industrial titan. I’ll stop before I go off on one. A night on Womanby street is always appreciated…