We had the good fortune of connecting with Jamie Kelly and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jamie, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
Creating a business was never really a plan. As a full time mechanic I taught myself to weld, then I began welding car parts into art just as something I thought would be fun to do and to put stuff in my yard or house. The more and more I made, the more people told me I should sell it, which I thought was crazy, but I listed it online for sale and all of it sold in a week. The following week I made more stuff and all that sold in a week. After that people started putting in request and I started doing them. The business was still not even on my mind, but my friends and I had a car club years ago called “Streettrendz” so I just began a page called “Streettrendz Metal Art” just to post my work, and it grew fast. Eventually I was getting multiple orders a week and decided, I need to make this a legit thing and I have been busy ever since.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I would say what sets me apart from most artist is that I try to stick to ONLY parts and keep them looking like how they looked on that car or motorcycle they came off of. I like it to look rough, like it’s not supposed to look the way it does. A lot of people TIG weld which is nice and clean, I MIG, and I like it to look rough like it’s just loan together a lot of people will criticize that but that’s how I like it to look it’s done on purpose. Also, a lot of people do piston figures in my opinion I feel like mine have more personality than most they almost look like they wanna get up and run away or say something to you rather than just an art piece sitting on a shelf.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
With how much I work, I’m grabbing drink:s, grilling and chilling by my beautiful pool.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
A few people really have been influential in my success. My biggest influence when it came to working with your hands would be Jessie James, from west coast choppers, and monster garage. I used to watch that show, and Orange County choppers and want to weld and build stuff. The first person that would be responsible for my success would be my father. When I started out, money was really tight. I really couldn’t afford to buy the proper equipment I needed to do the work I was trying to do. My dad gave me a loan of $1200 so I could buy my own welder, table, and some other tools. He just told me to pay him back when I could. I was able to pay him within a few weeks from the money I made because of the tools he helped me get. Then when I left my job as an auto mechanic, he and my mom gave me a place to set up and weld until I found a place. He’s also helped me at multiple shows.
Next would have to be my mother in law. She helps us incredibly with our 18 month old daughter, The cost of childcare savings alone is enough to be thankful for, but it allows me to get those extra hours in the shop to take care of orders in a timely fashion, and we know our little girl is getting taken care of. The proper way, and they love each other so that’s great.
Lastly, and most importantly is my beautiful wife Jess. Without her I couldn’t do anything, especially what I do out in the shop. She understands it takes a lot of time and work to do what I do. She’s very supportive, and even helps me out at the big shows, which is where she shines. She allows me to have the ability to get things done when I need to get them done and she can take care of everything else out family needs.. She supports what I do like crazy. Her and my daughter are what really motivate me to keep doing what I’m doing, so we can have the life we dreamed about.
Other: TikTok @streettrendz_metal_art