People of Shelburne – Jason Nikel


Graphic designer Jason Nikel can say he’s in complete creative control. He sets the styles of his every day. Born and raised in Shelburne, Nikel worked at the Shipyard in high school. He attended CVU, but also took junior year to study printing and computer graphics at The Center for Technology, Essex. The practice and experience paid off.
Nikel later completed his major in multimedia and graphic design at Champlain College in 2007. He also flexed his entrepreneurial muscles, becoming a member of BYOBiz, a student entrepreneurship program. Nikel was encouraged to start his own design company, Third Shift Clothing. “It snowballed from there,” he explained. Generally the clothing line includes the “core apparel,” like hats, t-shirts, and hoodies.
While in college, Nikel continued work at the Shipyard, also designing and managing the website at 802 Snow and Skate in Burlington. A stint at Resolution in Williston included design work and t-shirt manufacturing. Now, Nikel plans to close the doors on his own design company, Third Shift, by the end of this year. “I have some new ventures I want to start. I’m focusing on freelance and family – all the good things in life.” Still, he’s open to all opportunity and isn’t shooting down new projects and ideas. In the very near future, Nikel will have new spring and summer 2013 pieces for sale at his website and frequent sales until year’s end.
Though Nikel moved from Shelburne mid-college, he hasn’t severed his community ties. He still works for the Shelburne Shipyard, where he gets freelance graphic design jobs from loyal customers. The Shelburne native has also done design work for Pet Food Warehouse. Local support has served him well, and Nikel was grateful, “for the love in Shelburne especially.”
This successful entrepreneur is also celebrating his personal life. Nikel met his wife, Valerie, through mutual friends in Burlington and married in 2010 at Basin Harbor. He even designed the Save the Date magnets for their wedding. Now, the couple has a nine-month-old son.
Interests: Big collector of “man cave-ish stuff,” like arcade games, signs, sports memorabilia. “I’m a big sports fan. If someone has tickets to any game, anytime, anywhere, I’m there. It could be the two worst teams and 32 degrees out, as long as it’s a game.” His favorite teams are the Green Bay Packers, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Flyers, and Philadelphia 76ers.
Favorite food: burgers, pizza
Favorite Shelburne haunt:  the Palmer’s house
Most memorable concert: Jurassic 5 at Higher Ground’s old location. “The place was sold out,” Nikel said, “I’m a little bit of a concert snob. They usually have to come to me, to the area.”
Bucket list: go skydiving, to go to the Super Bowl

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