CHARLOTTE, N.C. — To some, 2020 may have felt like time stopped. But for Josh Dupuis, the extra time sitting at home actually propelled him forward.
Dupuis began tinkering with clocks years ago when he came across a family heirloom needing some TLC.
“I brought it to a gentleman here in town, and he told me one day that he was having clock school and asked me one day if I was interested,” Dupuis said.
This interest soon sparked an apprenticeship.
“This is probably one of the most relaxing things and one of the most frustrating things at the same time,” Dupuis said. “As you work on clocks, it’s a giant puzzle.”
When travel for his medical plastics job slowed down during the pandemic, Dupuis said it was just the right time to turn his side hobby into a business.
From cuckoo clocks to turn of the century clocks, Dupuis restores them all.
“I think what happens is these customers bring these clocks into me and they remember them hanging on the wall in their parents house or their grandparents house and they say they remember that noise,” Dupuis said.
Despite hard times for small businesses last year, the U.S. saw a boom in niche startups.
According to the Peterson Institute, new ventures increased 24% from 2019 to 2020, with more than four million businesses popping up.
For Dupuis, it helped him pass the time at home.
“I don’t do this for the money. I do this because I truly love seeing the response from the people and knowing that someone has something from their family that has been in their family for generations,” Dupuis said. “And to have that and to get that, means the world to me.”
He said restoring these heirlooms provides comfort for his customers.
“I’ve had customers break down in tears when they heard a cuckoo clock that went off in their grandparents house again,” Dupuis said.
Dupuis said taking care of a clock is similar to taking care of a car.
For clock enthusiasts, clocks should always undergo regular maintenance.