Garrett Wedan started The Nerd of the Rings at the beginning of 2019. The Grand Forks Herald sat down with him to talk about how he got into making chain mail and what it is.
Q: What is chainmail, and how do you make it?
A: In the simplest of forms, it's interconnecting rings of either the same or different sizes to make a pattern. Most people think of chainmail in terms of chainmail armor that you might see in movies like Lord of the Rings, or something like that, and while people still do make that for like LARPing, more often than not, now it's in a jewelry form, whether it's bracelets, necklaces or earrings.
Q: How did you get started making chainmail?
A: My first kind of interaction with chainmail in this form was at a Con down in Fargo. I kind of saw it down there and then got intrigued by it and then ended up looking into it and seeing all the different options are available and seeing how popular it is and all the different things I could do. So, I kind of just jumped on it.
Q: Why did you decide to take this skill and turn it into a business?
A: I’m a big nerd overall, and so there’s a lot of nerdy things that you can do with it. I picked it up for fun, and then I kind of went with other things that I’m interested in.
Q: What other things do you make besides chain mail?
A: I make bracelets, earrings, necklaces, keychains, bookmarks, fidget toys and more.
Q: Has the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic affected your business?
A: It has. Prior to 2020, any in-person selling I had done was at the local drag shows, like B.J. Armani’s cabaret. So, with COVID, we weren't having the drag shows, so we didn’t get to sell there. I had planned on selling at Comic Con last year, but that got canceled, so it killed a lot of in person opportunities.