Nick and Jaime Parker: Building a Strong Foundation
Monica Burgess Photography
Nick and Jaime Parker were high school sweethearts while growing up in Southern Michigan. Even when they were younger, they shared an interest in home remodeling projects. After college, they each secured professional jobs; however, their love for remodeling continued as they volunteered to help friends with projects during their weekend off-time. As the years progressed, Nick and Jaime started a family and Jaime had made the transition from a corporate job to stay-at-home mom. Nick continued his career, including taking an offer to relocate to Oklahoma. Until two years ago, Nick and Jaime were juggling five kids and a part-time home restoration business while Nick was still employed full-time in the corporate world. They recognized that they were becoming increasingly busy with home remodeling, so Nick made the leap into making his “hobby” of home remodeling and renovation a full-time business, Born Again Restored Home Remodeling and Restore House in Broken Arrow, and they’ve never looked back.
TK: What were your occupations prior to Born Again Restored Home Remodeling and Restore House?
Nick: I literally had what I thought was my dream job as a national sales director for an oil and gas company and we were remodeling homes on the side. However, in March of 2015, we evaluated our situation and knew that family was a top priority, so we decided to make a change to allow our careers to reflect that. Now, my schedule offers flexibility and more focus to be with my family, and I get to do what I love.
Jaime: My degree is in Human Biology, which led me into the healthcare field. Right out of college, I got a job where I was given a tremendous amount of responsibility as the executive director of an assisted living facility. It was valuable experience because I learned a lot about running a business and managing employees and staff. When we moved to Oklahoma, I walked away from my job of five years to follow Nick and his career and to be home with, at that time, our three kids.
TK: How did you become interested in home restoration?
Nick: Even as a kid, I loved to build. Legos were my favorite. When I was younger, I got into some trouble at school and my parents decided to homeschool me during the second semester of my seventh-grade year. During that time, I decided to finish the basement at my house with the support of my parents. They would buy me the materials and let me work. That experience helped nurture my love for building.
Jaime: We’ve lived in 10 or 11 homes ourselves and always made changes to them. We always knew that we wanted to work on homes.
TK: What caused you both to take the leap and jump into home restoration full-time?
Nick: We were extremely busy with home remodeling and felt God was calling us to do it full time and make the change into doing what we love while making our family a priority.
TK: How many homes have you restored?
Nick: We’ve fully restored 14 homes, one church and a handful of commercial projects.
TK: Who is the designer for your projects?
Jaime: I am the one who comes up with the floor plans and the designs for the space. Nick is left figuring out how to turn my designs into reality.
TK: What inspired you to open Restore House?
Nick: This was a renovation project and used to be our family’s home. Once we bought another house and had it for sale, people who looked at the property kept commenting on how it would make a great boutique store and that was something that Jaime and I had discussed, but we didn’t want to get into finding a space or establishing a line of credit. Financially it didn’t make sense until we heard those comments. We knew it was a great location and decided to try retail. We’ve been blessed ever since.
TK: What does Restore House offer?
Nick: We knew that we wanted to offer a mix of new and old products. We also wanted to take the guesswork out of people wondering if it’s a new product that was just made to look old. At Restore House, if it’s a “FOUND” item, it will have a tag that reads “I once was lost, but now I’m FOUND.” Everything in the store has either a “FOUND” or a “Restore House” tag.
Jaime: The “FOUND” items are unique, vintage or one-of-a-kind pieces we find on our road trips all over the country. As a store owner, our products are a reflection of us. We carry items we love and would have in our house.
TK: What events have you held on the lawn?
Jaime: We love that we are able to pair retail with a service. Our outdoor space adjacent to the store is available for rent and has already hosted many events including weddings, Christmas parties and outdoor markets complete with food trucks and entertainment. The barn materials on the lawn were found on Facebook with the idea of Nick rebuilding it on the lawn. He’s always willing to tackle all my crazy ideas.
Nick: After we got the reclaimed material, it was cool to figure out how to put it together to fit our space. It’s crazy how it evolved, but when you’re open to change, it’s easy to modify to get the results we were looking for.
TK: What about your family time? What’s your favorite family tradition?
Jaime: The days can quickly get away from us, so we always make it a point to have dinner together as a family. We like to go around the table and share highs and lows from the day. (Kids are Bentley, 11; Tytan, 10; Steele, 8; Wyston, 7; and Nev, 6)
TK: What does your family enjoy doing together?
Jaime: Roadtrips. We are always going somewhere together.
Nick: Also, we have a tradition that when a child turns 10, they get to choose their own adventure for us to go on. It’s up to the child to decide where they want to go (anywhere in the world) and plan the activities. It’s a special trip because it’s time that Jaime and I get to spend with that child. We feel it’s close to the tipping point of a child moving into adolescence. It gives us time to talk more intimately with that child and put the focus on them.
Jaime: Our oldest son chose to go to Michigan to go fishing so we chartered a boat and did that. He caught some King Salmon, so he was happy. Our second oldest chose to go to the Pro Bowl so we flew down to Orlando for a long weekend. Steele is next and has expressed interest in visiting missionary friends serving in Africa.
TK: Are your kids interested in helping you with your projects or Restore House? What do they like to do?
Nick: It’s fun to hear them talk about homes. As we drive through neighborhoods, they notice houses, paint colors and styles. Recently, we overheard our 10- and 11-year-old kids discussing living in a new home versus an old home.
Jaime: If our kids aren’t in school they’re with us. Our kids are a big part of what we do and we are teaching them what we do as we go along. It will be interesting to see if our kids follow in our footsteps. We always tell our kids, whatever job you do, do something you love.