Al Nord said his mother, Lina, was a southern Baptist woman who taught him many lessons while he was growing up in Brunswick County — possibly none more influential than her teachings about the value of a handmade gift.
“She always said, ‘If you make a gift for somebody, it means more than if you go to the store and buy a gift for somebody,’ ” Nord said.
Nord said it was his mother’s advice, combined with his interest and talent for crafting things by hand, that led him to start On Shore Decor, a local business based in Shallotte that focuses on turning old, local materials into furniture and other items that Nord sells to customers who want to feel a little closer to the coast.
“The majority of stuff I do, I try to build from materials I find right here at the beach,” Nord said.
“It’s a niche population. A lot of the people who are from around here cherish the beach and the beach area. They really enjoy that stuff that’s made from materials and things that you find actually here at the beach.”
Nord said that from a young age, he has possessed a knack for turning what looks like old debris into pieces of art that locals and tourists cherish. However, his craftsmanship does not end there. He also said he is one of the few remaining individuals in Brunswick County who still helps local fisherman fix their boats.
“Any time those guys get a shrimp boat problem, I’m usually the guy who gets called,” Nord said.
Nord served as a firefighter for 36 years before he retired in 2019. He said the satisfaction he received from helping people in the community as a firefighter is similar to the feeling he receives when he