Nikolas Allen Real Estate Agent - Soft-Shell Street Tacos

Nikolas Allen Real Estate Agent

Nikolas found the perfect home for Artist Mimi Bailey and her family.  read my interview with Mimi here

Nikolas found the perfect home for Artist Mimi Bailey and her family. read my interview with Mimi here

I first met Nikolas Allen in Mount Shasta about 10 years ago. He has always been one of my favorite people with his big personality and creative energy. He was a helpful volunteer in the arts scene helping me hang shows at the old Arts Council's gallery. He also was the graphic designer creating postcards for numerous shows. Nikolas and I mentored high school students interested in poetry. He was one of the presenters when we produced The Business of the Arts, conducting a workshop on Marketing for Artists. He and his partner Brenda Eastman performed music at a fundraiser for the Siskiyou Arts Museum, He continues to work as the emcee for the Liberty Arts Fashion Show and Butteville Art Auction. Nikolas is the author of several books; Death To The Starving Artist - Art Marketing Strategies for a Killer Creative Career, and  Heavyweight Marketing - Knockout Strategies for Building Champion Brands. and now he is using all of his creative talents selling homes in Siskiyou County.

Visit The Bill Plate's Movies, Books and Songs about Food to see Nikolas' favorites

Lauri: How did you get interested in the real estate business? 
Nikolas: I'm a Realtor with J. Harris & Associates of Mt. Shasta, CA. Prior to getting into real estate, I enjoyed a 22-year career in marketing and advertising design. 

In 2015, I purchased my first home after decades of renting, and fell in love with the experience of home ownership. I was feeling a bit burnt out on marketing, so I got my real estate license in order to help other first-time homebuyers experience the same thrill. 

It was also helpful that my mother, Jessie Zapffe, was a broker in the agency I started with. She's a very successful agent, and has been quite inspirational. I never thought I would become a Realtor, but now that I'm in it, I love what I do, and can't imagine doing anything else. 

Another successful sale and now the Turtles have a new home!

Another successful sale and now the Turtles have a new home!

Lauri: I know you from your artwork and writings.  Do you still make time for your creative work?
Nikolas: I’ve pursued various creative avenues throughout my life, including music, filmmaking, writing, and fine art. And I've never been the type to "dabble," so I would dive deep into each pursuit, until it was time to move on to the next. Lately, I have been bitten by the music bug again, and am writing, recording, and performing songs again for the first time in years. Check out music by Nikolas Allen on Soundcloud. 

One cool thing about having this extensive creative background is that I can put all of the skills to use as a Realtor. When marketing myself, and my clients' properties, my use of design, music, video, and writing really helps me stand out from the rest of the pack.

celebrating their new home everyone takes the American Gothic pose for the camera

celebrating their new home everyone takes the American Gothic pose for the camera

Lauri: Did you go to school to do what you do?
Nikolas: I chose to play in rock bands after graduating high school, so I skipped out on the traditional 4-year college route. Eventually, I got an Associates degree in Advertising Design through a 2-year course at Brown Institute, which got my marketing career started. I also took a few college courses in music theory, and filmmaking to learn more about those topics. For real estate, I took an online course from Allied Schools, which helped me prepare for the exam. After six months of study and tests, I went to Sacramento and successfully pass the exam to get my license. 

However, with real estate, getting your license is only the first step. Your education really begins out in the field…and it never ends! There is always something more to learn about yourself, your clients, and the market in general. And when you enjoy learning and growing as a person as much as I do, that’s a great thing.

Lauri: Where do you get the inspiration to do what you do? Since now it's selling homes I'd image the rewards are both monetary and inspiring seeing people find their home sweet home. That’s got to be both fun and challenging.
Nikolas: I love helping people through the complex process of buying and selling their homes. There are some people who are super fun to work with as we move towards achieving their real estate goals. There is plenty of hard work, uncertainty, and struggle with every deal. The thrill that buyers and sellers feel when the deal closes successfully makes it all worthwhile! 

Some clients are more challenging, but that’s okay, too, because it offers lessons on patience, compassion, and communication. Becoming a Realtor has been the most fun, challenging, and rewarding career, both personally and financially, that I have experienced to date.

For market updates and real estate tips, connect with Nikolas online: 

Nikolas Allen on Instagram

Nikolas Allen on Facebook

Nikolas celebrating at their 2018 Sizzlin' Summer backyard party

Nikolas celebrating at their 2018 Sizzlin' Summer backyard party

Lauri: Any special summertime plans?
Nikolas: Summertime is where the real estate selling season really picks up. The market has seen a slower buildup this year than it has in the last couple years due to changing tax laws, rising prices, and increasing mortgage interest rates. However, activity finally started to bubble up in June, and though it got a later start than usual, I’m certain the busy season will continue strong through summer, fall, and even into the holidays.

On a personal front, my partner, Brenda Eastman, and I are heading to England for a 10-day vacation this fall, and we’re very excited to explore London and its surrounding areas. We may even begin our search for that perfect retirement cottage in the English countryside.

Brenda and Nikolas at their 2018 Sizzlin 'summer Backyard party!

Brenda and Nikolas at their 2018 Sizzlin 'summer Backyard party!

Lauri: What is your favorite part about sharing a meal friends and family?
Nikolas: I love the conversation and connection that happens around the table with friends and family. Brenda and I try to have one small dinner party every quarter. And at least one house or yard party per year. Plus, we’ll hit restaurants with friends or clients every month or two. There’s nothing quite like talking, laughing, relaxing, and catching up with friends and family over a leisurely meal to make you feel connected to the people who matter in your life.

Cheers! Toasting to the good food and great friends!

Cheers! Toasting to the good food and great friends!

Lauri: What is your favorite meal at a local restaurant?
Nikolas: Up until two years ago, I had been a vegan for 15 years, so my meals were pretty much limited to salads, veggie burgers, and other not-very-exciting options. Since I became a carnivore again, I’m on the ultimate search for great burgers, such as the ones found at Yaks in Dunsmuir. I also love Thai food from Andaman in Mt. Shasta, and Natalie Thai in Yreka. Mike & Tonys in Mt. Shasta has a great Chicken Picatta. In short, I’m having fun discovering all sorts of dishes that I haven’t been able to enjoy over the past 15 years. Oh, and if they serve a good red wine, all the better!

Lauri: What is your favorite meal at your favorite destination restaurant or road trip eatery?
Nikolas: I recently discovered View 202 in Redding, and was very pleased with their service, ambiance, and food (I had the Fish Tacos). Brickroom in Ashland, OR, is pretty amazing. Denny Bar Co. in Etna is a real boon to the area. The vision and execution of that place is on a higher level than anything in the county. I love road trips in general, and discovering hidden gem eateries along the way, even if that turns out to be a little greasy spoon in the middle of nowhere.

Soft-Shell Street Tacos

Soft-shell Street tacos - A variety of ingredients make this a meal that everyone can enjoy!

Soft-shell Street tacos - A variety of ingredients make this a meal that everyone can enjoy!

Nikolas Allen's Soft-Shell Street Tacos

One of my favorite meals to prepare at home is soft-shell street tacos because they are small in size, with minimal ingredients . It’s a fresh, healthy, and gluten-free meal that is tasty and easy to prepare. You can add a veggie side such as steamed broccoli, Brussel sprouts, or corn on the cob. Chips and salsa are optional, but always a fun addition.

Ingredients:  These can vary depending on what you’re in the mood for, but ours often look something like this...

Organic white corn tortillas (choose corn tortillas and chips if you’re aiming for gluten-free)
Fresh cabbage or lettuce
Cilantro - We grow it in our garden
Avocado
Black or green olives
Protein of choice (beef, chicken, fish)
Salsa
Spicy mustard
Avocado Oil Mayo

Preparation:

Cook your protein on stove or grill. Dice lettuce, cabbage, cilantro and slice olives, and avocado. Heat tortillas on stove or in the oven. Add light dab of mayo and squirt of spicy mustard on warmed tortilla. Assemble ingredients and top with salsa - Enjoy! 

Mimi Bailey - Arthouse Yreka & Eggnog Pie

Mimi Bailey and daughter, Calliope

Mimi Bailey and daughter, Calliope

Mimi Bailey is co-owner of Arthouse in collaboration with Joel Shelton. Arthouse located at 327 W Miner St., Yreka, is a gallery, working studio and tattoo shop. Mimi and Joel describe their artwork as “tattoo-related art...that appeals to a generation of people who grew up on pop culture.”

Mimi is a prolific artist. She is probably best know for her watercolor and ink renderings of famous musicians and Siskiyou County locals.  In addition to Arthouse, her work can be seen at the Music Hall and Purple Plum in Yreka and Three Little Birds in Fort Jones.  She painted the Denny Bar Company logo onto their brick wall in Etna. When we met for this interview she was working on the restroom signs for The Rex Club, that is now under new ownership. 

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix artworks by Mimi Bailey

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix artworks by Mimi Bailey

Lauri: What was your thinking behind creating the Arthouse business? 
Mimi: I was a server for 17 years and painting on the side then found that waitressing was getting in the way of my art time. I wasn’t keeping up with custom orders, murals and the artwork I wanted to make so I decided to give up ‘work’ for my dream. Joel had been tattooing me for years when we ran into each other. He told me he was getting ready to re-enter the art world after getting to be a stay at home dad for a few years. We thought we would be a good “art match’ and decided to give it a go. We opened the doors of Arthouse in April 2016.

Mimi specializes in custom orders, including the pet portraits

Mimi specializes in custom orders, including the pet portraits

Lauri: I know you do a lot custom portraits of people and pets for clients. Also  you design  children’s growth charts. What is your favorite part of doing custom orders?
Mimi: I like making people’s  ideas come to life and seeing their reactions when I’ve gotten it right! It’s a complete honor that people are willing to hang my art in their homes and look at it everyday!

Custom Painted growth charts

Custom Painted growth charts

Growth Charts - custom wall art

Growth Charts - custom wall art

Lauri: What inspires you? 
Mimi: All of the nature around me inspires me. My work is informed by pop and tattoo culture, the human form and where I can infuse a bit of my dark twisted humor. You can see more of my work on Instagram @mimibailey 

Tattoo Inspired artwork of Mimi Bailey

Tattoo Inspired artwork of Mimi Bailey

Lauri: What is your favorite part of sharing a meal with friends and family?
Mimi: I love getting to prepare the food with my daughter most of all. Her enthusiasm is what makes it fun! Past that, I just like to eat.

Lauri: What is your favorite meal at a local restaurant?
Mimi: My favorite food at Strings Italian Cafe  is is their Antipasti Con Capellini. String is right across the street from the Arthouse at 322 W Miner St., Yreka,

Mimi painting the Denny Bar Co. logo on their wall.

Mimi painting the Denny Bar Co. logo on their wall.

Mimi painting Denny sign.JPG

Lauri: Do you have a favorite Destination eatery? 
Mimi: Fried Buffalo Cheese Curds at Denny Bar Company in Etna… and not just because I have a mural there.

Original Graphic Art Poster by Mimi Bailey

Original Graphic Art Poster by Mimi Bailey

Eggnog Pie Recipe

Eggnog Filling:

11/2 cups eggnog
2 cups heavy cream
1 package French Vanilla Pudding mix
⅛ tsp Nutmeg of Pumpkin Pie spice
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 Tbsp Rum or Rum extract

In a saucepan combine pudding mix, nutmeg (or pumpkin pie spice) and eggnog, mix well. Cook over medium heat stirring like a mad person constantly, until thick and bubbly. Remove your concoction from the heat and stir in the rum and vanilla.  Plop your mixture into a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

In another bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Get out your cold eggnog mix and beat until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Dump the deliciousness into your baked and cooled pie shell and sprinkle a dusting of nutmeg (or pumpkin pie spice) over the top for a garnish. Refrigerate that bad boy for 4 hours or until set! 

Gingersnap Pie Crust: Also a great pie crust for pumpkin and cheese cakes

2 cups gingersnap cookies - about 40 cookies
¼ cup brown sugar
6 tbsp melted butter

Smash the cookies into fine crumbs. Add sugar mix well then add butter. Press the mixture firmly into sides and bottom of a 9” pie dish. Bake at 350 for 5-8 minutes. Cool then pour in eggnog filling.