by Terry Rogers
Casey Lynch and Christian Kernisan met while working on the University of Delaware research vessel in Lewes. Lynch works as an engineer and Kernisan as an oceanographer technician, but the two wanted to start a business that was more creative. The result was a new business in Milford called 7 Seas Concepts, located in the former Vinyard Shipyard shop on Marshall Street.
“It may seem like a stretch to go from oceanography and engineering to metal fabrication, but it really is not,” Lynch explained. “I am more mechanically inclined and Christian has the computer expertise we need to operate the machinery, so we kind of complement each other.”
The company is a fabrication shop that creates a variety of custom signs, awards and other items. The two men can create beautiful metal signs as well as custom woodwork, acrylic engravings and more. Kernisan explained that they can even make custom railings for homes, custom cabinetry and have used their expertise to overhaul boats.
“We started out by creating a website to sell t-shirts,” Lynch said. “Our plan was that for every shirt you bought, you received an entry into a drawing for a boat. We bought old boats and reconditioned them as a way for someone who just could not afford to buy a boat to get one.”
Kernisan stated that the plan did not go as they hoped and that it ended up costing them a considerable amount of out-of-pocket funds. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Lynch’s brother, who owns a metal fabricating shop in Florida, won a large contract with a local hospital to make face shields.
“My brother called me and told me to get the cash together and buy a router,” Lynch said. “He guided us on what we needed to buy in order to try to get contracts with hospitals here for face shields. We had our parents, our friends, anyone we could calling hospitals to try to get contracts for them. While we were waiting for that, we started making yard signs and metal decorations. Suddenly, we were so busy making the signs, we didn’t have time to work on the face shields.”
Lynch grew up in Milford while Kernisan grew up in Hollywood, Maryland, near Patuxent River Naval Air Station. The two taught themselves how to fabricate metal with guidance from Lynch’s brother and online training programs. They launched their products on social media, posting photos of their work on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. Lynch stated that each time they post a new item, orders begin coming in for more.
“We were renting the building next door,” Lynch said. “Sudler Lofland, who owns the shipyard, used to come over and just chat with us. The space next door was getting really crowded and we had basically outgrown it. I’ve known Sudler most of my life and he suggested we move into the shipyard building since it was empty. He offered us a fairly good rent so we took him up on it.”
Eventually, Lynch and Kernisan hope to place their products in retail stores at the beach and in other towns throughout the state. They are currently building a website and hope to have it operational soon. Until the website is operational, orders can be placed using a private message on Facebook on the 7 Seas Concepts page. Once the website is working, orders can be placed there or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The company can also be contacted through Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.