Has Daniel found ‘the best place in the world to be a tradie’?
- Daniel is known as Mr Latino Chippy on Instagram
- Originally from Venezuela, he says Australia is the best place in the world to be a tradie
- He loves Steel Blue work boots so much he has different pairs to wear for inside and outside work
There’s an old saying in the construction trade — “measure twice, cut once”.
It’s about making sure you’re confident in your mathematics and your measurements before doing something you can’t undo.
It must be handy, then, to be a Carpenter with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, like Daniel Hernandez.
“100%, yes. That’s definitely not my weak spot!”
Daniel lives in Brisbane and is known on Instagram as Mr Latino Chippy. Hailing from Venezuela, he completed both his maths degree and his trades apprenticeship in his South American homeland.
“All the houses in Venezuela are built in concrete and it’s really just bricklaying,” he said. “I was more interested in creating kitchens and internal installations.”
The best place in the world to be a tradie
He emigrated to Australia eight years ago, at the suggestion of a cousin who lives in Sydney. It was a life-changing decision.
“I did a year of small jobs here and there, then I started getting all the tickets for every single thing that I needed to be allowed on site — a white card, boom lift, forklift, working in small places, high places, first aid, scaffolding… you name it,” he said. “I got my carpentry certification licence and then I went fully into commercial.”
Daniel says Australia is the best place in the world to be a tradie.
“When I came here and I asked my cousin, ‘Okay, tell me who are the most successful people, close to financial freedom, in Australia?’ She pointed and said, ‘You see those blokes over there with hi-viz?’ I said, ‘The tradies?’ And she said, ‘Yeah, those ones.’ I couldn’t believe it.”
A passion for quality and attention to detail
Daniel has been fortunate to work on some amazing projects since coming to Australia. Originally living in Melbourne, he worked on the landmark Collins House building, doing the cabinetry for the top two floors, including the penthouse.
“That was a huge project; it lasted at least maybe six to eight months,” he said. “We fitted all the carpentry and everything related to the joinery and wall panelling. I was leading that project and I took pride in it. It came with a lot of issues but I liked it because there were a lot of problems to solve.”
If you’re fitting out an expensive penthouse, it sounds like Mr Latino Chippy is exactly the sort of Carpenter you’d want leading the project. He’s a Builder very much out of the “measure twice, cut once” mould.
“I take pride in my work; I’m passionate about attention to detail,” he said. “When I finish something and it is perfect, it’s accurate, there are no mistakes, and I have a client who is very happy, that gives me joy.
“Whether I’m creating a deck, a pergola or a room or a bathroom, when people share with me the joy that these spaces I have created gives them, that’s what I love.”
"when people share with me the joy that these spaces I have created gives them, that’s what I love"
Why Daniel wears Steel Blue work boots
Given Daniel’s passion for quality, perhaps it’s no surprise that he’s a big fan of Steel Blue work boots — a fact that brings us as much joy as a happy client brings Daniel!
“I was originally wearing different boots — very famous boots in the market — but they were killing my feet and my back. I was constantly in pain,” he said. “One day I went to a store and explained that I was struggling to find footwear I can actually wear for the whole day without feeling it, but were safe for construction work. The person in the store showed me Steel Blue boots, which have a certification from the Australian Physiotherapy Association.
“I tried them and I was in love. Then my wife and I were watching The Block and they were wearing Steel Blue boots on the show, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, they have blue boots’. Now I have blue boots, too. I wear those for internal jobs, which is very fancy, and I wear my other pair outside.”
Check out Steel Blue’s blue boots, which raise money for mental health charity Beyond Blue, here. Head to your local Steel Blue stockist to discover work boots that are a mark of true skill, or shop online.
Available styles and colours may vary in your region. See our full range of safety boots here.
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