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The North Bend Eagle

Steel Creation
Morse Bluff native Dan Minarick, 27, will be observing the one-year anniversary of Steel Creation next month. He took over a family-owned business, Morse Industries, and put his own artistic twist to his custom metal creations.

Minarick enjoys creativity of Steel Creation

by Nathan Arneal
Published 8/17/11

Dan Minarick’s October 2010 wedding was a big moment in his life. For it was there that he discovered something that made his life more fulfilling and enjoyable:
His talent for making cake stands.

In his quest to save a little money, he offered to construct the bottom two towers of a three-tower cake out of plexi-glass, which his soon-to-be-wife – the former Lynn Albert of North Bend – filled with flowers and lights.

“Looking back I probably should have just bought the cake,” Minarick said. “It would have been cheaper by the time I had 15 to 20 hours in it.”

cake standMinarick built this cake stand for his own wedding. It and many others are now available to rent from a Lincoln bakery.

Now, a year later, designing and making cake stands is one of Minarick’s favorite aspects of his business, Steel Creation.

Following college, Minarick bounced around for a while with various jobs before finally deciding to return to his hometown of Morse Bluff and start his own company. The 2002 NBC graduate set up shop in the former Morse Industries building across the street from the American Legion hall. Morse Industries, which was owned by Minarick’s uncles and his dad Ted, fabricated parts for companies such as Werner Enterprises.

Dan Minarick rents the building from his dad and uncles, but wanted a fresh start with the business, one he could call his own. Thus, Steel Creation was born last September, ready to turn metal into just about anything the customer wants.

“I formed Steel Creation more on the basis of architectural art,” Minarick said. “I still manufacture parts, but I want to focus more on the art side of it.”

Following his wedding (where he also made his own wedding ring) he visiting several bakeries in Lincoln, gaging interest in his custom-made cake stands. He ended up striking an exclusive deal with Linda Hudson of Butterfly Bakery, who displays and rents out his stands.

“It worked out really well because I look for stuff that I can do that will make money while I’m sleeping,” Minarick said. “Those (cake stands) don’t make a lot of money initially, but over time the rental becomes constant residual income. In the world of weddings, there’s a lot of people that say yes, as opposed to no.”

Steel Creation also did some work on the Butterfly Bakery shop itself, dressing up its counters with stylized steel and aluminum. That job led to others. He is currently making seven oval-shaped tables for a new bar in Lincoln. Not all his pojects require such creativity though. He is also making fire escape stairs for a 24-plex in Manhattan, Kansas.

“The name is getting out there,” Minarick said. “I was a little leery at first moving up here (to Morse Bluff) that I would lose a lot of contacts in Lincoln, but if you live here and ship to Dallas, what’s the difference of living here or in Omaha or Lincoln?”

Steel Creation- wine holderThis wine glass and bottle holder is another of Minarick's steel creations.

Minarick, 27, has big dreams for Steel Creation, including being a publicly traded company someday. In his more immediate five-year plan, he wants to increase the size of his current shop. He envisions using half of the shop for manufacturing brackets of any kind, while the other half would be reserved for custom work. He knows he will need to make brackets and other parts to provide a regular income stream, but he hopes to make a name for himself on the creative side of the business.

“Making 500 of something just bores the hell out of me,” he said. “When you get into the custom side, it’s not about who can do it the fastest and cheapest. It’s about who can do it the best. Your competition is more so yourself as to how talented you can be.”

Minarick has been commuting from Lincoln to Morse Bluff for a couple of years now, but he and his wife are in the process of moving to North Bend. Recently, Lynn Minarick got a job with Platte Valley Bank.

Like many young people, Dan Minarick said he never pictured himself moving back to his hometown. While he could easily operate his business in Lincoln where the cost of living and doing business is higher, he is proud to bring Steel Creation to Morse Bluff.

“It’s just nice to be in town and be able to do something,” he said. “There’s a lot of older people that are either fascinated or proud that I’m back. That’s a good compliment, to see the people encourage you.”

He has also enjoyed the challenges of starting his own business, where sometimes he makes $100 an hour, and other days doesn’t make anything. For now, he said he’ll do anything that comes with a deadline and a paycheck, whether that’s welding a muffler onto a lawn mower or making trendy stainless steel napkin holders for a Lincoln hot spot.

“I can definitely say my eggs are not in one basket,” Minarick said. “Every time I build something I gain that much more knowledge and creativity.

“My best project is yet to be built.”

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