Bob Beck of Bismarck, N.D., is the proud owner of Wood Creations Inc., a niche woodworking business that produces wooden toy boxes, blanket chests and memory boxes for clients around the world. Joined by his wife, Julie, and four employees, the company produces an average of 1,500 products annually for customers looking for a special keepsake for either a child’s toys or their own precious mementos.
“I’m a woodworker myself. I’ve done it my whole life. This company started in 1999. Our oldest is a senior in high school right now. When she was 2, my wife asked me to build a toy box so that’s how I got started,” Beck says.
For the first couple of years in business, Beck made toy boxes directly for friends and family members, but then started selling through his website at www.woodtoybox.com. By 2005, he began to outsource many of the machined parts so he could focus on the products’ custom laser engraving.
Once the parts arrive, the boxes are assembled in the workshop, engraved and finished. The company offers four finishing options. The espresso and cherry receive gold-colored paint in the engravings and the bamboo and oak feature a dark brown colored engraving.
“The bamboo is my favorite toy box. It’s so well-built and incredibly durable. A lot of people request bamboo material for those reasons, beyond it being eco-friendly. Kids tend to abuse a toy box and throw toys in there, so it needs to be very heavy and durable.”
The company ships its products in a ready-to-assemble package. Each toy box has a company logo stamped on the inside.
Beck has also established a sister business that offers memory chests at www.memorychests.com.
“We created them for people that had loved ones pass away, but all of a sudden we were making wedding and graduation memory chests for people to store their photos and other memorabilia.”
Contact: Wood Creations Inc. Tel: 701-214-1520.
This article originally appeared in the March 2014 issue.