Custom Service Hardware Inc.

Established in 1977 as a waterbed company that occasionally sold parts, Custom Service Hardware Inc. has grown into an international supplier in the furniture industry.

“We are a Christian-based company based on good sound values, and we treat employees with the greatest respect,” said Frank Rasmussen, president of Custom Service Hardware Inc.

Founded by Frank and Ursula Rasmussen, the company was a family-run business from the beginning, enlisting the help of the couple’s two young daughters when the company was starting.

“They would count and bag brackets in the basement,” Rasmussen said.

As the wholesale business grew, the couple started to receive requests from furniture builders for additional products.

“I sat down with an 11-by-7 sheet of paper and laid out all of our products we offered and took the flyer, copied it and created the first catalog,” Rasmussen said.

Today, the Cedarburg based company is a wholesale distributor of kitchen cabinet and furniture hardware. The company has also begun manufacturing some of their proprietary products.

Custom Service Hardware is a $6.5 million company selling to 160,000 wood workers, including accounts in Canada, Australia and Mexico.

Over the last 33 years, the company has evolved from waterbeds and bed brackets to adding RTA Cabinets Unlimited, a division of the company that sells ready to assemble (RTA) custom cabinets.

The company’s RTA cabinets are available for purchase online.

Providing unique benefits to employees, Custom Service Hardware offers all employees a paid vacation day on their birthday and provides work opportunities for disabled individuals.

Working with the deaf communication as interpreters since 1973, the Rasmussens have created opportunities for deaf employees within their organization.

The company also offers part-time employment opportunities to employees’ children.

“We really are teaching them how to work, to give them good work habits,” Rasmussen said.

During the Great Recession, Custom Service Hardware’s employees worked harder than ever to get through it.

“We didn’t lay off anyone,” said general manager Mike Allen. “We asked people to work longer to get more accounts.”

In February, CSH received a patent for a new bracket.

As for the future, the company plans to expand its services both nationally and internationally.

“It has been a banner year in 2010,” Rasmussen said. “Even in 2008, when the bottom dropped out, (2008) was a record year for sales. This year, we are on the road to a bigger share of the pie.”

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