WATERTOWN, WI - The Custom Shoppe, a high-profile custom furniture manufacturer, will have assets of its Watertown, WI plant auctioned by November 7.

The Custom Shoppe was launched in 1981, operating in a smaller plant in Ixlonia, WI until that was leveled by a fire in 1998. A new 100,000 square foot plant costing $4.5 million was opened in 1999. At its peak 145 people were employed in the plant.

Owner Frank Krejci announced November 2011 that The Custom Shoppe would close. Seven of the firm's 40 employees reorganized the business as Badgerland Furniture and Cabinets LLC, using the facilities under an agreement with Krejci.

Among items being auctioned by broker Hilco between Nov. 2 and Nov. 7 are:

• CNC Machining Centers: Busellato Jet 3006 andAlberti Format 90/CN

• Routers: Shoda MC516.1326 CNC;  Porter Cable and Onsrud E205

• Woodworking Saws: Schelling Front Loading Automatic, SCMI 10', Safety Speed Cut Vertical Panel Saws

• Sanding Machines: SCM 54" 3-Head Wide Belt, 52" 2-Head Orbital; Crouch 40"

• Optimizing Gang Rip Saw: Taylor Opti-Rip Optimizer and Mereen Johnson 424DC


• Moulder: SCMI Super Set 23 Feed Through 5-Head

 A history of The Custom Shoppe recounted at the site describes its origins:

In 1981 a few dedicated woodworkers started a furniture shop in Wisconsin. With talented carpentry skills, they built beautiful furniture to suit the special needs of their customers. Customers could have exactly what they wanted. Not satisfied with simply responding to requests, we charted a future based on becoming much more sophisticated than a small cabinet shop. We chose to invest in developing a product line that was specifically designed to be easily modified. While this took much more effort at the beginning, it created the long term benefit of designing and making custom furniture much faster and more efficiently.

Our concept is simple; doing it is not simple or there would be many similar companies. Rather than creating designs and building boatloads of what we think people want, we create a toolbox of choices to allow people to pick exactly what they want.

The company has grown considerably and yet our focus remains the same: to build custom, quality case goods using a combination of old-fashioned craftsmanship, computerized operations, and high-quality materials. Sophisticated computerized equipment helps us to be efficient. Time-honored furniture techniques and the ability to efficiently build one piece at a time helps us to give our customer exactly what they want. We want them to be proud of their furniture for years to come.

On March 9, 1998 a fire burned The Custom Shoppe® factory and offices to the ground. It ruined our whole day, but we weren't going to let it ruin our future. With the extraordinary efforts of all employees, generous community support, and space provided by Schweiger Furniture, we built our first furniture just 100 hours later . Both the media and our furniture retailers across the country were amazed by our response. As a result, we didn't lose a single customer and our business grew during the 15 months it took to design and build our new factory. Everyone contributed ideas about how our new home should look and function. The pride is still evidenced by people spending their own time adopting gardens to keep the grounds beautiful. The Custom Shoppe® has a strategy of aligning quality people with a quality facility who are making quality furniture . It is much easier to focus on building beautiful furniture in beautiful surroundings.

Custom Shoppe® furniture is still hand-crafted in America’s Heartland by nice people who have fun and love what they do best: build quality custom furniture one piece at a time. People are important here. On average, every four days we implement an idea to somehow improve this company. We don't have cubicles. Instead, everyone designs their own furniture and decorates their own office. It encourages creativity, recognizes individuality and once again generates pride in what we do.

There are no assembly lines at The Custom Shoppe® – only an occasional lunch line in the café where we can chip in for a hot meal and the proceeds are donated to the American Cancer Society®. This is America’s Heartland where solid wood is combined with solid values.

The individuals who are collectively know as The Custom Shoppe® have varied interests – bingo, hunting, golf, skiing, tae-bo, crocheting, theater, computers, charity, square dancing, and of course the Green Bay Packers! We come together as a team to build custom furniture that people across America and Canada will enjoy for years to come.

Throughout the furniture making process, each person in our company adheres to one quality measurement. It doesn't leave here until we ask ourselves a simple question, "Would I be proud enough to have this in my home and brag about it ?"

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