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Location: Reasnor, Iowa
Joel Steenhoek is living his dream and is building something "solid" in the Reasnor area. If you think it is another set of cabinets or any other custom wood project Joel is working in his newly opened business, Custom Woodworks, you'd only be partly right. Steenhoek is also building another relationship in the little community he calls "home". It's not only about creating, it's bout being a good neighbor and building bonds. "If I'm building something for someone's home I want them to know they can trust me to do a great job, I want them to be comfortable talking to me about what they want." Steenhoek state that's part of the reason at only 22 years old, Joel is striking out on his own.
Custom Woodworks is located at 5269 Hwy F-62 E, just two miles east of Reasnor. Joel along with help from his dad, Don and brother, Kurt did the majority of the work refurbishing an old barn owned by Leta Lanphier. Joel stated, " I needed a place to get started and Leta wanted her barn fixed up so it just all came together. Leta has been a very good to me and has helped me a lot."
Steenhoek has been building custom cabinets and furniture since his high school days at Prairie City Monroe. With the help from shop teacher Joe St.Peter and FFA teacher Ed Ricks, he seemed destined to be a builder. So he made sure to learn well every twist and turn of the trade and that included working for a couple of local cabinetmakers and going to Des Moines Area Community College for there Entrepreneurship program. That helped learn the business part. He also worked with SCORE, retired business people who helped him with the business plan, especially in the financial portion of the plan. When it was time to go it alone he wouldn't be cutting corners, he wanted to be better, and most importantly be there for the customer.
Steenhoek has been a volunteer for the Reasnor Fire Department since he was 18. Steenhoek has training in firefighter I and hazmat. As he was working on getting his business started he was also taking EMT (emergency medical technician) classes through Mercy hospital to help him better serve his community. Steenhoek has since completed his EMT classes and is now a nationally certified EMT. As his business continues to grow he hopes to help other young people who are interested in woodworking. After all it's the unity in the community that gets the job done.
-- Custom Woodworks
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