Marcus Marquart was born in 1958 at Parkview Hospital. He graduated from South Side High School in 1977 and has been married to his wife Donna for 22 years.
Marcus and Donna have two children, Heather 28, and Justin 19. Justin now works with his Dad at his upholstery shop on McArthur Drive.
Marcus got started in the upholstery business by working for the VIP Co. at Freeman and Taylor. That company is now Knox’s Custom Shop on Old Decatur Road. Marcus’s second job took him to E-Vans on Brooklyn and Nutman. They were one of the first conversion-van companies in Fort Wayne. He worked for Ream Marine, located on Bluffton and Sandpoint and from there he moved to All Seasons Industries in Markle, Indiana. Marcus did consulting work for Godfry Marine and Chris Craft Marine, before taking a job as manager at Fort Wayne Upholstery.
On October 1st, 1989 he purchased the building on McArthur Drive from Dennis Hobday and started Marquart’s Custom Creations.
I sat down to talk to Marcus last Tuesday morning, at his shop. His son was there as well as another employee, Robert Yabarra. Around us were three cars and a boat all in various stages of repair. Occasionally the air compressor would kick on, or a customer would pop in. Marcus and I talked through the interruptions as the shop work continued.
I asked him about his ancestors. Marcus replied, “My great grandfather came to Allen County in 1839 and settled on Maples Road. I just recently found that the occupation my great grandfather listed on his Civil War service record was harness maker.” There is a picture of his great grandfather hanging in the office and the resemblance between them is unmistakable. Marcus keeps in touch with his past by participating in an old fashioned, pre-1840’s encampment rendezvous. It is a traditional dress-up affair that happens the second weekend in October at the Southwest Conservation Club. It seemed ironic that Marcus and his great grandfather, who are separated by so many years, would be in such similar lines of work.
Most of Marcus’s work comes to him through referrals. He not only does antique and custom interiors, he also works on modifications and repairs of standard interiors. “If it is upholstery, and it is not household furniture, I have either done it, or will get a chance to do it in the future.”
Marcus has an unassuming honesty about him that lets you know that what you see is what you get. He often settles deals with just a handshake and you know you are going to get a quality job, on time, and at a fair price.
If you have a show car and would like to win ‘Best of Show,’ then Marcus is your guy. If you have a favorite car with a torn seat or a sagging headliner then he’s your man. He also does vinyl tops and other exterior accessories.
I asked Marcus if he had a favorite project over the years. He said, “It’s the next job that I am about to do.” I looked around his shop at the ’60 Cadi, the speed boat, the BMW Izetta and the custom 32 Ford Roadster, thinking that one of these was somehow special to him, but that is not what he meant. “By the time I’m done with a project, I’m usually tired of it. The next project will be my favorite, because it is a new puzzle to solve, a new riddle to unravel, a new adventure.” That is probably one of the secrets to his success. It is the next new adventure that has kept him going throughout his career, doing a great job, and accomplishing new goals, probably much like his ancestors before him and hopefully like those who will follow.
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