When you enter Marquart’s Custom Creations at 3418 McArthur Street, your first impression is that Mike and Frank from the show The American Pickers would be in seventh heaven. But don’t go calling Danielle just yet to invite them, because owner Marcus Marquart won’t part with any of the signs, gas pumps or other fun paraphernalia hanging on the walls or on the shop floor. “Many of the items were given to me and hold sentimental value,” states Marcus.
After almost 30 years in the business, President and CEO Marcus Marquart has collected quite a few treasures and customers. He managed Fort Wayne Auto Upholstery for about five years before he bought them out and reopened under his own name on October 1, 1989. His son Justin has worked alongside for 13 years making this a true Waynedale family business.
Marcus’ responsibilities include everything from janitorial to marketing to research and bookkeeping. He laughingly claims, “the business owns me!” His business has international ties focusing on upholstery, tops and trimming of automobiles, aviation, marine and commercial applications, both original and custom. Many of their projects/interiors have won local, regional and national awards and titles and have been published in magazines and calendars. As “authorized installers” for an internationally recognized manufacturer, LeBaron Bonney Co., they do work on original automobiles from the 1920s to the 1970s. They also provide technical support assistance to their customers all over the country.
On the personal side, Marcus grew up on Kinnaird Avenue, about two blocks southwest of the original Lutheran Hospital on Fairfield. He attended South Wayne Elementary, Fairfield Junior High (before it became a middle school) and Southside High School, graduating in 1977. He was number six in a family of eight children.
His bride is Donna Robinson and they will celebrate 35 years in May. They have one daughter Heather, son Justin and four granddaughters, Taya, Danielle, Brenna and Chloe. Two black cats round out their family.
Until recently, Marcus was a 35-year member at the Southwest Conservation Club, serving 12 years on their board and 17 years as a Supreme Council Member. He is also involved in his neighborhood association where he served three years on the board of the Belle Vista Allendale Neighborhood Association and continues to regularly support both the president and board with projects. A passion for gardening, flowers and vegetables has paid off as he and Donna won a neighborhood award for their beautiful yard.
Scouting is important to Marcus. As a child at South Wayne Elementary, he was a Boy Scout with Troop #25. As an adult, he was involved with son Justin’s Cub Scouts at Maplewood and scouting at St. John’s Church Troop #19. His son achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in 2002 with his service project being the pedestrian bridge over the channel between the ponds at the Southwest Conservation Club that is still in use today.
In his off time, Marcus enjoys fishing trips at remote outposts in Ontario with his family and friends. He appreciates his time in the outdoors, hiking, kayaking, camping or just relaxing around a campfire.
Something you might find surprising, in 2008, Marcus donated 32” of his hair as well as over $2,700 in donations from customers and family to “Locks of Love” for children with hair loss issues. His generosity doesn’t end there as locally Marquart Custom Creations also supports the Waynedale Community Picnic, Kingston’s Trunk or Treat for the Trails, Waynedale United Methodist Church Annual Car Show and Community Harvest Food Bank. Other charities they have supported include Junior Achievement, Officer Phil Program for Elementary School Safety, MDA, Cancer Society, M.A.D.D and Breast Cancer Research.
Looking to the future, Marcus hopes to add trainees to his staff and continue to grow their service opportunities. His philosophy is to provide a personal touch and superior craftsmanship. Marcus states, “It is a pleasure to work on many one-of-a-kind and historically special projects and vehicles from all over the country and beyond, no job is too big or too small.” His true values are reflected in his comment that, “Any job worth doing, is worth doing well.”
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