Celebrating four decades of magnetic innovations and growth for Master Magnetics
When Jack Nellessen opened the doors of Master Magnetics in the small town of Castle Rock, Colo. in 1976, the new company operated in a 4,000 square-foot manufacturing facility that made $76,000. It was an impressive start.
An inventor at heart, Nellessen started Master Magnetics with a magnetic tool holder of his creation – the AM1 and the AM2. This handy and useful tool holder proved to be a popular item and manufacturing took off.
With more than 2 million tool holders sold over four decades, chances are you’ve seen one or maybe even have one. It was the product that launched a thriving enterprise spanning four decades.
Forty years later, Master Magnetics operates three locations of manufacturing, distribution and sales totaling 109,350 square-feet in two states. While Nellessen no longer runs day-to-day operations of MMI, his daughter, Jennifer Brown, continues to grow their magnet business as vice president of Master Magnetics.
Master Magnetics has always been a family business. In 1976, Nellessen, his wife Sandy and her sister Sue were among the handful of employees. Today, in addition to Brown running the day-to-day operations at Master Magnetics, her brother John Nellessen, Jr. operates an exclusive distributorship for Master Magnetics in California and Cathy Wachtel, a cousin, operates another exclusive distributorship in Florida. But in addition to family, the longevity of employees, with a majority length of service ranging between 10 – 15 years, speaks to the family atmosphere Master Magnetics maintains.
In 40 years product lines have evolved in response to changing markets. While many of the products first sold in the early years are still popular, including tool holders, fishing magnets, magnetic grates and sweepers, new channels of business continue to present growing opportunities. Once popular craft, toy and education lines have been surpassed by the growing demand of more industrial and hardware-based lines.
Customers range from large international resellers like Amazon, Home Depot, Ace Hardware and True Value to manufacturers looking for OEM parts, to MRO managers, facility managers and homeowners looking for an endless source of magnetic solutions.
With an exclusive focus on magnets, listening to their customers and developing products that are innovative and useful, as well as designing custom applications, are the primary reasons for their success.
Growth in the last decade has expanded product sales under the Magnet Source® brand into four major categories:
· Industrial magnetic devices - Whether it’s lifting, holding, separating, retrieving or clean up, Master Magnetics has the right magnetic solutions for material handling activities and other industries. This includes a wide range of magnetic assemblies and permanent magnetic materials for all types of industrial, OEM and commercial applications. Some examples of these products are heavy duty neodymium lifting magnets, magnetic sweepers, magnetic inventory labels, welding magnets and separation magnets used for food manufacturing and agricultural uses.
· Raw magnetic material - This extensive line of permanent magnets includes rare earth magnets. Sold as raw materials, these magnets are commonly used as components for products made by other manufacturers.
· Flexible magnetic sheeting and P.O.P. magnets - Including wide-format, print-direct magnetic sheeting for vehicle signs, retail signage and sign holders and display components in retail environments.
· Packaged magnets for resale - Features a range of magnets packaged for resale, including magnets perfect for houseware, office, craft, automotive, or hardware use.
Master Magnetics is extremely optimistic about the future. They are preparing for their forecasted growth with building expansion plans that are in the works at their Castle Rock headquarters to add office, warehouse and production space to ensure their ability to follow their forty-year old blueprint for success.