Made in Eastern Iowa: More than wood for Wagler in Wayland

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WAYLAND, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Along the northern stretch of Wayland, in Henry County, a shop makes just about any product possible out of wood or metal.

Wagler Manufacturing works out of a large facility on the north end of Wayland, producing more than wood and metal.

"I grew up around this," said Curt Wagler, who owns this business and his wife Lori and is now looking at a decade in this larger facility.

"2008, we build our first addition," said Wagler. "We were in my father's garage prior to 2008."

All to cover the 1,200 products that emerge from Wayland.

"It is an astounding amount of products," said Wagler. "We cover areas from taxidermy, awards and trophy industry, beer and wine industry and build point-of-sale displays and things of that nature. We also build promotional products, different things for different arenas."

This isn't just a story about making wood or metal products -- sometimes, in life, an unexpected opportunity presents something... unusual.

A skeleton emerges on a display. Not a real skeleton, of course.

Lori Wagler explains how the company added a new industry.

"We were making the metal stands and the wood bases for the company that does this and the company was moving to Lisbon and asked if we wanted to purchase it," said Lori Wagler. "We decided that, 'yeah, why not?' The processes to making these look very different but they're very similar to the products that we were already making."

The parts for the model skeletons and organs come from molding and spin casting. Wagler Manufacturing makes a mold for every piece.

"All of the molds are separately," said Wagler. "All of the products are separately."

One of the crucial points came from when Curt and Lori mastered e-commerce -- to get their very specific market to any market on the globe.

"My wife and I learned the whole website arena, how to script them, how to get free rankings and stuff and that has really been a threshold to the business," said Wagler. "Probably 75 percent of our new customer acquisition comes from online. We do very little marketing and advertising elsewhere. "

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