River City Six – Ed Abersfeller
Meet Ed Abersfeller, president of Storage Concepts, Inc. (storageconceptsinc.com).
Tell us a little about your business.
For the past 35 years, Storage Concepts, Inc. has been bringing high-quality organization and storage products to the upper Midwest. Initially, our expertise and focus was in the industrial arena with custom warehouse storage systems. However, when we moved into recessionary times, new warehouse, distribution center, and large-parts storage building construction became nearly non-existent. About the time Ronald Regan’s economic measures began to take hold in the mid-1980s recession, and home building here in Nebraska was recovering, a new trend in California was developing: custom closets. We recognized the category was completely lacking here in Omaha. So, we began taking the idea to local home builders with much success. Twenty-five years later, we are the oldest custom closet company in Nebraska.
How did you get started in the business?
We researched manufactures across the country, found some nice high-quality products not available here, took on their lines, and grew the business from there.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Like most small businesses, we are dependent on a robust economy to prosper and grow. In addition to providing our services to the consumer directly, the home builder is also a primary customer. When we move into a recessionary period like the last one, we all feel it.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
Longevity in this business. We are now on the cusp of the next generation taking the reigns—exciting times here.
Tell us a little about your family.
My wife Mickie and I have two children and four grandchildren. My oldest daughter Becky and her husband Matt are with the company and in the process of becoming the next owners of Storage Concepts Inc. My younger daughter Sarah is an elementary school teacher and her husband is a tax specialist with an Omaha firm.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
The U.S. Army. Traveling overseas and seeing how some people are forced to live, made me fully appreciate just how well I have it here.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Shared activities with family and friends. I’m also an avid reader.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
I’m a licensed pilot and aviation was my original career path.
Who inspires you?
Captains of industry, especially those women who have broken the proverbial glass ceiling. Having a daughter in the business, I like to point to those successful women as a model for success.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“If you really look closely most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be?
If you had a theme song, what would it be?
“Imagine” by John Lennon.
What local nonprofit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
Habitat for Humanity. They, like us, make peoples’ lives better by helping them get organized in their homes.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
J. R. R. Tolkien’s Hobbit series.