Metal, wood artist opens shop in Oconto

March 28, 2022

Metal, wood artist opens shop in Oconto
Micro loans foster start-ups, existing businesses

A young entrepreneur with carpentry skills and an artistic eye has opened a new business in Oconto. Bryce Hearley, 22, opened Scrap Yard Industrial Works in 2022, with the aid of a $10,000 microloan from Oconto County Economic Development Corporation. Bryce purchased a vacant building in the city of Oconto to set up shop. He plans to turn his establishment into a metal arts and carpentry shop.
“It’s going to give me a spot to really grow my business,” he said.
Oconto County Economic Development Corporation provides micro business loans to entrepreneurs like Bryce who need extra capital to launch a business. Microloans also are available to small business owners who want to expand their existing business, purchase equipment, or pay for other expenses.
“Qualifying for a micro loan is slightly different than qualifying for a standard business loan,” said Samantha Boucher, OCEDC tourism director, “plus micro loans tend to cover smaller amounts and have shorter terms.”
Oconto County businesses with fewer than 25 employees and less than $1 million in annual sales may be eligible for a micro loan.
“A number of factors are considered for eligibility, so small business owners are encouraged to contact our office to learn if they qualify for a micro loan or another type of economic assistance,” Samantha said.
Bryce used the microloan to help cover the down payment, giving him a place to set down roots. Before purchasing the building, he worked mostly in clients’ homes or in an unheated shop located behind his parents’ business. Lynn and Todd Hearley opened a coffee shop, gift boutique, and art gallery in 2021. The Shop on Main is located in an historic Oconto building, and Bryce helped his parents create its vintage industrial décor.
By purchasing the Pecor Street building, Bryce is able to work in a heated shop and build projects in Oconto before installing them at a client’s home or business. All of his tools will be in one place, close at hand, and he’ll have space to store wood and metal.
By opening Scrap Yard Industrial Works, Bryce is taking over the metal arts business (Iron Maiden Metal Art) that his mother previously operated and is adding custom carpentry to the mix. His artistic style leans toward rustic, and he expertly repurposes wood, antiques, and heirlooms into something useful and oftentimes, beautiful. Clients bring him a variety of materials to work with, including sentimental items. Nothing’s more satisfying for Bryce than to see their smiles when they view his finished product.
“It’s just nice to see people happy,” he said. He takes the time and effort to create art that he’d be proud to display in his own home. Bryce recently built five walls out of reclaimed wood for a local church, did a custom “man cave” project, and built bookshelves made of rustic wood and gas line-style black pipe. No two projects are alike!
For custom carpentry and metal art in Oconto County, contact Bryce at Scrap Yard Industrial Works, 920-544-3121 or Breathe new life into a room or outdoor space with wood and metal art that reflects your interests and ideals.
To learn more about the Oconto County Economic Development Corporation (OCEDC) micro loan program, contact the OCEDC office at 1113 Main Street, Oconto, 920-834-6969, or More information is available at