Pine River: There's a new trailer business in town
Rural Pine River adds another travel trailer based business to the local economy with the introduction of Micah Eveland's Blackline Conversions, just north of Pine River on Highway 371.
Eveland is well-known locally for his basketball prowess in high school, his rodeo talent and his family name. He's the son of Kent Eveland, current owner of Eveland's Inc. and the Scamp travel trailer plant in Backus. That's where the younger Eveland started making custom interiors almost 12 years ago.
"The Blackline (name) actually came in the fall of 2017," Micah Eveland said. "That's when we decided to make it official. We manufacture custom interiors whether it's horse trailers, fish houses, RVs and pretty much anything where a custom interior would be desired."
Eveland originally tried to acquire land just south of Backus for his company, but eventually he found property that was more readily available near Christensen Forest Products north of Pine River. The business moved into a building there in the fall of 2018 and on Jan. 4 the building was legally Eveland's.
The company has contracts with Yeti, Featherlite and Elite Horse Trailers. When customers of these companies wants a special interior finish, upholstery or unique cabinetry, they design a layout with Blackline Conversions, send the trailer to the Pine River location and then back to the customer.
Alternatively, Blackline also does custom interiors directly for trailer owners.
"We'll add cabinets to fit anywhere, customize with any stain or finish, custom upholstery," Eveland said. "If you want gator skin on a sofa, we'll put gator skin on your sofa. That's pretty popular. That's kind of what we mean. We'll do any layout of bathroom or no bathroom. We'll use any brand of (compatible) appliance. We have to follow RVIA (Recreation Vehicle Industry Association) certifications. As long as everything falls into that, we'll do it."
The Blackline facility is maxed out with 10 employees, but Eveland has a vision of expanding both his work force and his facility space in the future.
"A new building is probably in the future unless the economy completely tanks," he said. "I would say we are probably looking to get somewhere in the 20 range of employees. It's a smaller drawing pool here, but 10 more guys would really help the process if there was the demand."
Expansion could include a drive-in service type shop and possibly dealer space. Eveland chose the space because of its frontage on Highway 371, and he plans future expansions with that in mind.