Nick Dancer never envisioned concrete as a long-term career–it was simply a job to help put him through school. But this career trajectory took a hard left beginning in 2007, when he was in a motorcycle accident and broke his ankle.
“At the time I was doing outdoor concrete,” he said. “With a boot on my ankle…there was no way to do that type of work anymore.”
In his newfound free time, Dancer began to consider alternative options. After receiving a recommendation from his future father-in-law he signed up for a seminar led by Fu-Tung Chang of Chang Design, a concrete artist who was actively innovating with non-traditional concrete products.
Inspired, and armed with a new set of skills, he started Dancer Concrete & Design with smaller pieces like tabletops and counters. But he soon expanded into interior flooring. In floors, he saw an opportunity to grow his business and have a greater impact on the lives of his customers–and he turned that opportunity into a reality, one that the company now fulfills in three primary areas: residential, commercial, and industrial.
As a growing company–Dancer has 12 employees, and expects to add three more full-time team members in the next year–the chance to expand and develop is crucial. Moving to Fort Wayne in 2010 proved to be a valuable part of this strategy.
“Our business couldn’t work in a small town,” he said. “For one we’d be traveling for all our work, but the word of mouth we’re getting…that’s what’s growing our business.”
Because of this imperative, the company made it a priority to invest in Greater Fort Wayne Inc.
“The word that comes to mind when I think of GFW [Inc.] is growth,” he said. “They are positioned to make Fort Wayne better…and they want to see Fort Wayne reach its full potential.”
This resonates with Dancer, who sees his business as a vehicle for having a positive impact on the community. The company brands itself with messages like “do more, be more” and “greatness starts here” on their trucks and t-shirts, and in their thank-you letters, hoping to be a source of encouragement for others.
Dancer invests in Greater Fort Wayne Inc. because of his dual goals of growing his business and strengthening the community. When it comes to both, he believes that “getting [involved] with them now puts us in a good position for the future.”