Where it all began!
Throwback to 2016, when Mark and Ryan (Steffen) first met each other at a pyro event. They talked a lot of nerdy pyro stuff and got to know each other better throughout the season. Fast forward about a year to shortly after season of 2017, Mark approached Ryan and simply asked, “You ever thought about getting in to the fireworks business?” Ryan said “Short answer? Yes! Long answer? I’ve thought about it for a few years now, but I have 76 questions.”
They agreed to sit down and discuss many angles at Kros Strain Brewing in La Vista, NE. The decision was made, and TTF was now more than just a dream! Now, it was a dream on a napkin. Fast Forward a couple more months and countless hours of research, business planning, financials, and many other avenues, alas, December 7, 2017, Twisted Thunder Fireworks was born.
Our Secret Sauce
One of the most common questions we get is; “How do you have SUCH better product, and STILL have prices lower?!” Here’s our secret sauce – we’re just a bunch of nerdy pyros – who happen to be running a business, not the other way around, and that makes ALL the difference. Our #1 goal getting in to this business was never about the profits. Through our findings, we saw a massive demand, and we knew we could fill that void – which is constantly bringing in premium products, for a great price, so people don’t keep going down to Missouri.
So what makes us different? We do a lot of the extra steps (have even created a few steps) most businesses wouldn’t take. We go to MANY demos a year to check out new and existing product from our vendors. We’re constantly testing product to make sure it’s still in line with our standards. We collectively watch over 10,000 youtube videos PER YEAR to make sure we’re staying current with the market and how products are performing.
We flat out WILL NOT put a product on our shelf if we don’t think it’s performing as expected. It’s happened before, and it’ll happen again. Even we call ourselves out on occasion, as we know we get far too “in to the weeds” on one tiny detail, but it matters to us, those things are important. Yes, we price everything ourselves, and may spend 10 minutes trying to determine if we should charge $8.99 for an item, or $9.99 for an item.
Sounds crazy, but we’re meticulous on these things, they matter to us, and it’s worth our time and energy to make sure we get it right for the customer. We know this is not even close to a “10 day a year thing” like many people see it as, and we very much put the time and effort in to treat it as such to make sure everything is as perfect as possible for our customers when the season rolls around.
Where are we now?
In a little over 3 short years, we’ve managed to grow the business year over year, even in unchartered waters with a global pandemic, and we can only thank our wonderful customers for that! Currently Ryan – “Cobb” along with Monty have joined the team. They both crush it in season and out of season. We’ve now acquired a second inventory storage location where we have goals to build our own new warehouse to help manage the efficiencies with the business better to best serve our customers. We’ve also grown from 1 location in year one, to now 6 locations throughout Nebraska.
We hope to be able to continue this fun ride, as it’s had countless learning experiences, but all to make us better equipped with the knowledge to bring our customers the best experience possible. We’ll look forward to keep growing, keep providing the best product at the lowest prices, giving the best customer service, and helping our customers paint up the sky!We'll never be the biggest, and we have no desire to be. We will however, ALWAYS be the best.
Have a happy and safe 4th, and we'll see you this summer!
- TTF Team
Twisted Thunder Fireworks' Leadership
We are active in the pyrotechnic community and enjoy chatting about fireworks with anyone and everyone!
Co-Founder and CMO
Ryan’s love of fireworks started years ago. It began when he begged his mom to buy the little $10 assortment pack so he could point tanks at each other to battle and then see if they’d catch fire, they did.
After that it quickly progressed to a 4th of July when his late grandmother visited to town from Virginia over the holiday, he was 12 and got the opportunity to “put on a show”. After figuring out he could twist artillery shell fuses together for more than one at a time, he was hooked and the rest is history.
Ryan started this business with the intentions of bringing people value with their fireworks purchases, getting the best bang for their buck, and hopefully impact at least one 4 year old that can point tanks at each other so he or she will love and appreciate fireworks one day too.
Co-Founder and CFO
Mark is a fireworks enthusiast who began selling fireworks more than 20 years ago in his hometown of Wahoo, NE. He’s been doing fireworks shows for more than 10 years. He is familiar with a number of electronic remote firing systems, including Cobra. Mark enjoys searching for the best performing products in the market and passing them on to his customers, which includes attending countless fireworks demos each year. He is active in the pyrotechnic community and enjoys chatting about fireworks with anyone and everyone!
Sales Manager & Product Specialist
Ryan is your typical pyro nut. He would blow up our entire inventory if he could. Growing up in Lincoln, he has had a love for fireworks his whole life.
One childhood memory is getting the cops called on him from lighting firecrackers off one by one for hours. Even though it was legal, one of the neighbors got tired of hearing a BANG that long. Oh how nice it was to be a kid!
As an adult (or big kid), Ryan started going to demos and putting on shows. Learning a ton from the pyro community until he was putting on pyromusicals with help from his wife Sara. Even though he used a small 12 cue system, it didn’t stop him from putting on a 5 song show.
Ryan knows his product with an eye for what’s good. There’s not many people with more product knowledge. Ask him a product question and watch his eyes light up as he steers you in the right direction.
We at TTF are happy to have someone like Ryan in our corner. Living in Lincoln, he will help us grow there and beyond.
Monty comes to us from a logistics background and brings a tremendous amount of value in knowledge in handling the day to day operations. He is constantly filling and pulling orders to be shipped out, and locally during season. He is very much an “outside the box” type thinker and is always learning the business like a sponge, and trying to create new systems/methods for the business to help us be better and more efficient at providing the absolute best experience to our customers!
Monty also loves his fireworks shows! He spends hours getting shows ready to fire electronically on his Cobra mods, to put on one heck of a show for his neighborhood!