Tyler Knapp’s journey brought him from Lake Wilson, where he grew up, to Winnebago, where he currently resides.
The two towns, otherwise separate communities, were connected through family and his welding career over the course of Nep’s life.
Knapp has been a resident of Winnebago for about ten years now. However, Knapp only recently joined Winnebago’s community of local business owners.
In mid-May of this year, Nepp opened TNepp Metals on Highway 109 across the street from Winnebago Car Wash and Spencer Owen Funeral Home.
Knapp purchased the Sixth Avenue SE building from the previous owner. He was fully equipped with welding equipment that would otherwise have cost him thousands of dollars.
TNepp Metals offers a range of services including welding, fabrication, sales and maintenance. The business also carries Mathieson Welding Gas.
Knapp added that he was investigating a machine craft.
“I have some skill in machines.”He sums it up. He plans to further expand his knowledge in the future.
Knapp studied welding at Ridgewater College in Willmar.
“I got into plumbing after college and joined the union.”He says.
For eight or nine years, he mainly performed high-pressure pipe fitting services. However, he eventually saw an opportunity to take his career in a different direction.
That opportunity manifested itself in what began as a part-time job.
“I was doing creative work on the side.”Knapp explains. Soon he realized that there is a general need for such services in the area, which he could fulfill by his own welding business.
“There’s a shop in Wales.”Nep says: Otherwise I didn’t know many places in the area. There aren’t many out there for maintenance and personal welding.
Nepp jumped in as sole owner and sole employee of TNepp Metals. That being said, he is grateful to have some help running the business from his wife, Makayla, who helps with his book work.
The couple has a lot to do at home with their growing family in mind. Knapp and Makayla already have three children, and are expecting their fourth any day now.
Makayla’s father is also busy tending to her family’s farm in the area and taking care of the pigs they raise on their property.
It was Makayla’s Winnebago roots that first brought the Knapp family to Winnebago in 2013.
Now, a decade later, Nep is putting down roots in the community with the establishment of TeneP Metals, and hopes the business will continue to grow over the years.
Nep truly approaches business ownership with a growth mindset and a flexible attitude, looking to acquire new skills and continue to expand the services it offers.
Besides expanding his mechanical knowledge, he said he would like to learn how to weld metal on cast iron engines and engine heads.
“It’s a good thing to get in.”He says. “I want to do something that a lot of people don’t offer.”
NEP applies its flexible approach to its business hours. He technically operates TNepp Metals on a Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm schedule. However, he added. “I can work different hours if needed.”Expressing that he is willing to receive a customer later in the evening or on Saturday if necessary.
All in all, Knepp seems excited to expand his business, serve his customers, and delve into the world of welding.
He commented. “Every day is a learning opportunity with maintenance work.”
TNepp Metals can be reached at 507-893-3202. Nep can be reached on his cell phone at 507-227-4894.