NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - In a neighborhood tucked away in West Nashville sits a nondescript building that's covered in fading white paint. You won't find a big, fancy sign outside announcing what's inside this warehouse. But according to Andy and Jennifer Hobbs, there’s a lot going on.

"It's a great partnership. She's definitely the ying to my yang, because I'm like see something go for it, fly by the seat of my pants. And she's definitely the type that wants us to make a plan," said Andy Hobbs.

Hobbs and his wife Jennifer own and operate Nashville Fabrication, a company that provides miscellaneous and structural steel products to customers across the U.S.

The plan Andy refers to started 15 years ago with a goal of taking a 400 square feet business and growing it.

And did they ever! Nashville Fabrication is now a 20,000 square feet company with dozens of employees on Duluth Avenue.

The Hobbs say their company has had a direct hand in several high profile projects, including Nashville International Airport and the Nashville Sounds baseball stadium.

"We did all the railings. So if you touch a rail in the baseball stadium chances are we made all the railings and the seats and the dividers,” said Andy Hobbs.

Nashville Fabrication even helped build the Music City Center downtown.

"We did a ton of the southern wall, the steel that holds up the facade on the southern wall. We did the majority of that and the western wall,” said Andy Hobbs. 

Andy handles the sales and work oversight on a daily basis, but he admits that Jennifer is the one who really keeps everything running smoothly behind the scenes, dealing with customers, scheduling, and payroll.

"So when I came in it was like balancing a checkbook. It was like trying to figure out what happened to the checkbook," chuckled Jennifer Hobbs.  

Nashville Fabrication is also recognized as a nationally certified Woman-Owned Business. Jennifer says the certification process was long, but it continues to pay dividends today. Andy says customers love working with his wife.

"It obviously helps us from a business perceptive. But I am here. I'm a certified welder. I know the business. So yeah. it feels good," said Jennifer Hobbs.

The Hobbs say it also feels good to have cutting edge technology, including a $750,000 dollar "Ring of Fire" plasma machine to help fill orders. It etches, cuts, drills, and burns steel at 50-thousand degrees.

"That's hotter than the surface of the sun," exclaimed Andy Hobbs.

In fact, Nashville Fabrication has several very expensive and unique pieces of automated equipment to help with production, including a robot.

However, this next piece of information sounds even more amazing. The reason Nashville Fabrication is so successful today is because they got evicted from their old building.

"We started the company in a small 12’ by 12’  area in my grandfather’s business across town," said Andy Hobbs.

But Hobbs and his former partner strayed from the area his grandfather had designated for them, and that didn't sit well with his grandfather.

"We finally expanded out of our area unbeknownst to him. And he came in one day and told us it was time for us to go. So we got evicted. Yes. My grandfather evicted us," said Andy Hobbs with a smile.

And the rest as they say is history. Nashville Fabrication is now set to expand to a new 60,000 square feet building in Ashland City. It should be operational by this spring.

And their current building in Nashville will eventually be turned into a curling sports facility. They say the new owner is a former NFL quarterback.

Talk about a series of steely twists and turns. Andy and Jennifer Hobbs say they can't wait to see what the new year brings, as they continue building for their customers and their own future. 

 

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Tom Randles is an award-winning reporter and anchor for News4 since 2006.

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