A True Wisconsin Family Business

This is the three brothers’ younger sister, Sarah here to write about the early stages of this Wisconsin based family business. I still remember that cold January day when my brother Tim backed into our parents’ driveway with this rather large piece of equipment he purchased on Craigslist while visiting family in Northern Wisconsin. After helping him unload it in the garage, he informed me that this is what he was going to use to make baseball bats. It seemed like he had found himself another hobby, but the enthusiasm in his voice told me that this was going to be something different, something special.

I was intrigued by this idea knowing that he had immense potential to not only make a quality product, but build a business that involved something he is so passionate about. I had moved back for the semester, and was excited (well, to be honest, most nights I would complain about being cold) to spend our evenings together in the garage again. He gave me the official title of QC (quality control) where I would help him weigh the billets, take measurements while he was shaping the bat and sand it. I thoroughly enjoyed that role and loved watching the process of him turning a billet into a baseball bat. My favorite thing he would do was at the end of sanding the bat down, he would remove the bat and swing it a couple of times giving the bat his stamp of approval.

It felt a bit nostalgic- the two of us, now grown- up, back at it again. You see, Tim was always the brother growing up that I partnered up with aiding him in anything from his athletic training and keeping a stopwatch, to constructing our mom a Mother’s Day gift. I’ve always been a bit envious of his many talents, but what I’ve appreciated the most is his graciousness inletting his little sister join in and contribute. If you know Tim, you know he is never short of ideas and aspirations. You also know that his dedication and attention to detail ensure that what he sets his mind too, he will succeed. That same dedication is what sets him apart. Starting a business in the back corner of a garage with what looked like an antique wood lathe to me provided a foundation that you could argue to be the difference in his success. It was the idea of a humble beginning where he persevered through- withstood the test of time and resiliency.In reality, the space or equipment didn’t matter to him. He was doing what he loved and knew that if he was patient, opportunities would arise to grow. And that is exactly what happened.

TBB moved from the parents’ garage to a heated garage. Exciting growth occurring and the business’s first baseball season was approaching. Teammates were excited to begin swinging their new TBB bats and Tim was as excited to continue to meet the needs of his teammates. To this day, he continues to offer the individual the exact features he or she is looking for. While the business has had a couple more moves, and upgrades in equipment and technology along the way, the constant has always been and will always be his pride in what he does. After graduating college, I began my career in Iowa. Being in Iowa I am no longer part of the day to day operation of the business, but still have some involvement in the gear and apparel line and our charity fund. If you’re wondering who the QC person is now, like I mentioned Tim is gracious and never really needed me, but wanted to involve me in any way he could. He had no problem absorbing my role along with everything else he does for the business. I may ask for my role back if I find myself in the area again, but for now I am happy hearing the satisfaction the customers have, the changes and growth the business is undergoing and occasionally placing an order for shirts and sweatshirts.

All the best,

Sarah

Tim with the CNC Lathe