MetzFab Industries opened for business five short years ago, started by a young and ambitious man at the age of 20. Perhaps it is easier to start your own business when it is something you love to do, and Brandon Metzger loved welding and building products. He started welding when he was just 13 years old.
“I loved working with cars, and I didn’t have the money to buy the accessories, so I built them,” said Metzger. It may also have been easier for him to open his business because entrepreneurism runs in Brandon’s family. Metzger’s father Mark moved the family from Buffalo, NY to the Phoenix area when Metzger was a child, and he opened a manufacturing facility here in the Valley that builds machinery to automatically bag ice. Today, Metzger does all of the sheet fabrication for his father’s business, and he often helps with design work.
In his short employment career before starting MetzFab Industries, Metzger worked at a variety of companies; for a time he helped his father in the ice machine business, he was a welder for a fabrication company, he worked as a diesel mechanic and at Victory Lanes Sports Park, Big Bear Ice Arena, and the Glendale Arena.
“While I was working at each of these companies, I paid attention to how the owners ran their businesses. I learned how to work with financial packages like QuickBooks. I think this helped ready me to run my own business,” he said. Metzger also knew from his tenure at each of these companies that he didn’t want to work for anyone else – he wanted to be his own boss.
As an only child, and as is typical with only children, Metzger demonstrates maturity beyond his age. In between working, he went to school to become a helicopter pilot. “It was really great becoming licensed to fly helicopters, but when I graduated right about the time of the last recession, there weren’t job opportunities for helicopter pilots.” Metzger didn’t have a large amount of capital to invest into his new business (he was a kid – just 20 years of age) – but he had acquired a lot of fabrication equipment for his hobby. With little debt, just his truck loan and the tuition from helicopter school, Metzger launched MetzFab Industries with just 1 employee – himself. From its inception, MetzFab manufactured metal fabrication accessories, automotive accessories (e.g. brackets, chassis, shock mounts, aftermarket grills, switch panels), full hot rod builds and DIY kits, custom rolling chassis, UTV accessories and more for the greater Phoenix area.
“In the early days, MetzFab fabricated our own products. We designed the products and did 50% of the work. Then we outsourced the other 50% because we didn’t have the equipment we needed to do 100% of the work,” said Metzger. He continued, “This wasn’t a business model I liked – you had to rely on others – it cost us time and money. We don’t outsource anymore.”
One of Metzger’s favorite projects was rebuilding a 1930 Model A. “We built it from the ground up”, he said, “and it took 72 days from start to finish.” Business at MetzFab grew and Metzger needed more space. He had purchased a house and built a 3200 square foot shop on his property to accommodate the company’s growth. Sometimes bad things happen for a reason. The county Metzger was living in and operating his shop forbid him from continuing to operate the business on his property. “Once this happened, we looked for space to relocate the business, and we moved to our current shop in Deer Valley just six months ago”, he said. “It was the best thing that could have ever happened to our business.”
Once Metzger and the team moved to Deer Valley, machine shops nearby came to MetzFab for their fabrication capabilities. “We had renamed our custom aftermarket automotive and UTV accessories business ‘MFI’, and it operates as a separate division with its own website complete with online ordering capabilities. MetzFab became the entity of our business for cutting and general metal fabrication,” said Metzger.
Today, MetzFab, the fabrication arm of the business, is the fastest growing segment of his company. “Our move to Deer Valley launched us into the next level as a company. To support our fabrication customers, we purchased additional machinery,” said Metzger.
MetzFab Industries offers the following services to their customers:
- Ceramic Media Parts Tumbling
- CNC Machining
- CNC Plasma Cutting
- Tube Cutting and Bending
- Mig and Tig Welding
- Sheet Metal work
“Our newest capability is waterjet cutting,” Metzger said, adding, “We couldn’t have purchased and run the waterjet if we were still in the shop on my property — a waterjet consumes more power than we could accommodate — so again our move to our shop in Deer Valley helped us to add this new capability.”