Steel entrepreneur finds a niche too good to pass up

When a couple of major players in the steel business decided to get out of the business of selling to small customers, Guy Jessop waited for someone to jump into the void.

He waited.

And he waited some more before deciding that if anyone was going to grab the market, it was going to be Jessop himself.

So the 36-year-old businessman, who also owns Advanced Powder Coating & Sandblasting LLC, last week launched a steel distribution division at Metal Masters Inc. in Sparks.

The division supplies new steel materials cut to length for smaller

fabricators, contractors and do-it-yourselfers.

Metal Masters employs four at its facilities at 1831 Deming Way in Sparks.

The niche filled by the new business developed, Jessop said, as Reno Steel closed its new steel division, and PDM Steel Service Center focused on larger customers.

"We thought that someone would rise to the challenge," Jessop said. But when he started getting calls to Metal Masters from competitors looking for small steel pieces, he said the opportunity became to great to ignore.

"We're shifting gears and turning our friends and competitors into customers," he said.

At the same time, Jessop acknowledges that he worried that launching the new division essentially, an entirely new business might overwhelm him.

"I thought I couldn't get my hands involved in too many things," he said.

Metal Masters Inc. stocks ornamental and wrought iron; square and rectangular tubing; angle iron; flat, round and square bars; round tubes and channel materials. It all can be cut to length.

Jessop opened Metal Masters in 1992 as a sideline while he was working at Crumrine Manufacturing, a crafter of belt buckles and jewelry based in Reno.

Crumrine needed someone to design and build its stainless steel plating racks, and Jessop took on the job.

Metal Masters went on to build custom metal projects ranging from BLM horse feeders to security fencing for high-end residences and government agencies throughout the west.

Among its recent projects is a four-acre security enclosure for the U.S. Geological Survey in Carson City.


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