Daryl and Gary Trimpe; K.I.T.S. MFG. INC.
The Trimpe brothers grew up on a farm in Northeast Pratt County. But it wasn’t until the early ‘80s that they decided to go into a business they knew all too well. Gary had worked in Alaska for four years in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. There he learned how a business was ran and decided the two of them too could be successful at their own business.
“We knew we could handle the shop part and over the years we learned how to handle the office part,” the brothers said. “The office part is important, but the location is the most important.”
The brothers got their start in the welding business beginning with the COOP and individual farmers bringing out machinery and equipment to have repaired, because they had the equipment and capabilities, unlike most people.
In 1983, the brothers opened a shop in Preston. Then in 1998-99 they moved their business to Pratt. They put the building up themselves during the night and worked during the day.
One night the brothers were enjoying a bowl of ice cream when they came up with the name K.I.T.S Manufacturing. It stands for Kansas Innovated Tig and Specialties. They chose the name because it didn’t make them sound small and they could grow their business with the name.
Daryl took welding and machinery classes at Pratt Community College, but he had never thought about taking business classes. For Gary his interest began in high school when he took a materials and process class.
The changes in the economy have made the Trimpe brothers adjust their business making it important to be diversified and do what you always want to do.
The advice they have for students today is: don’t put limitations on yourself and listen to those who gone through what you are looking into because they have been there, you don’t have to agree with them, but they have a lot of knowledge that may be useful; the business you choose should be something you enjoy doing, it needs to be something you look forward to doing every day.
No matter what you choose to do it needs to be something you enjoy and look forward to doing every day and you should always work hard and keep the quality high.
This program was implemented in 1988 to give the students at Pratt Community College the opportunity to interact with a businessperson from the area and learn about his/her experiences. For more information, please contact Junnae Landry, Accounting and Business Instructor, at (620) 450-2152.