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Horn Welding - From Hobby to Business
Posted 03 - 09 - 2010

Photo: Eddie Horn stands by his most challenging job, a welded fence incorporating curves in the design. (Photo by Chelsea K. Wemhoff)

For the 3-15-10 Chamber page; Daily Sentinel

Horn Welding - From Hobby to Business

By Chelsea K. Wemhoff

Chamber Intern

Eddie Horn’s work can be seen throughout the eastern half of Texas, from Houston to Austin to Nacogdoches and points in between.

Customers normally won’t find him “at the shop.”

As the owner of Horn Welding, he doesn’t run a permanent welding facility where customers order work.

Horn is mobile, on-call and ready to travel to the customer’s site.

“Mobility is a great advantage for the customer,” Horn said. “Not only is it more convenient, but during the construction process if the customer sees something he or she wants done differently, I’m able to change it immediately, no matter the circumstances.  

“If somebody is broken down on the side of the road or needs an axle fixed on a trailer, we will come out and help them. We actually did just that last month in Louisiana.”

Horn arrived in Nacogdoches in 1997 from Houston. He set his sights on a forestry degree from Stephen F. Austin State University, intending to be a wild-land firefighter.

After graduation he became a fireman at the Appleby Fire Department.

He worked in Appleby as a firefighter for 10 years and as training officer for two years.

He signed on with the Nacogdoches Fire Department in 2003, working a full schedule, 24 hours on and 48 hours off.

During his time away from the fire department, Eddie enjoys hobbies that include deer and squirrel hunting, fishing, four-wheeling and pretty much anything outdoors.

Welding also started out as a hobby, but took a decidedly professional turn.

“I’ve actually been welding in Nacogdoches since 2001, and we acquired our DBA in 2008,” Horn said. “So we weren’t technically a business until 2008.”

 Horn welds when he isn’t putting out fires, or otherwise at the fire department.

His wife Hilary encouraged him to become serious about his emerging skill.

“It started out as a hobby during his free time,” she said. “Then the business got so big with so many customers that he decided to work as a sole proprietorship.”

 Horn recently finished fencing a pool area for clients Lois and Royal Powell. The Powells agreed that Eddie is a perfectionist who wants to be personally satisfied with his work when finished.  He also has a creative, problem-solving streak.

 “Others that looked at the job said we had to make the fence square, and that’s not what we wanted to do,” Lois said. “A friend recommended Eddie because he would be up for the challenge. Eddie managed to build the fence we wanted, designing it to meet the needs of the pool.”

“I have never found a job I haven’t been able to do or complete no matter how complicated it is,” Horn said.

During the past ten years Eddie has been building a strong reputation, and has benefitted from word of mouth. It wasn’t until this past February that he and Hilary decided to list Horn Welding in the Nacogdoches phonebook.  He joined the Nacogdoches County Chamber in September 2009, getting an extra boost from the online listing on the Chamber’s Web site,

He says challenges for Horn Welding include working around the weather and keeping prices low.

“He worked through the rainy, cold weather and was very consistent and persistent,” Lois Powell said.

Because he runs a mobile business, it is hard to keep costs low. According to Horn, he tries to keep comparable prices to his competitors that have shops.

“If we can do a job quicker and charge less to the customer, then I would look in to buying the machinery to do it,” Eddie said. “I’m always looking for ways to improve the services to our customers.” He is giving some thought to expanding to online services to increase customer convenience.

Eddie is a family man who comes home to wife Hilary and newborn son Isaac after his long shifts at the fire department or challenging welding projects.

Hilary and Eddie attended the same high school, but did not reconnect until a decade after graduation.

“We have known each other forever,” Hilary said. “After high school and several years of separation, in 2007 our paths just crossed.”  

While in Houston for a firefighter conference, Eddie met up with his family at a restaurant. “Our families know each other so her family was eating with my family,” Eddie said. Hilary was a part of the group and “things went from there.”

The Horn family now lives in Nacogdoches. Hilary is “busy, busy, busy” with baby Isaac, selling Mary Kay Cosmetics from home and working on her degree in business management from Stephen F. Austin. She says she always finds time to help out with her husband’s company. “I help him get organized, with receipts, data entry and customers,” Hilary said.

Mr. Horn confirmed “She is a big help!”

Whether it is fighting a fire or welding an axle, Eddie Horn is quick to respond, ready to mobilize and only satisfied when the job is done right.

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