CBS 58 Investigates: Milwaukee Blacksmith, Out of the Ashes

CBS 58 Investigates: Milwaukee Blacksmith, Out of the Ashes

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- At Milwaukee Blacksmith, they know a lot about the fire -- what can come out of the flames and rise from the ashes.

"It was something that weighed on us terribly, and we didn't know how to fix it," said Shannon Knapp, Milwaukee Blacksmith.

Last year, a CBS 58 investigation showed owners Kent and Shannon Knapp owed a lot of money.

One customer paid $5,000 and never received his iron chandelier until he filed a small claims suit. The family was $8,000 dollars behind in rent, had court judgments against them for $50,000 dollars, including a $36,000 dollar loan they didn't pay and an additional $18,000 in pending lawsuits.

As of today, not all judgments are satisfied, but every case against Milwaukee Blacksmith and its owners is closed or dismissed.

The Knapps say that investigation opened a door.

"We had let hurt feelings and egos get in the way for far too long in several situations, and thanks to you and contacting those people we made all of that right. We have made payments to the one person we owed money too; we rebuilt the chandelier for the other. having a clean slate feels really great," said Shannon Knapp.

"We couldn't be happier. He did a nice job," said Robert Forrer.

The chandelier is now hanging in Forrer's foyer.

"It's all heavy steel wire and he twisted it all and so it gave the post instead of a shiny look, a beat, patterned look," said Forrer, who says Milwaukee Blacksmith wanted to make things right the second time around.

The Knapps are also on good terms with the new landlord, and they paid their old landlord back before the original investigation aired.

And the man who co-signed the $36,000 student loan says he is being paid back in installments.

THE Knapps say their History Channel show put everything on hold -- their business and their income which was mostly commission.

CBS 58 stopped by a 'School of Iron' class.

In the last year, Milwaukee Blacksmith expanded their classes for the public, helping their bottom line.

"We teach 6 different classes from cold stamping jewelry to blacksmithing, to date night," said Shannon Knapp.

They've also been working with a financial advisor.

"He's taught us how to be a better us so we can stay alive, kids can continue and we can keep putting art in the community," said Kent Knapp.

In more than 365 days, they've paid back around $15,000 dollars but gained something too.

"We're in such a better place than we were a year ago and much of that had to do with cleansing our world," said Kent.

Shannon finished his sentence.

"It has to burn down before it can regrow."

Share this article: