Ty’s Outdoor Power has officially marked 20 years in business! From the earliest days, our philosophy has been all about providing superior service and outstanding customer experiences. To mark this occasion, we take a look back in time and hear some plans for the future from the founders themselves.
First thing first, since we get asked all the time: Is Ty a real person?
Yes, he’s a real person. Ty’s Outdoor Power is owned and operated by Ty Lisiecki, his wife Lori, and their family, with support from a team of dedicated employees.
You have to go way back to see how Ty’s Outdoor Power came to be. Ty grew up as a small engine service technician. A tinkerer from the time he was young, Ty has always enjoyed working with his hands and fixing things. In the late 90s and early 2000s, he worked as a service technician for Pruitt, Inc., while Lori ran a small home daycare.
When talking to his employer at the time, Ty told them he saw a real need for a small engine and outdoor power service center in the west Omaha area. After no small amount of convincing, Pruitt opened a small store in Gretna – the second location for Pruitt.
They gave it about 18 months to get off the ground and start turning a profit. Unfortunately, due to a lack of publicity, insufficient advertising, and not enough word-of-mouth from customers, the Gretna location was about to be shut down in 2003.
Before that could happen, Pruitt Inc. made Ty an offer. “Well, they asked me if I wanted to buy the assets and start my own thing,” Ty said.
At 28 years old, Ty and Lori had just purchased their first house. Lori was pregnant with their second child and was incredibly uneasy about making that leap. “I was nine months pregnant. It was a scary proposition.”
Ty continued to talk to Pruitt about other possibilities, but the facts remained:
- Pruitt was closing the Gretna shop, one way or another.
- They’d also filled his position at the previous location – so there was no going back.
- He had to find another job… or they had to find the guts to open this business on their own.
“I wasn’t ready for it,” he said. “But that’s the best way to operate sometimes. Scared. You’re going to do everything you can not to fail. Circumstances kind of forced me into it, but 20 years later, here we are.”
Fortunately, he wasn’t going in blind. When the opportunity arose, Ty already had 15 years of experience in the industry. “At that point, between my high school years working in a small engine shop and my time at Pruitt,” he said, “I had the experience. I knew the equipment and everything. It only made sense to stay in this.”
So, Ty sold his Chevy Camero to raise the funds to buy the business. Lori asked her mother if she would help with the business and their young children, and she agreed. They barely had the money and support they needed.
Lori’s mother became the business’s first employee, and the family decided to go all in.
Bigger and Better Than Ever Before
The Lisiecki family’s gamble paid off. After a few years, Ty’s Outdoor Power had a reputation for incredible service and honest, friendly staff. The business supported the community, sponsoring school events and the Chamber of Commerce. “We try to get involved in Gretna Days, too,” Ty said.
The Gretna community supported them right back, getting mowers fixed and buying new snow blowers when winter rolled around. “I found out pretty quickly that I could be good at the retail side as well as repair and service,” he said.
That realization helped the Lisieckis keep growing the business – branching out into more options, more brands, and more ways to serve the Greater Omaha and Gretna communities.
Ty wanted to help other small business owners succeed, so Ty’s Outdoor Power made a name for itself by offering fair prices and prompt service for commercial lawn care and snow removal companies. The service team and parts department are dedicated to making every piece of equipment perform and last through years of heavy use. Ty’s also offers special promotions, discounts, and services specifically for commercial operators and small businesses.
Ty’s Outdoor Power also added pick-up and delivery service for their customers when they learned that finding time (or a truck) was a big reason many residential customers didn’t have their mowers serviced annually.
They also added a big benefit to all new purchases; unlike the big box stores, when people buy new equipment at Ty’s Outdoor Power, the team always makes sure the new mower, blower, or hand tool is gassed up, oiled up, and ready to run for the customer. Ty’s team will even show you how to use your new outdoor power equipment to make sure you have the best experience possible.
This superior standard of service and neighborly care is part of the reason that Ty’s Outdoor Power has been voted the Best of Omaha in small engine service every year they’ve been eligible to compete.
Finally, in 2018, the Lisieckis opened their newest store. Located just off Cornhusker Highway in Lincoln, Ty’s Outdoor Power in Lincoln serves the southeast Nebraska area for outdoor power equipment, including acreages and commercial customers in addition to Lincoln’s homeowners and families.
Due to other business expansion in the area, the Omaha location has permanently closed, but Ty’s Outdoor Power continues to grow.
In 2023, the Gretna location added a massive, state-of-the-art service center to help offer more jobs, speed up repair turnaround times, and help more people in the community get the reliable service they need on the equipment they already own.
Hopes for the Future
Ty and Lori are already thinking about the next 20 years for Ty’s Outdoor Power. They hope to see another generation of Lisieckis at the helm.
“We have children. Now, this is a lot of work,” Ty admits, laughingly. “But as long as they’re up for it, I’d love to see them take it over.”
Lori agrees, pointing out that the work is never done. “They’ll have to find a very understanding partner! This business is a lot.” The couple laughs, and Ty agrees, “Find someone patient. Yes, it’s a lot. A lot.”
“When you open a business,” Lori explains, “It’s a commitment, and you have to make sacrifices.”
Ty agrees and admits that he had to put a lot of time and effort into making the business a success. He missed out on a lot of time with their kids. “There’s a lot you just can’t do during business hours. There’s a lot of heavy lifting, things I can’t ask other people to do. Lori is very patient and very understanding. She’s been the best partner I could have.”
Despite adding dozens of employees, the business is still very much a family affair. For these high school sweethearts, it’s been a long ride from that scary decision in 2003. “I’d love to write a book someday to tell the kids the full story,” Lori says.
Fun Facts About Ty’s Outdoor Power
- Ty’s Outdoor Power has been one of the biggest Hustler dealers each year! They’ve finished 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in the country each year.
- Ty’s has the state’s largest selection of Stihl equipment available in-store.
- Ty’s Outdoor Power has won the Best of Omaha contest for at least one category for nearly ten years!
- The store added Cub Cadet products in 2023 for the first time in store history.
- The Gretna location has expanded from a single rental bay in 2003, to owning the property in 2006, to three warehouse-sized buildings on the property in 2023.
Come Celebrate 20 Years at Ty’s Outdoor Power
This anniversary is too big to be contained to just one day, so the celebration will continue all year long! We’ll have special events coming up soon, like our annual Open House in the spring. Follow Ty’s Outdoor Power on Facebook to stay in the know!