The Blankennagel family has brought back mailing, packing and shipping services to downtown Tyler.
Nearly three years after the U.S. Postal Service shuttered the longtime post office on West Erwin Street, Thomas Blankennagel, along with his parents, Sharon and Greg Blankennagel, opened Sharpline Shipping on March 15. They are hosting an open house and ribbon-cutting celebration at 9:30 a.m. today.
Sharpline Shipping is an authorized ship center for FedEx, DHL, Lone Star Overnight and the U.S. Postal Service. The business offers office supplies and is an HP ink authorized dealer. Customers also can fax, copy, print and have access to free WiFi. They also offer binding services, as well as professional packing and gift wrapping, Blank- ennagel said.
Blankennagel, 17, of Hawkins, was home-sschooled and graduated in May, and said he has wanted to start his own business “since before I can remember.” He recalls playing store manager and restaurant manager as a kid.
His mother, who works at Sharpline Shipping part time, works as a diagnostician in the special education department at Tyler Independent School District, while his father is a salesman for Bralco Metals in Garland.
Blankennagel said he began researching businesses needed in the area and after finding that the U.S. Postal Service in downtown closed, he decided to open a business there to serve the office community.
He said they are only renting half of the space that was formerly occupied by the Postal Service to get a feel for how many people need post office boxes before renting that extra space and adding that service.
Blankennagel said they plan to open more stores, possibly in Longview, if the Tyler business does well.