A Gripping Success Story: Mob Armor Sees Growth & Expansion in Santa Maria
A local manufacturing company has a tight grip on success. Mob Armor provides heavy duty holders for smartphones and tablets. Their recent product line growth has allowed the business to expand locally.
“We have taken a new approach to smartphone and tablet holding devices,” explained Trevor Orrick, Vice President of Mob Armor. “Our products are engineered to withstand rugged extreme conditions in some of the harshest conditions on the planet.”
The company’s products are made from start to finish in the Mob Armor warehouse in Santa Maria. “All of our products are designed, engineered, and hand assembled here in Santa Maria,” Orrick said. “We take pride in every unit that ships out of our door. I can confidently say we stand behind our products 100%.”
Orrick says starting his own company was something that had always been in his nature. Prior to Mob Armor, Orrick and his team created three other brands and product lines. Orrick says these companies, while successful in the Business to Business (B2B) market, did not do well in the consumer market. Orrick believes Mob Armor is their first product line that has the opportunity of seeing national growth on the B2B and consumer level.
“Early on, my lead engineer Joel Hitchen saw an opportunity and I supported it,” Orrick explained. “Joel really was the inspiration and developed the culture for Mob Armor.”
Lead engineer Joel Hitchen said that finding the niche market of consumers that the Mob Armor brand serves is what has lead the brand to be so successful. “Taking the quality over quantity approach really led us into the market with a new approach, let us take the attention, and grabbed a market that was unattended,” Hitchen explained. “[This] gave us a niche and an opening to be successful with the Mob Armor brand.”
And they’ve certainly seen success. Orrick says his local team is ready and excited to tackle the challenges that come with the fast growth of their company.
“We are still in an explosive growth phase and this is extremely difficult to manage but my team and I have done an excellent job staying on top of it,” he said. “This is the first company that I have started that has had to think about international markets and be able to scale up to support that vision. There is no clear-cut path that we have for this. It's a lot of trial and error then fix and move forward.”
Mob Armor is expanding its offices in Santa Maria and also hiring additional staff to help support the increased demand for Mob Armor products. Orrick says continuing to have their company based out of Santa Maria has a lot of benefits.
“Santa Maria has given us the ability to do everything under one roof, sales, customer service, media, design, engineering and production,” he said. “Inexpensive fiber optics has allowed us to have the bandwidth we needed to scale all of our software, VOIP, and server needs economically.”
Additionally, the location is an easy commute for Mob Armor employees, the majority of whom live in Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo. The location is also conveniently located near the Oceano Dunes, which is an ideal spot for testing new smartphone holder devices in a rugged, off-road environment.
“We see a bright future for Santa Maria Valley as a whole and want to support it as much as we can,” explained Orrick.
At the same time, Mob Armor sees the challenges that new regulations will bring their company and others based in California.
“In my opinion Santa Maria will need to educate the current and future work force in new technologies. Many manufacturing companies like ours are moving out of California due to over regulation but primarily due to the fact they will not be able to support the coming minimum wage increases. We need to be able to prepare for the future and build a company that can support a real living wage not just minimum wage, which some estimate at $24.00 an hour for technical level positions.”
For Mob Armor, this means incorporating new computerized machinery and training people with the skill sets needed to operate it. In order to continue their success and get the talented workforce they need, Orrick says relationships with local community educators and leaders are crucial.
“It will take partnerships with local leaders to build training programs at the high schools, community college, and trade schools,” Orrick explained.
And Mob Armor has already begun building those relationships. They work closely with the Strategic Vitality LLC’s STEM week program for youths. They will also be supporting the SBB College's SMV Tech Summit 2.0.
Mob Armor's ability to adapt was recently recognized by the Economic Alliance of Northern Santa Barbara County, who awarded the company the 2017 Technology Innovation Award.
As Mob Armor continues to grow, Hitchen says being able to give his team new opportunities within the company is one of the most rewarding parts of his job.
“Watching our team grow and seeing other people share our vision and take on new roles within the company is really exciting,” he said. “It has been very rewarding to get people on board that are also passionate about what we are doing. It is also awesome to see our product worldwide and get recognized at a larger scale.”
Mob Armor is located at 2360 Thompson Way, Ste E in Santa Maria. You can learn more about their product line of smartphone and tablet holders by visiting www.mobarmor.com.