My company, Magna-Solutions, LLC designs and carries secondary flame-resistant (FR) work wear, raingear and accessories, to protect the men and women of today’s petrochemical and energy industries. Magna-Solutions LLC, based out of the Williamsport, PA area, was created to service the huge volume of workers in the energy sector who needed FR apparel and accessories. The FR Clothing Apparel industry generates $900 million dollars in revenue annually, and in late 2010-OSHA mandated all workers operating on active rig sites must wear FR gear clothing. Getting Started in the Natural Gas IndustryWhen the Natural Gas Industry came into the Marcellus area in 2008, the city of Williamsport geared up to help the new coming industry. Williamsport, now considered the energy capital of Pennsylvania, is currently ranked among the top 10 fastest-growing small cities in the USA. Magna is a prime example of a new business that is experiencing positive growth that is directly attributable to the developing Natural Gas Industry in northeast PA.Many analysts may have initially believed that multinational energy companies, national trucking companies, or construction outfits were the only businesses that would benefit from the energy industry expansion. There are, however, a large number of small businesses that are experiencing growth, creating jobs in the area and benefiting monetarily. This opportunity provided Magna the chance to show the positive effects of energy exploration on small business.Magna-Solutions is a local business, officially formed in 2011 by partners native to Williamsport who recognized the need to provide certified FR gear to the corporations operating within and around the Marcellus Shale area. The idea for Magna Solutions was formed at a party on Halloween night, 2010. Jay Franzen, a Williamsport native and veteran of the gas and oilfield supply industry, had recognized the explosive growth taking place throughout Lycoming County. He spoke with Michele Richardson (another Williamsport native and his wife Andrea's cousin) about the local energy industry’s immediate need for flame-resistant clothing.
Michele, with over 10 years experience in the New York fashion industry as a menswear designer, was able to develop a sample line of custom FR work wear, which later grew into Magna FR. Andrea Franzen, Jay’s wife and a Williamsport business owner, joined in the business venture with Christian Richardson (Michele’s husband and a Penn State alumni) to form Magna-Solutions LLC in January 2011. In a sluggish national economy, the four partners self-financed the new business. Magna Solutions persevered and became cashflow positive in only six months. Andrea and Michele now handle daily operations, making Magna-Solutions a woman owned and operated business. Today, Magna-Solutions is the only company in the area that specializes in the natural gas industry and supplies all-FR gear, oilfield boots and FR accessories. Magna also designs and produces their own line of FR work wear- MAGNA-FR, and also exclusively carries over 12 different work garment manufacturers. Magna can customize any and all work wear to meet the unique needs of each customer, and can provide gear in an almost infinite amount of variations- from different FR fabrics and colors, to custom logos, embroidery and specifications; Magna can satisfy virtually any request.Magna-Solutions will go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction. Magna’s sales staff (who are all Safeland Trap certified) frequently visit rig sites to ensure every detail of an order is just right, as well as to size up a company’s entire workforce. Michele and Andrea are always willing to educate a client on two facts- that an investment in FR clothing can save lives; and that the cost of FR clothing pales in comparison to the cost of treating and rehabilitating just one worker after a flash fire or arc fire accident in which non-FR clothing is worn. Looking Beyond the Marcellus ShaleMagna-Solutions continues to expand regionally, nationally and internationally. Most recently Magna visited the Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago to confirm orders with international energy exploration corporations, to meet with the Trinidad and Tobago government, and to conduct interviews with national newspapers. Magna has even contracted two FR gear specialty factories which allows them to serve the entire range of energy industry operators- ranging from small outfits to multinational corporations. From 1 coverall to custom orders of 60,000+ pieces, Magna can do it all.