A new store caters to clothing the area gas industry workers.
Magna-Solutions LLC, 32 Sawmill Road, Cogan Station opened May 29 to customize uniforms, embroider apparel and launder clothes for the gas industry employees.
Jay Franzen, one of the four owners, worked in the oil field supply shop.
Michele Richardson holds up gas-industry attire at Magna-Solutions on Sawmill Road in Cogan Station.
"I saw a need locally for clothing," Franzen said. "That's basically where it started."
He took his idea to another owner, Michele Richardson, who worked in the clothing industry.
The other owners, Andrea Franzen, Jay's wife and Michele's cousin, and Christian Richardson, Michele's husband, make it a family-owned business, run in what people still call the old Sawmill Furnishings building.
32 Sawmill Road,
Mon. to Thur. - 9 a.m.
to 5 p.m.
Sat. - Noon
to 7 p.m.
Sun. - By appt.
Before the business began, industry workers had to go to hardware stores where supplies were limited.
"We have more than your average hardware store," Michele said. "We can customize it if he wants to match fabrics."
Having a store just dedicated to outfitting needs gives the owners an opportunity to explain the safety features of the flame-resistant clothing. During the extraction process of drilling rigs, work-over rigs, wells and production facilities, workers are exposed to safety and health hazards, including hydrocarbon vapors that could ignite and cause flash fires.
The material burns on the outside of the jacket, but keeps the person inside safe.
"It's the difference between burning horribly and walking away to another day," Christian said.
Andrea and Michele attend meetings for safety officers and visit different companies to promote the store. They also received safety training from Penn College of Technology so they can work on site if needed.
"We want to educate guys on the reason why we're wearing the (flame-resistant clothing)," Andrea said. "The other places just push you out the door."
Christian said the biggest surprise for him about the business was the necessity of it.
"With any business, you hope it takes off," he said. "We're the only store dedicated to just this in the area."
Still in early days, the owners have so much business that they continually order more clothes than they expected to sell.
They also expanded into hard hats, safety boots, gloves and welding caps.
Some of the success relies on polling customers to see what it is needed. Women said that clothing in small sizes was hard to find. They also stocked up on reflective clothing.
Industry workers can come in individually or as a group to get outfitted and have their clothes altered to fit.
"If a company wants us to come there or close the store down for a night to measure all of the guys, we'll do it," Michele said. "We also do customized suits."
The store will host an apparel expo showcasing winter items for the gas industry Aug. 25, 26 and 27. Industry workers will walk in the products, representing the companies.
Future plans for the business include selling products online and expanding the building.
Magna-Solutions LLC is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 12 to 7 p.m. Saturday and by appointment only Sunday.