You may have never heard of FormShape, but the fiberglass manufacturer just might be one of the most successful companies in the Okanagan.
Now, a company that’s been flying under the radar for more than three decades has shaken things up and is starting to make a name for itself far beyond its usual circle of clients.
Adrian Witt is the director of sales and marketing at FormaShape. He says the company’s recent shift in focus has vaulted it into surprising new markets, setting the stage for even more international success in the years to come.
Working out of its Lake Country plant, FormaShape has been the manufacturing arm of Whitewater West Industries Ltd, one of the largest water park attraction companies in the world, since 1981.
The 120-person company produces the fiberglass components for Whitewater’s parks, which are located in hotels, resorts, attractions, and amusement parks around the world. Some of its most iconic pieces are Disney Cruise Line’s Mickey Mouse hand, and the Audubon Zoo alligator in New Orleans.
Over the years FormaShape has also pioneered its “architectural line,” positioning itself as a go-to manufacturer of the fiberglass cladding favoured by most gas stations.
These dual focuses helped FormaShape quietly solidify itself as one of Canada’s leaders in fiberglass manufacturing.
Now, propelled by a management shakeup, FormaShape has set its sights on even more ambitious projects.
Last year, the company decided to dramatically expand its architectural line to include everything from movie sets to solar cars to communication towers.
Drawing on the production power of the largest fiberglass-making machine in Western Canada, Witt says FormaShape can produce “almost anything you can imagine.”
“We can do any shape, any colour. We can round things, we can curve them; essentially we can do anything,” he says.
As it has pushed its product line, Witt says the team at FormaShape has adopted a “challenge us” mantra, asking clients to throw any and every type of project at them.
“We’ve taken on a bit of a mentality of pushing our boundaries and limits, really opening things up to see what we can accomplish with this amazing material,” he says. “We tell our clients to bring us anything and see if we can do it. Ninety-nine per cent of the time we can.”
Since that shift, Witt says FormaShape has manufactured everything from fiberglass manhole covers to microwave towers to underwater sea vehicles used to map the topography of the ocean floor.
“We’re introducing fiberglass into different industries now, as a better alternative to the old materials they’ve been using for years,” he says.
The move towards more work on movie sets, cutting-edge vehicles, and big architectural projects is exciting and promises to keep things interesting at one of the Okanagan’s largely unknown success stories for years to come.
For more information, check out FormaShape’s newly designed website, at www.formashape.com.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.
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