Round Rock, Texas
Stock and custom magnets including neodymium varieties, assemblies, and housings
When Tim Boettcher was working as an IT manager at a semiconductor company, he became fascinated with the magnets he found inside a PC. So fascinated, in fact, that he began researching how to go about importing neodymium -- or rare earth -- magnets from abroad for sale in the U.S. He launched Amazing Magnets in 2002 as a result, and by 2007, the company had fulfilled more than 10,000 orders, doubled its staff, and moved from Boettcher's garage to a facility in Tustin, California.
"Now Tim has a massive business," says Shaman Wynn, Amazing Magnets' sales and marketing manager. "He has had to upgrade the warehouse and where we are every five years, so it has been a fun ride."
Today, Amazing Magnets is headquartered in Round Rock, Texas, in a new 42,000-square-foot facility that opened its doors in 2022. The move was prompted by a need for room to grow as well as economic pressures.
"We were crammed into a tiny little hole-in-the-wall place and needed a bigger one," Shaman says. "California is incredibly expensive and not as nice to corporations as Texas is. We're able to have plenty of space here. It also lined up more with our values and how we wanted to be able to treat our people, take care of our people, and give them the ability to grow."
Though Amazing Magnets still stocks a sizeable catalog of standard magnets -- ranging from mounting, glassboard, and whiteboard magnets to special purpose and special function polymagnets -- custom magnets and custom projects are where the company really shines.
"A custom magnet is just taking a magnet -- any magnet that we normally sell -- and doing it in a different size than it normally comes," Wynn says. "So, maybe an automotive company needs a magnet that will fit within a specific apparatus, and it's not a conventional size. Our amazing engineers can change the size to what they need, do up the drawings, get them approved, send out some samples, and we get them the magnets."
Custom projects range from simple magnetic solutions to "the most amazing ideas that we've never seen before," Wynn continues. "Custom project clients include anyone from inventors who are using magnets for different things, to mom and pop companies, to Fortune 500 companies. And we get our team of engineers, our sales team, and our purchasing team all together and talk through how we can best get the customer a magnetic solution to their problem."
Amazing Magnets is one of only seven manufacturers licensed to create neodymium magnets through a specific 22-step process. While Wynn notes that there are many companies selling non-licensed rare earth magnets, "the pull force, the strength, could be unpredictable. It could also have different heat tolerances and whatnot."
The company recently earned ISO 9001-2015 certification, "which includes design," Wynn notes, "which is incredibly difficult to do." Its engineering and design teams utilize 3D printers, CNC machines, and laser etching equipment to create prototypes of custom magnets and projects. The company will be adding magnetizers to its design shop sometime this year. "Then we can get the raw materials sent over to us, and we'll be able to shape and magnetize them here," Wynn says. "And we'll be able to overmold them or put them in different types of apparatuses for custom projects."
Once prototypes are approved, full scale manufacturing of the custom magnets takes place in China. "There are only seven facilities in the world that are technically licensed to manufacture neodymium magnets," Wynn says, "and we work with five or six of them regularly. We've had deep relationships with them where we've been working with them for over 20 years."
Challenges: "Logistics was our biggest challenge," says Wynn. "But we've been able to hire amazing talent and partner with amazing companies that have helped us overcome those logistic valleys -- and we've become more lean, and smarter, and stronger because of it."
Opportunities: "We're currently in the market research phase, and I cannot tell you exactly what they are, but we're very excited about some new product lines and verticals," Wynn says. "It could completely revolutionize our business and add a massive increase to our sales revenue."
Wynn notes that Amazing Magnets enjoyed double-digit growth last year and is already projecting "much larger double-digit growth" in 2023. "We're already on track to do quite a bit more than we did last year," he adds.
While furniture manufacturers, industrial manufacturers, and distributors are three of the largest industry segments the company serves, "If there's an industry, we're probably in it," Wynn says. "We're actually in talks with the defense industry right now and a couple companies that are deeply within the automotive industry. Also, aerospace. It's pretty exciting stuff."
Needs: "We've been wanting to be more active in the community and [find ways] to serve those in the community that don't have as much as we are blessed to have," Wynn says. "When you say 'need,' my mind goes to a need to fill that want that we have as a company. And we're currently working on plans to do that."