Starting in May of this year, our writers fanned out across AZ to showcase the people and companies shaping its manufacturing future. Here’s a list of our favorite profiles — and yours. The rising Chandler-based consumer manufacturer VB Cosmetics topped both.

VB Cosmetics (Chandler)

A biochemist with a background in both education and research science, VB founder Dr. Vivian Valenty’s dazzling new Chandler factory is poised to surpass a million units a year. “We are making everything in-house on our own,” Valenty explains in the interview, “which allows us to check the raw materials that come in and make sure that they are fit for our end product.”

With high-tech opportunities in semiconductors and aerospace stealing the news, VB is part of a surprising core of consumer manufacturing companies quietly positioning Arizona as an emerging epicenter of home-grown, local production.

Our readers agreed — VB was also the most-popular profile in the AZ Manufacturing Report this year.

Read VB Cosmetics’ manufacturer story here:…

Abrams Airborne Manufacturing, Inc. (Tucson)

President Gary Abrams’ eponymous powerhouse is one of the aforementioned fabricators leveraging know-how in aerospace, but the range of process capabilities that Abrams has assembled under one roof is fueling growth in multiple industries.

“Way back when it was popular to outsource everything,” Abrams says in the interview, “I was insourcing.” Today Abrams is a one-stop shop — an engineering, cutting, bending, fabricating, and finishing dynamo that, of course, is also a family-run business.

As America looks to reestablish its manufacturing chops, it need look no further than Tucson.

Read Abrams’ manufacturer story here:…

Mother Road Brewing Co. (Flagstaff)

It’s almost a requirement today for growth-minded states to flash craft beer and beverage bona fides. Michael Marquess’ home-grown Flagstaff brand fits the bill — part of a community that includes stellar operators like OHSO Brewing & Distillery, SanTan Brewing Company, and others.

Marquess’ Arizona fixation lands his brewery on our list. “We’re staying in the state of Arizona right now because it’s consuming everything we can manufacture and then some,” says Marquess in the interview.

Success may dictate otherwise in the future, but first, slaking the thirst of an admiring local clientele by investing in local production is what it’s all about.

Read Mother Road’s manufacturer story here:…

TYR Tactical (Peoria)

Sure, we admire TYR’s commitment to protecting first responders and military personnel with gear that founder Jason Beck may have designed himself. The story of his company makes for incredible reading.

But we’re also a sucker for any business that still manages to sew-and-make, at scale, in the U.S. Beck’s formula is to invest in people, in Arizona employees, a supply chain of human capital that makes Beck and TYR an outlier in the apparel and gear industry.

Read Beck’s manufacturer story here:…

Sewing cluster tie: Sonoran Stitch Factory (Tucson) & FABRIC (Tempe)

TYR’s corporate ethos is shared by a pair of small companies and visionary leaders doing great work to maintain a production-level workforce in Arizona.

Erica Yngve’s contract manufacturing operation, Sonoran Stitch Factory, is one. “We can become a hub here,” Yngve says in the interview. “LA used to be a big one, but that has been falling apart this last year or two because of COVID and other issues.”

FABRIC co-founders Angela Johnson and Sherri Berry are also sewing evangelists, flashing a business model that looks to enable short-run options in a market sector that long jettisoned that kind of flexibility.

Read the Sonoran Stich Factory manufacturer story here:…

Enjoy FABRIC’s manufacturer story here:…

Reader’s Choice | Top 5 profiles Arizona

Great minds think alike. Several of our Editor’s Choice features are also among our readers’ favorites — evidenced by page views — this year.

  1. VB Cosmetics
  2. IAC Industries
  3. Industrial Tool, Die & Engineering
  4. Dunn-Edwards Paints
  5. Latham Industries

Angela Rose is Executive Editor of CompanyWeek. If you think your manufacturing company would make a great feature, let her know at