Mobility Prosthetics is the newest prosthetics company in Utah and their highest priority is to take care of those who must deal with amputation during their lifetime. Mobility Prosthetics wants to help them get back to living the life that they want to live as soon as possible. They firmly believe that building prosthetic limbs is about people, not profits which is why they use advanced digital scanning, computer-aided design and 3D printing in order to make the process quicker, more convenient and more comfortable for the people who are dealing with so much already. They also offer in-home patient care. When they first came to us for their loan we were blown away by what they wanted to do for the community and knew we just had to sit down with owner Brian Greer to learn more.
UMLF: Tell us about the team behind Mobility Prosthetics and your backgrounds?
Brian: I was raised in Utah and moved to California in 2001. There I met a 4 year old girl who was born with no arms and no legs. I met her prosthetist, who was able to make her prosthetic arms and a custom wheelchair, and I was hooked. I began working as a Technician and learning from him all about the profession. Since that time, I have accepted positions in various companies across the country, always watching for the right opportunity to return to Utah. In 2016, the time was right and I moved back home, bringing with me the knowledge and experience that I gained over the last 15 years. Digital scanning, computer-aided design and 3D printing have become the foundation of my approach to patient care and in 2018 I teamed up with Ty Oswald and, together, we began Mobility Prosthetics. When I am not building prosthetics or tinkering with the 3D printer, you can usually find me playing basketball or hide-and-seek with my five kids, or going on a walk with my lovely wife, Lindsay, who has stuck beside me over 13 years and many, many moves. I met Ty in 2018 and we both felt like we could create a great partnership. We each bring unique strengths to the organization and together, we have great synergy.
Ty Oswald is also from Utah. Growing up he loved to play sports and be active in the outdoors. He was introduced to the world of prosthetics at 18 years old, when he was diagnosed with a form of cancer that required him to make the difficult decision to amputate his right leg, just below the hip. He has over 30 years of experience in the field and he possesses a unique ability to connect with patients because of his firsthand knowledge of what they are experiencing. Patients love to learn from him and feel that he really listens to their wants and needs. When he is not working with patients you can find him playing with his dog or spending time with his daughter, who is in high school. He also still loves to spend time in the outdoors.
UMLF: What made you want to start Mobility Prosthetics? What inspired you?
Brian: Ty and I both have a passion for helping people. We have both been working in the prosthetics industry for a long time and we have seen a lot of companies that, although well-intentioned, sometimes lose sight of what is most important. In the hectic day-to-day dealings it is easy to get distracted by profits, difficult situations and critical choices. Over the years, we have developed a strong belief that a prosthetics company can and should be focused on people, not profits. In 2018, we felt that if we wanted the freedom to focus on people, we would probably need to start our own practice, and Mobility Prosthetics was born.
UMLF: How have prosthetics changed over the years? Tell us about the technology you use?
Brian: Technology is changing so rapidly and the prosthetics industry is falling behind. While many prosthetics companies are still using the same techniques and equipment that was used 50 years ago, we are the first prosthetists in Utah to use advanced digital scanning, computer-aided design and 3D printing in order to design and build prosthetic limbs. This enables us to offer free in-home patient care, which is also very unique to this area. Not only are we able to use this technology today but we are teaming up with engineers to improve and develop the technology that will continue to advance this industry in the future. Computerized knees, hydraulic ankles, vacuum suspension, may sound futuristic, but they are all common place at Mobility Prosthetics.
UMLF: Every business has its highs and lows. Tell us about a challenge you faced as a small business owner and how you overcame it?
Brian: One of the greatest challenges that we have faced has been understanding the rules and regulations regarding starting and running a prosthetics company. Navigating this complex world has tested our patience, our determination and our confidence in ourselves and each other. As partners, we have leaned on each other for strength and support. We push each other to be better and we work hard together in order to tackle each and every challenge. With the right amount of focus and a lot of help from many people outside of our organization, we are succeeding every day and we feel very optimistic about the future.
UMLF: How do you believe the Utah Microloan Fund has helped you and your business?
Brian: Without Utah Microloan Fund, we would not be in business today. They believed in us when almost no one else did. Because our business is new and somewhat untested, we faced many closed doors, unanswered calls and emails. UMLF was honest and straightforward with us. They were helpful and reassuring throughout the process. While other groups took weeks to communicate with us, UMLF didn’t let a day go by without calling or emailing us. We always knew what the next step in the process was and we were very grateful for the guidance that we received from everyone in that office. Seeing that they believed in us and wanted us to succeed increased our confidence in ourselves and that shines through in our business.
We want to extend a big thank you to Mobility Prosthetics and congratulate them on being our March Small Business of the Month!
To stay in touch with Mobility Prosthetics:
Our interview this week is with one of our favorite Utah non-profits, Local First Utah. Local First has a lot of exciting new things happening including a newly-launched website, a revamped model to benefit member businesses and their new Indie Business Academy which is why we sat down with Executive Director Kristen Lavelett this week so we could learn more!
UMLF: So for those who don't know, what is Local First Utah?
Kristen: We are Utah’s leading independent business alliance, which really means that as a non-profit organization, we exist to strengthen relationships between small business and their communities. Rather than seeing independent businesses working alone, in silos, focusing on competing against other businesses, Local First Utah works to find ways that indies can collaborate and cooperate with each other. It’s the old adage of “a rising tide floats all boats.”
We also work to educate the public about the benefits of buying from locally-owned businesses. A lot of these benefits are pretty intrinsic. Locals keep more money on our economy, locals help define sense of place in our communities -- they are reflective of the towns and cities where they grow. I could get into all the details, but sometimes it’s just easier to sum it up by saying “locals do it better!”
We work closely with local government as well. Both with elected and appointed officials, we work to help governing agencies understand how their policies impact local business, or what kinds of support small businesses need from the city and state governments.
UMLF: How do you think the Utah Microloan Fund and Local First Utah work together?
Kristen: You know, I kind of consider us to be part of an extended support network for indie businesses. Both of our organizations focus on different needs that small businesses have. The UMLF helps with funding, we help with marketing. But, you and I both know, that boiling our work down to simplest terms leaves out a lot of relational elements of what we do. UMLF and Local First Utah, aren’t just part of a support network for small businesses, we’re more like the extended family of the family-run business.
And, not very many people know this, but Local First Utah owes a lot to UMLF … we had a little office here for years, which UMLF provided to us for free, so coming back to the office today for this chat with you brings up a lot of memories.
UMLF: What’s new with Local First Utah? We know you have a bunch of exciting new developments happening!
Kristen: Lots! So much actually that it’s hard to know where to start. Probably the biggest change this year, is that we’ve launched -- for the first time ever -- a membership platform for business that want to make the most of their partnership with Local First Utah.
We’re actually one of the oldest independent business alliances in the country. Being established in 2006, our founders were really ahead of the curve in creating this organization. And we when we were founded, we committed to providing our resources to independent businesses for free. This generosity is really one of our core values as an organization, as long as a business meets our very simple criteria of being locally owned, and independently operated, they can partner with us. But, over the years, and working as one of the only statewide independent business alliances in the country, delivering our services for free has really made it difficult to ensure that we’re serving Utah’s independent businesses as well we want to.
So, this year, we’ve transitioned to being a membership organization. That’s not quite as stuffy as it might seem. We’re not abandoning any of the businesses that have been free partners with us over the year. We’ve just created more concrete connections with those businesses that want to join as members.
We’ve also created an educational series call the Indie Business Academy. We host classes once a quarter, but what’s unique about the Indie Business Academy, is that all the classes over the course of the year are connected by a theme. This year’s theme is “Managing Your Online Brand Identity.” So, we’re kicking things off with a class called “Your First Front Door: Website Customer Experience.” Our other classes cover social media, and handling online reviews, among other subjects.
There are a lot of incredible small business educational opportunities in our community. In fact, UMLF hosts some really great classes! So, the goal of these classes, falling in line with Local First Utah’s mission is to make them very collaborative.
We’re hosting all of the classes at Church & State, a locally owned business incubator, and the curriculum we’ve developed allows for a really hands on learning environment. Not only do we have experts in their various fields leading the classes, but they are set up to create opportunities from small business owner to learn from one another. The classes are open to members and non-members alike, but members will receive personalized, implementable recommendations from our experts.
Like I said, there’s a lot of new things at Local First Utah. There’s more I could mention but it’s probably best for people who are interested to check out our website, which is, as a matter of fact, also new.
UMLF: How can UMLF clients benefit from becoming a member of Local First Utah?
Kristen: For starters, because of our relationship between UMLF and Local First Utah, we’re offering UMLF clients a 20% discount on their membership. And there are lots of different benefits, depending on at which level of membership a business may join, but basics are features on our social media -- we have an audience of about 20,000 followers -- a prominent listing in our online directory, the ability to list events on our community calendar, discounts on our classes and mixers, and webinars and other training and marketing materials that will be available to members only.
Apart from those benefits that are really designed to amplify individual businesses, being a part of Local First Utah has a lot of other, broader benefits. Business that are part of independent business alliances experience greater customer loyalty, they have nearly double the sales revenue of locals that are not part of a group like Local First Utah. They exist in more collaborative environments were there is more purchasing between locals, and the benefit from increased media coverage and a greater awareness and support from city officials.
To sign up for a membership please email Kristen@localfirst.org for more information!
To stay connected with Local First Utah visit:
Alert, alert Valentines Day is in T-Minus 10 days! In case you forgot or are racking your brain for ideas for the biggest date night of the year, we have compiled a list of different experiences and gift ideas starring our clients! Whether you are going out with bae or are Galentine-ing it up, this list is a must read.
Before the big day comes:
For the guys who are looking to spiff up we have some great options around the state. With three locations and years of experience, Jed’s Barbershop is open 7 days a week for all of your grooming needs in SLC. A pool table, air hockey, TVs and video games are all at your fingertips at Mancave Barbershop as you get your cuts, trims and straight razor shaves, visit them in Layton. A modern barbershop with traditional techniques Riverside Barbershop is a go-to for looking fresh for your SO.
For the ladies in need of a glow up: Located in Roy, EnvyMe Salon and Spa is here to provide you with your all your hair needs, nails, tattoos, microblading, waxing, eyelashes, and much, much more. For our Park City ladies look no further than PuraVida Lifestyle Salon & Spa, the only Aveda spot in PC! Here in the valley we recommend Beauty Trendz, a one stop shop that offers hair care services for women, and barbering services for men in addition to nail care & pedicures, massage, facials, waxing, skin care treatments, microblading and even permanent cosmetics.
Now that we’re ready for Valentines Day, read on for all of our recommendations on how to celebrate!
Budget and taste bud friendly:
Loaded mexi fries? Al pastor, slow-cooked pork with pineapple on a rotating spit? Street tacos and churros? You betcha! Yoyi's Mexican Grill offers a fast-casual menu of Mexican favorites and has beer and wine available too. Tony Burgers is great for when you are craving just a dang good burger and fries. Are you a couple of adventurous eaters? We have some recommendations! Doner Kebab of West Jordan offers a unique style of delicious flavors from across the sands and sea with their authentic Azerbaijani cuisine of kebabs, wraps, salads and more. Located in St. George, Flavor of Seoul is the first authentic Korean restaurant in Southern Utah. Owner Sung Taylor deeply appreciates sharing her cuisine with her guests and you can tell by the quality and love she puts in her dishes. Perfect for sharing an experience with a friend or significant other! Big Sai's Hawaiian BBQ in Layton is known for their big flavor but also for their generous servings, win win!
Wanting something sweet? Anytime we hear of an authentic and secret recipe that has been inherited from generation to generation, our interests are piqued! Because what’s more romantic than French crepes at Monsieur Crepes? If you haven't tried a red bean pastry from Moon Bakery, have you truly lived? This authentic Korean bakery is a must for when you are craving something on the sweet side.
Food truck it up:
Want to skip a formal thing and mix it up? Why not track down a food truck? Jemly's in Provo serves up tasty and authentic Haitian food. Shylo's Mobile Cafe has arguably the best-tasting Beef on Weck this writer has ever had along with a rotating cast of best selling sandwiches. Happy Camper Deli, although another sandwich truck, is truly a horse of another color with their Thanksgiving Leftovers and Grilled Cheese Pizza sandwiches.
A little more:
Meditrina is a casual eclectic small plate and wine bar restaurant that provides fusion tapas in a fun atmosphere. If you want to beat the Valentines Day rush, join Meditrina and Enrico from Adami for their Prosecco Dinner on Thursday, February 7, 2019, 6:30pm-8pm. Four full, creative takes on Italian classics accompanied by Four incredible Proseccos--including a special order! More details here.
Laziz Kitchen reimagines the Lebanese culinary tradition – honoring traditional recipes, and offering new takes on old favorites. Some of our favorite dishes include the Kafta Burger as well as their sampler platter with Muhammara, Baba Ghannouj and their classic hummus.
If you are a couple that is interested in doing something off the beaten path read on!
Bringing about the virtual reality and augmented reality future Virtualities is one of the very first VR/AR arcades and the very first virtual reality cinema in the US. Located at the Gateway, they have games that range from fun and cutesy to downright scary, perfect for the adventurous couple. *Use code VALENTINE for 50% a session for two people. In St. George there is no better place for classes to expand your creative horizons together than A Passion for Painting and Sewing. They offer classes in painting, sewing and even piano! Along that same creative vein, B Golden Jewelry School offers jewelry making classes in the Salt Lake area. Into music? Cruise for records together at Diabolical Records or even go for a show at their space downtown.
Looking for something a little more chill? Why not lunch and a cup of great coffee at Hugo Coffee in Park City? Hugo is their own small-batch roastery and are experts on the art of the bean.
Are you a couple trying to master the art of zen? A massage and facial from Mountainside Spa in Cottonwood Heights is the ticket! In West Jordan, Cottage Retreat and Day Spa can also take care of all your relaxation needs.
You know where to spiff up. You have many options on where to eat and for fun activities after. You know the perfect gift you can give. What are you waiting for? Start planning the most epic Valentines Day yet! ❤️