Natalia Sephton is bringing M&R Engineering into its 50th year of business in a continued growth mode, albeit a cautious one.
The Orange-based firm is keeping an eye out for signs of a possible slowdown in the U.S. economy, according to company owner and President Sephton.
She said revenue was about $12 million last year, off slightly from 2021. Still, the latest number is up 11% from 2020.
A recent boost in clientele may buoy future gains, Sephton said.
“We’re growing. We’re gaining new customers every week,” she told the Business Journal, noting the firm’s customer list now tops 100.
M&R has 61 employees and is hiring for an array of positions.
The firm specializes in high-precision machined metal and plastic parts and works in the aerospace, defense and commercial industries. It turns 50 in March.
“It’s a big deal,” Sephton said of the anniversary.
She’s pleased to be seeing customers in person again, after the disruptions caused by COVID-19.
“At the end of the day, this is a person-to-person business,” she says.
She acknowledges there is a “lot of uncertainty” in the industry, adding: “There’s a lot of talk on the news about recession and slowing down.”
Still, “we’re still hoping that we can achieve expansion of the business.”
Sephton left her home in Moscow at age 16 with one suitcase about a quarter century ago to launch her education and career in Los Angeles.
From community college to USC and climbing the corporate ladder, Sephton has a storied path that led her to acquire M&R Engineering in 2018.
She avoids talking about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the protracted war there.
“It’s a very sad situation,” according to Sephton, who pointed out last month she has lived in Southern California longer than she did in Moscow.