One sure way to offend Matt Oldham, founder of Mammoth Designs, is to confuse an ATV (all terrain vehicle) with a UTV (utility terrain vehicle). “An ATV is basically a glorified moped,” Matt explains with more than a hint of disdain. “A UTV is like a small truck. It has a roll bar and more horsepower.” Mammoth Designs produces accessories for UTVs, including cab enclosures and canopy tops.
And Matt is not the kind of guy you want to offend. “If you’re wondering why the company is named Mammoth Designs, just take a look at him!” jokes Matt’s father and business partner, David Oldham. At six-foot-seven and over 200 pounds, Matt towers over the UTVs for which he designs accessories.
Matt represents the best of Appalachian entrepreneurship and talent. He does all the design work for the company. “No one in the area has even close to the number of designs that we have,” says David with fatherly pride. Matt first started learning about upholstery while working in a friend’s upholstery shop. Before long, he displayed a natural talent in both upholstery and design. “I basically taught myself everything I know,” he explains.
Clearly, Matt knows a lot about designing high-quality and attractive cab covers. A couple hundred dealers carry Mammoth Designs products, which have been sold as far away as Europe and South America. Their most famous client is probably actor Ben Stiller. Mammoth Designs supplied the cover for Stiller’s UTV during the filming of his 2008 movie “Tropic Thunder.”
Matt founded Mammoth Designs in 2007 after buying out his partner in a previous home-based business. The business had been housed in Matt’s basement, where he labored for as many as 18 hours a day to produce high-quality cab covers which were sold on eBay.
Matt asked David, who is a third-generation retailer, to join Mammoth Designs and help with marketing and office management. “Getting money and getting help was the biggest struggle,” says David. Adds Matt, “We built this from nothing. Cash is always a struggle. You’re supposed to have the money in the bank first, before starting a business, but we just didn’t have it.”
A loan of $35,000 from MACED provided working capital and helped Matt and David purchase production equipment. Greg Doyle, senior lender, also worked extensively with David on cash flow projections. “MACED helps people like us get started,” says Matt. “They were able to look at us as a good business rather than as a credit score on a piece of paper.”
The business has grown steadily; sales have increased by more than 50 percent since the business was established. In the past 12 months Mammoth Designs has shipped 1,200 cabs.
“Mammoth Designs is a great example of a small company with a very marketable product but limited capital,” says Senior Lender Greg Doyle. “Perhaps their biggest challenge has been managing the large seasonal swings in sales. Matt and David have had little choice but to use their scarce resources very efficiently to keep the business going through the slow season. This should pay dividends once their growing cash flow reaches a sustainable level year-round. MACED is proud to be partnering with Mammoth Designs as they build their business.”