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Building a Brand with Costa Mesa’s JPS Designs

JPS Designs Creates Eye-Catching Displays for Companies Big and Small

Written by: Jeannette Swanson Building a Brand with Costa Mesa’s JPS Designs
Photography By: Stephen Panosian

Jim Smith, the sole owner of JPS Designs, started his business by specializing in design and millwork services in 1999. At its onset, the company specialized in signs, smaller displays and overflow work from other companies. Seventeen years later, his firm has developed into a full service company with at least a handful of stand-alone type businesses under the umbrella of JPS Designs.

“We like to sell ourselves as a vertical full service operation, ” Jim says of the company’s success. “There’s no company I’m aware of that really does what we do. We have our competition within each trade, but none of them offer all the in-house services that we do.

In its formative years, Jim’s business greatly profited by his timely involvement the apparel brand Hurley. The working relationship became a platform for Jim and his staff, a platform that Jim says helped start his company. In the partnership that spanned just about eight years, Jim and his team performed a plethora of work for Hurley. His team was Hurley’s go-to design and display company and, in time, Jim’s hard work and dedication attracted his own client base.

JPS Designs and its 30 employees offer design, millwork fabrication, general construction and worldwide tenant management services. Projects might include the production of fixtures & displays, trade show booths, event booths, retail fixture packages and specialty design elements. Shoppers may not know it, but JPS was behind the builds of Skin Laundry at Fashion Island, No Rest for Bridget in Newport Beach, Urban Decay in Newport Beach and Caliva in San Jose.

The team at JPS will take into account the brand’s established colors, logos, icons and brand elements and tailor that to whichever commissioned build. Any build is a lot like storytelling and when done right, JPS believes that an environment can increase sales, customer satisfaction and productivity. For any build, the team will take the company’s existing vibe and assign their own twist to the piece. The design progression will then bounce between parties for about a few weeks before the client signs off on the project.

While 75 percent of clients already have established identities, JPS helps put startups on the map. These clients are still for the most part without a developed identity, so there’s more research and development involved in these projects. A bigger price tag is affixed to these projects, since the team is essentially taking a brand new business and creating a future for them. The team will work with the start up to discover what they would like their company to become and from there, inspiration is drawn and work can begin.

As the years progress no avenue of new business opportunities are left untraveled. The company has even branched out into nationwide project management for tenant improvement. Although the company is not a licensed general contractor outside of California, outside clients desire their project management services. They’re just that good. For cases like this, when the client secures the real estate, JPS will send out bids to contractors, the contract will be awarded and the tenant improvement can then begin. So far, they’ve engaged in business in Florida, Arizona, Chicago, Texas, the Pacific Northwest and New York.

In its foundation years the company’s bread and butter rested upon the action sports industry, but there are now claims on new industries including restaurants, hospitality and major corporate renovations.

“We’re open to anything, we’ll design/build another Taj Mahal if asked, ” Jim shares.

The company’s strong we can do attitude minus any boastful or arrogant elements has paid off. It’s very fitting that a company with such strong entrepreneurial spirit has grown from a small shop on Placentia in Costa Mesa, Ca to an Orange County based enterprise with 15, 000 square feet in Santa Ana, 10, 000 square feet in Tustin and an innovative, 5, 000 square feet building which is their new headquarters in Costa Mesa. Within a span of 17 years, JPS Designs has surely grown into its own and will no doubt continue to explore new industries.

JPS Designs
120 Industrial Way
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

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