It all started with a clever chemical engineer, a desire to help
those in need, and the tumultuous Cold War years. It was the early
1960's when Dr. Robert Smith (Doc), formerly of Mead Johnson,
developed a solution capable of removing fallout from the skin
during the Cold War. Doc's unique solution, named Tecnu® for
"technically new", was initially sold in 5-gallon buckets as a bomb
shelter staple; fortunately, it was never needed!
Fast forward a few years later when Doc's wife, Evelyn,
accidentally discovered that Tecnu worked to remove the
rash-causing oil (urushiol) from poison oak plants. Poison oak ran
rampant around the Smith's house and Evelyn finally had enough when
the kids' rashes became more and more frequent after playing in the
yard; she took to the backyard barehanded (despite her sensitivity
to the plants), and pulled out every poison oak plant. When the job
was done, she went inside and washed up with a bottle of Tecnu Doc
had left by the sink. Several days later, she was shocked when
there were no signs of rash, especially considering terrible
reactions she'd experienced in the past. Evelyn began telling
friends and neighbors, and news of the cleanser's ability to combat
poison oak oil spread quickly.
As time went on, an unlucky event lead to Tecnu's early success.
Doc and Evelyn's son, Steve owned his own janitorial business, and
one day, while up on a ladder cleaning the outside of a bank, a kid
passing by on a bike misjudged the distance between himself and
Steve's ladder, and BAM! Several broken bones and a lengthy
hospital stay later, Steve opted for a career change and decided to
see what he could do with his Oregon State Business degree to grow
the Tecnu business.
Even though 40 years have gone by and we have since outgrown the
garage, we are still the same Oregon born pharmaceutical
manufacturer with a love of the outdoors, and the desire to make
quality products that help outdoor enthusiasts combat poison oak
& ivy, insect bites, sunburns, and more! In the late 1990's,
Tec Labs stepped into the world of head lice treatments with a line
of non-toxic head lice solutions that are free of chemical
pesticides. You can learn more about Licefreee®, here.
Over the years, Tec has cultivated a special recipe that makes
our company a great place to work, and has always put our
family-like culture at the forefront of the business.
Employees are interviewed for can do, will do, and fit. Can they do
the job? Will they do the job? Are they a fit for Tec Labs? We
believe that by hiring an individual for fit (cheerful, smart, and
hardworking), and providing them with the right tools and training,
that they are capable of great success, both as a member of a team
and as an individual! At the heart of our culture are trust,
respect, joy, and a spirit of enthusiasm, and each and every
employee is tasked with embodying these values and traits.
INNOVATION & CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
Our goal is simple: to create innovative products that help our
consumers solve a problem. Our team continually strives to find new
and better ways to not only meet, but to exceed the needs and
expectations of our consumers. We vow to stay on the path of
advancement without losing sight of who we are at our core: a
driven group of individuals with a desire to help others, whether
they be outdoor adventurers, gardeners, athletes, moms, dads, or
all of the above!
REWARDS & RECOGNITION
- Tec has been an Oregon Top 100 Employer for 15+ years
- We ranked 3rd as a medium-sized business in
- When we hit 12 years on the list, we were inducted into the
Oregon Business Magazine's Hall of Fame for small businesses
- In 2018 we were certified as a Great Place to Work®
- For 3 consecutive years, we were ranked first in The Scientist
Magazine Best Places to work