I have always been a huge fan of the past, aka history. The original (now iconic) brands that started it all. I am almost certain that’s why I fought so hard to work for OshKosh B’Gosh, which was started in 1895. I am not sure if it’s the tradition, the authenticity, or that immediate connection with consumers that I get excited by. But however you slice it I am a fan- of the stories, the products, and the talent who keeps it relevant.
So on Sunday when I learned about another original, SC Johnson, I was surprised and inspired by their story which began in 1886. We have all used their household products at some point but I never realized how many were under the same umbrella. A few of the names you may recognize are Windex, Off, Raid, Glade, Ziploc and Pledge.
Below are some of the fun facts I took away from the CBS interview just in case you are also a product history junky like me…
- SC Johnson is a $10 billion a year company
- Five generations have run this family-owned and operated business with Fisk Johnson as current CEO
- The brand was born with Johnson’s Floor Wax when Fisk’s great-great-grandfather created the first batch in his bathtub
- Each product has the signature of the current CEO on the back, as if you are receiving a personal greeting card from the company
- Frank Lloyd Wright designed the company’s headquarters in 1939 and 1950- a one of a kind design that the current employees still use today
- This year marks the 100th anniversary of their holiday party (appropriately titled Profit Sharing Day) where employees celebrate and bonus checks are handed out
- Fisk Johnson described his job as a tradition and privilege, with no desire to join the ranks of his competition and go public
- Favorite quote: “Progress doesn’t always mean looking ahead. Sometimes it’s about remembering where it all started.”- CBS News
SC Johnson, A Family Company and CBS Sunday Morning thank you for getting together and sharing your story. Best of luck, always.
Photo Credit: Laurie Frankel Photography