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Equine Beauty Products Company Breaks Ground on Expansion

By Colin McEvoy on October 27, 2014

Devon B. Katzev, Straight Arrow Products president and CEO, at the company ground-breaking on October 23, with a horse from the Bethlehem Mounted Police.

Devon B. Katzev, Straight Arrow Products president and CEO, at the company ground-breaking on October 23, with a horse from the Bethlehem Mounted Police.

A nationally-known company is expanding its operations in the Lehigh Valley, thanks in part to assistance from the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. (LVEDC)

Straight Arrow Products, Inc., a Bethlehem Township-based manufacturer of cosmetic and beauty products for both people and horses, held a ground-breaking ceremony on Thursday, October 23, at its Forks Township facility.

The company, makers of The Original Mane ‘n Tail shampoo and conditioner, as well as other products, is undertaking a 15,000 square-foot expansion of the 92,000-square-foot manufacturing plant at 900 Conroy Place.

LVEDC helped Straight Arrow Products procure Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) financing for the project, which is expected to be completed by the fall of 2015.

Devon B. Katzev, Straight Arrow Products president and CEO, thanked LVEDC during the groundbreaking, saying the organization helped “provide us partial funding for the project with lower interest rate loans that are giving us the advantage of growing the business and creating new jobs.”

The expansion project will create 30 new jobs and retain 72 current employees. Additional future construction phases will bring the Forks Township site to 200,000 square-feet within five to 10 years.

PIDA, one of several financing programs LVEDC administers, offers low-interest loans through industrial development corporations to businesses for land and building acquisition, construction and renovations that results in the creation or preservation of jobs.

In addition to the PIDA loan, LVEDC assisted the company with its application for Machinery & Equipment Loan Fund (MELF) loans, but did not process that application.

“We’re very pleased to have helped provide financing for an excellent company with a national profile,” said Don Cunningham, LVEDC president and CEO. “These companies with 50 to 100 employees, particularly in the manufacturing sector, make up a lot of the bedrock of the region’s economy. They are in real growth mode right now, and are finding the Lehigh Valley is the place they want to grow.”

Straight Arrow Products was founded in 1970 in Warren Township, N.J. by Philip and Bonnie Katzev who originally created the Original Mane ‘n Tail conditioner exclusively for horses. They eventually found the micro-enriched protein formulas were equally effective for humans and entered the women’s hair-care market.

“Straight Arrow Products, Inc. has come a long way,” said Devon B. Katzev, the son of Philip and Bonnie. “We started as a family business in our home in New Jersey and we continue to make all our products in the USA. To see how much we have grown over the years has truly been incredible.”

The company currently maintains offices at 2020 Highland Ave. Its products are now sold in more than 100,000 locations throughout North America and internationally, and have been praised in the past from such celebrities as Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore and Kim Kardashian.

Straight Arrow Products acquired the Forks Township property so it could move most of its production facility and eventually its shipping warehouse there. It will still be maintaining its warehouse facility on Brodhead Road in Bethlehem. The move allows the company to increase its manufacturing and warehouse space, which will allow it to augment their current manufacturing capabilities in Bethlehem at 2020 Highland Ave.

In addition to the expansion, future construction phases include renovations and updates to the Forks Township facility and the establishment of a shipping warehouse in 50,000 square-feet of the existing site, with all finished goods being relocated there. The remaining 42,000 square-feet will be converted into the manufacturing facility, lab and offices when the five- to 10-year plan is complete.

Straight Arrow Products offers 29 Mane ‘n Tail personal care products, 14 equine-care products, 12 all-natural Conceived by Nature hair products, three Straight Arrow Therapeutic skin care products and six products from its Cowboy Magic Equine Products line.

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