Straight Arrow Products Breaks Ground on Forks Township Expansion
By Colin McEvoy on September 17, 2019
A nationally-known manufacturer of cosmetic and beauty products for both people and horses, which has operated in Lehigh Valley for the past half-century, is growing in the region.
Straight Arrow Products, Inc., the makers of the popular Original Mane ‘n Tail products, held a groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 17 for the second phase of a planned four-phase expansion project at its Forks Township manufacturing facility.
“All and all it’s a great undertaking,” said Devon B. Katzev, President & CEO of Straight Arrow Products. “We are ready for phase two and I’m excited to break ground. Frankly, we just need more space to make the products. We are running out of room once again.”
The company’s products are sold in more than 200,000 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 will be adding 25,000 square feet to the existing 110,000 square-foot facility, Katzev said. Future expansion phases will add another 60,000 total square feet of warehousing and office space.
The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) previously assisted Straight Arrow Products with their original real estate construction and expansion project, as well as with additional machinery and equipment through LVEDC’s capacity as administrator to the Lehigh Valley Economic Investment Corporation.
LVEDC assisted with obtaining access to $2 million in low, fixed-rate incentive financing towards the building purchase and renovations that were completed in 2017 through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) program. The loan was financed by the region’s certified economic development financing organization, Lehigh Valley Economic Investment Corporation.
An additional round of funding was approved in the amount of $2.3 million through the PIDA Machinery & Equipment Loan Fund (MELF) program in early 2019.
The Original Mane ‘n Tail personal care and equine products are made at the Forks Township plant, as well as Cowboy Magic and Exhibitor’s grooming products. The company also maintains corporate offices in Bethlehem Township.
Straight Arrow Products was founded in 1970 on a rural family farm 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 will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2020, and Katzev said the company plans to continue making its products in the Lehigh Valley for the next 50 years to come and beyond.
“We want to continue to please our customers and give them what they ask for,” Katzev said. “We also hope to create more jobs in the Lehigh Valley and look forward to being an integral part of the Forks Township business community.”
The current phase of the expansion project will accommodate pre-weigh processes and create more space for general production, according to the company, Katzev said.
The third phase of the long-term expansion project will add 20,000 square-feet of corporate offices to the site, and the fourth and final phase will add 40,000 square-feet of additional warehousing space.
Straight Arrow Products offers 30 Mane ‘n Tail personal care products, 16 equine-care products, seven products from its Cowboy Magic Equine Products line, and seven products from its Exhibitor’s equine line.
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