Tom's of Maine
Tom’s of Maine is a manufacturer of chemical-free personal care products that are made of all-natural ingredients. The company is guided by the philosophy of their founders, Tom and Kate Chappell, who strongly believe that both human beings and nature have inherent worth and deserve our respect. This code compels Tom’s of Maine to create products that empower people’s bodies as well as protect the environment.
How Tom’s got started
Tom and Kate Chappell started Tom’s with modest ideals—they wanted to simplify their lives and the things they consumed. After almost 50 years and millions of dollars in sales later, it’s fair to say that the Chappells have far exceeded their humble expectations.
It all started in 1968. Tom and Kate Chappell left their home in Philadelphia for a new home in rural Maine. They wanted a minimalist life, to live on land of raw beauty where they could raise their children in a cleaner and more natural environment. In theme of this new and healthy way of living, they began to purge any personal care products and foods that had unhealthy chemical additives.
After tossing out countless conventional items in their home, they struggled to find what they were looking for in stores—natural products. The Chappell’s believed a better way should exist, and since they didn’t have it, they created it. With a $5,000 loan from a friend and a philosophy that their products would be kind to the planet, the couple launched Tom’s in 1970.
The rise of Tom’s
Tom’s first product was a phosphate-free laundry detergent Collaborating with a chemist, they developed a chemical-free laundry soap and over the next few years they developed a bevy of environmentally responsible personal care products like shampoo, lotions, mouthwash, and shaving cream.
In 1975, Tom Chappell had an idea for an all-natural toothpaste that was free of chemicals. The toothpaste would also have no artificial sweeteners and it’s flavor profile would be built around herbs and spices that were native to the Maine area. The gamble worked and the toothpaste was an instant success, finding a thriving audience in the early 70s anti-establishment movement. In a relatively short time, the toothpaste became the company's best seller and became a standard product on the shelves of New England health food stores.
By the early 80s, Tom’s was pulling in roughly 2 million dollars a year in sales. It was then when major national retailers came calling. With nationwide distribution, the company steadily grew and profits continued to climb throughout the 90s.
Tom’s was doing well, maybe too well. If you remember, the Chappells left the fast city life in Philadelphia for a simple seaside life in Maine and their company’s success was slowly straying from the work-life balance they cherished. In addition, they felt the company was veering from the philosophical guidelines they established as they became more corporate. The answer came in 2006 when Colgate put in a 100 million dollar acquisition offer.
Financially secure and free of running the daily operations of Tom’s, the Chappells started the next chapter of their lives and started a small all-natural and environmentally sustainable wool clothing line, Rambler’s Way.
Products that Tom’s sells
As stated earlier, Tom’s specializes in chemical-free personal care products that are made of all-natural ingredients. They make toothpaste, deodorant, mouthwash, dental floss, and an assortment of other things. At Thrive Market, we offer a large amount of their products. Let’s discuss a few of them:
Long Lasting Deodorant Stick - Mountain Spring: Aluminum-free and made with all-natural ingredients, this deodorant keeps you fresh while making you smell as clean as a mountainside river in the untouched Maine countryside.
Long Lasting Deodorant Stick - Refreshing Lemongrass: As the day goes on you shouldn’t need to worry about becoming smelly. Give this deodorant a try and you’ll smell as fresh as lemongrass for 24 hours.
Antiplaque Floss - Spearmint: We’ve all been there before—you finish eating a meal and discover that part of it got stuck between your teeth. Get rid of that piece of leftover food and help prevent dental illness by using this floss.
Wicked Fresh Mouthwash - Cool Mountain Mint: Bad breath stinks! Get rid of it and leave your breath smelling minty fresh with this strong mouthwash made of all-natural ingredients.
Fluoride-Free Children's Toothpaste - Silly Strawberry: Fluoride-free and made with real strawberries, this kid-friendly toothpaste uses calcium to clean and strengthen the growing teeth of small children.
Fluoride-Free Travel Natural Toothpaste - Fresh Mint: Have no fear at the airport! This 3 ounce bottle of toothpaste is approved for travel by the TSA and meets their size requirements, allowing you to keep your mouth healthy and your breath clean even when you’re away from home.
Simply White Toothpaste - Clean Mint: This toothpaste uses all-natural ingredients to restore the natural whiteness of your smile. This is also the only natural whitening toothpaste to earn the American Dental Association’s seal of approval.
When the Chappells started Tom’s in 1970, they wanted to prove that a company could be run ethically and be socially responsible. This is why their employees volunteer themselves to support causes such as Habitat for Humanity. This is also why they donate 10% of their profits a year to nonprofit causes that empower communities and are focused on positive social change.