The Radius Story

THE RADIUS STORY

 

An unlikely beginning

 

1980

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

 

Our story begins on the pristine sandy beaches of Tortola, British Virgin Islands, where the idea for our (r)evolutionary RADIUS® Big Brush (formerly known as the Original® Toothbrush) was dreamed up by two architects with an insatiable love for clever design. Kevin Foley and James O’Halloran believed even the most everyday products could be refined and improved, starting with the humble toothbrush.

 

 

 

The revolution begins

 

1982

Manhattan, New York

 

Kevin and James’ first toothbrush model — with its signature oval-shaped head, mass of fine bristles and chunky handle — isn’t such a big hit with New York’s ad agencies (oh well, not everybody is a visionary). The inventors are undeterred, however, and rally a close-knit group of friends, family and fools to fund the launch of the company themselves. A few months later, the first real mold is made.

 

 

A a big brush is born…

 

1983

Manhattan, New York

 

Production begins! HQ relocates to NYC’s bustling Flatiron District, and starts manufacturing its first toothbrush design. The Big Brush is one-of-a-kind — a revolutionary oval head with a bed of 6,500 super-soft bristles and a palm-friendly handle — and an initial run of right-handed versions is snapped up by Turpan Sanders, the country’s leading design store. They fly off the shelves, selling out immediately and garnering a wait list! The team has to taxi all over the city delivering orders door-to-door just to keep up with demand.

 

A milestone moment…

 

1984

Manhattan, New York

 

We get our first major accolade! The RADIUS Big Brush receives an Accent on Design award for the most original design in New York and sales really start to take off. Brookstone places a huge order and a host of other major mail-order retailers follow suit.

 

A home of our own

 

1988

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

Launching a toothbrush business in the 80s was no easy feat. Start-up costs were eye-wateringly high for Kevin and James’ designs (which were a lot more expensive to produce than lower-quality versions) but the guys still manage to buy a 17,000 square foot historic feed mill in Kutztown and begin restoring it. They turn on the charm and persuade Pennsylvania state to loan them money for equipment, and by the end of the year the RADIUS factory is up and running.

 

 

A leap for the lefties…

 

1988

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

We can finally afford to commission a mold for the left-handed version of the RADIUS Big Brush, so everybody is able to enjoy a better clean.

 

A toothbrush with a twist…

 

1989

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

RADIUS launches a new toothbrush based off the mold of the Big Brush— the more-pliable Flex Brush (formerly known as the SCUBA Toothbrush), made from flexible rubber. That same year we receive a major honor as both our pioneering toothbrushes make it into the design hall of fame — the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Institute Design Museum.

 

 

Our brand new brainchild…

 

1990

London, UK

 

Kevin and James decide it’s time to create a children's toothbrush and commission a manufacturer in London to make the mold. The result is a shrunken mini-me version of the Big Brush with 5,000 ultra-gentle bristles for tiny mouths. The RADIUS product family expands and the Kidz® design is born.

 

 

A blast from the past…

 

1998

Pottstown, Pennsylvania

 

Our inventors turn their attention to floss. They team up with a silk company in Pennsylvania to resuscitate natural silk floss®, which hasn’t been manufactured since the 1930s. It takes three solid years to produce a scalable product, but it’s definitely worth the wait — RADIUS’ floss is the smoothest, glossiest version on the market…even if we say so ourselves.

 

 

A milestone collaboration…

 

1999

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

Children’s toy company Fisher-Price® approaches RADIUS to collaborate on a very special project. We help them create a range of toothbrushes for little ones aged 5+ months through 7 years with the goal of making teeth-brushing time a whole lot more fun. They’re a hit!

 

 

An essential invention…

 

2001

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

The RADIUS range expands again, this time to encompass travel cases . Our long-lasting designs store everything from soap and razors to snacks and vitamins safely and securely.

 

After 3 years of extensive research, we finally introduce a glossy and luxurious biodegradable silk floss and a vegan-friendly cranberry floss made from the finest-grade nylon filament.

 

 

RADIUS looks to the future…

 

2003

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

The RADIUS mission to refine the humble toothbrush goes a bit sci-fi. We delve into intelligent toothbrush design, developing a handle with a built-in two-minute timer and a counter that reminds you to change the replaceable head after 180 days.

 

 

A fond farewell…

 

2004

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

After more than 20-years sharing the helm, RADIUS co-founder James O’Halloran retires. He builds a boat and embarks on a sailing adventure. Bon Voyage, James!

 

 

Ahead of the competition…

 

2005

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

Team RADIUS reimagines the toothbrush yet again with the introduction of the Source™. It utilizes its own replacement head technology and recycled materials to significantly reduce material consumption and waste.

 

The unexpected setback…

 

 

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

A freak storm wreaks havoc at the factory — ripping the roof off, demolishing a wall and destroying six molding machines. The business is forced to close for four months and the team camps out in a trailer temporarily while the factory is rebuilt.

 

 

The Next Generation…

 

2008

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

Saskia Foley, daughter of co-founder Kevin, joins RADIUS as Vice President of Sales & Marketing.

 

 

Our family grows…

 

2009

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

RADIUS completes its toothbrush line with the introduction of Pure Brush and Totz™, designed for the delicate teeth and gums of babies and toddlers. Now we cover the entire family! Little did we know Totz would be a huge hit with children and their parents, going on to become our best-selling product in the US (and in Korea, too. Just FYI).

 

 

A much-needed must-have…

 

2010

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

At one time we experimented with using a plastic case as packaging for every RADIUS toothbrush, but the carbon footprint was too large to justify its usage. Once we discontinued it, however, we discovered how much customers wanted a travel case for their toothbrushes — requests flood in and we launch the Big Brush/Flex Brush Travel case to meet demand.

 

We also form a partnership with CORSEDA, a fair-trade cooperative in Columbia which produces the silk used to make our Silk Floss and Silk Floss Sachets, and supports more than 80 families.

 

A cool new tool…

 

2011

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

When our customers speak we listen, and what they’re asking for in 2011 is a functional toothbrush holder. Our solution? The DOC® — a biodegradable gripping tour de force which sticks to any surface steadfastly and secures myriad objects besides a chunky RADIUS toothbrush handle. The general consensus is that it’s a game changer in the bathroom and beyond.

 

A noteworthy promotion…

 

2011

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

Saskia Foley becomes CEO of RADIUS, heading up a team of close-knit employees.

 

An environmentally friendly investment…

 

2011

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

RADIUS steps up its commitment to green ethics with the introduction of 50,000 kilowatt solar collectors . We’re able to begin harnessing the power of the Pennsylvania sunshine to generate 67% of our electrical power, successfully lessening our burden on the planet.

 

A sachet solution…

 

2012

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

RADIUS once again turns its focus towards reimagining dental floss. Our team comes up with a genius idea — convenient pocket-friendly sachets, which help reduce waste. They also introduce a natural mint tea tree version of their spooled and sachet floss (for its added antiseptic benefits) which goes on to become a best-seller.

 

We also give our packaging a total overhaul — switching to slim-line, biodegradable card and recycled PET to reduce waste and our carbon footprint.

 

 

A brand new toy…

 

2013

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

RADIUS streamlines production with a new fully-automated Boucherie bristling machine. It’s used to make the Totz™ and Pure Brush toothbrushes as well as replacement heads.

 

 

 

 

Continuing to Grow …

 

2014

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

Saskia Foley is promoted again. This time to president of the company, making it completely woman-owned. Under her direction RADIUS is growing like never before — so much so that we need to buy another 130-ton injection molding machine to keep up with demand. Ever the innovators, we also continue to expand our product range with the new Source™ Super Soft (a whole new technology and has tapered bristles) and silk floss® sachets — the first truly biodegradable travel floss.

 

 

 

Evolving the way you travel…

 

2015

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

Yet again we manage to reinvent the wheel — this time with the Tour™. It’s the ultimate travel toothbrush with a jack-knife design which allows the user to stash the removable brush head inside the handle, eliminating the need for a separate travel case. We also launch the eye-catching Totz Plus which tackles the tricky age of 3 years and up, when wobbly baby teeth are starting to be replaced by sturdy adult ones.

 

 

RADIUS gets recognized… 

 

2015

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

The awesomeness of RADIUS has spread and our popularity is increasing all over the world. We’ve doubled our export business in the past 2 years bringing our total export to over 40 countries worldwide. That’s no small feat and the state of Pennsylvania took notice. On May 21st RADIUS was honored to win the Governor’s ImPAct Export Award! We were recognized for our extraordinary impact on export in Southeastern Pennsylvania which includes the Philadelphia area. Fifty companies were initially chosen for the export category which was then narrowed down to 5 finalists. We’re proud to say that we were the only finalist from Berks County.

 

 

The latest developments… 

 

2015

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

Other exciting developments driving the company forward this year include a fresh new website, a potential expansion including a new facility, and a plan to become a certified B Corp.