Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Trailer Trad Grooming: A Great American Manufacturer You've Probably Never Heard Of

Trad Trad is all about appreciating quality in the little things. I've shown a lot of these things over the past five years; everything from vintage clothes to cool old cars. Products for the home can be these little things too.
J.R. Watkins is a 100 year old manufacturer based in Winona Minnesota. It's story is new to me but I do recall seeing old ads from 1940's Life magazines or old spice containers that advertised Watkins' products. Watkins is a fascinating company with a rich history. Its turn-of-the-century headquarters is stunning and is an important MidWest example of Prairie School architecture.

I like that Watkins household products have a great apothecary look to them and are great to have by the kitchen or bathroom sink. This is surely an intentional appeal to nostalgia because taking an old brand and playing up the hipster 'authenticity' of it has been done many, many times--usually with mixed results. 
However, If Watkins hand soap or dish soap cost $15 and you went through a bottle every two weeks, I wouldn't buy them. But I can wash my dishes and wash my hands using a really nice product for around $4 a bottle and they each bottle lasts for MONTHS.