“If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
While some of our formulas date back to 1912, Collinite was actually founded in 1936 by the late Charles H. Collins. A former manufacturer's rep and mechanic, Collins had grown increasingly dissatisfied with car care items found on retail shelves. He came to the bleak realization that most products’ performance was compromised because too much was invested in marketing, not the quality of production. He took it upon himself to begin experimenting with nothing more than a library of textbooks and an unparalleled sense of persistence.
Collins’ quality-driven product blends focused on a key component many manufacturers chose to overlook-vital staying power, or durability. He knew that wax’s protective longevity could be attained if the finest ingredients available (regardless of cost) could be procured and patiently handcrafted together. This was the driving force behind his innovation, and it remains to this day an essential practice to which Collinite stubbornly adheres to without exception.
CARRYING ON THE TRADITION
In 1983, Collins’s son “Chuck” passed the business on to Mike Taylor-a former English teacher and photographer. Taylor would profess, “The only thing I knew about wax back then was how to put it on a car.” Instead, the Collins family chose Taylor knowing Collinite was in the right hands, not left to someone who would flinch at the first buy-out, private label offer, or home-run discount store sale. With the help of Tom Notman (pictured), the Collinite name would be protected to serve only those who demanded the best.
The Collinite name isn’t the only thing that’s been preserved. To this day, our waxes, cleaners and polishes are still made the same way “Old Man Collins” patiently produced and poured them-by hand, in small kettle-sized quantities to ensure the kind of top-shelf excellence savvy enthusiasts should come to expect
In reliable hands, Collinite products and its small network of distributors did the rest of the work-reaching detailers and dockhands who immediately began spreading the word to all who would listen. In an era long before online forums and message boards, the Collinite legend swelled from northeastern yacht yards and garages to marinas and detail shops in Florida, where Collinite began accumulating more than just verbal praise. Between 1994 and 2011 alone, Collinite products collected 6 first place awards in industry-wide product tests. Dealer requests soon followed domestically and abroad. This all without the common marketing strategies bigger name brands employ-advertising, modern packaging, an internal sales force, or even an 800 number! In short, Collinite products quietly and slowly did all the talking, selling themselves on the bedrock credo, “It’s what’s inside that counts.”