The Watkins Story began in 1868 with the vision of a 28-year old entrepreneur, J.R. Watkins. With confidence in the exceptional quality of his first product, Watkins Liniment, he introduced the world’s first money-back satisfaction guarantee by inventing his famous Trial-Mark TM bottle. Demand for Liniment quickly multiplied. To meet this demand, he hired salesmen to market this growing line of products from home to home, thus founding the Direct Sales Industry.
The Watkins Consultant became an integral part of the landscape as North America matured. J.R.’s dream lives on in the vision and entrepreneurial spirit of today’s Watkins men and women. Watkins invites you to become part of this tradition.
Today, nestled in the Mississippi River Bluff town of Winona, MN., Watkins has been America’s pioneer in natural living for 145 years. As America’s original natural apothecary manufacturer, Watkins uses only the finest natural ingredients in its diverse lines of personal care, home care, remedies, and natural gourmet ingredients.
Committed to being America’s most trusted natural products company, Watkins adheres strictly to the same quality standards set forth by its founder J.R. Watkins. J.R. Watkins’ Natural Apothecary line of personal care contains only natural, environmentally friendly ingredients from renewable resources, avoiding chemicals like parabens, sulfates, phthalates and more and is one of very few lines to be certified by the Natural products Association.
Natural cleaners have also been a large part of its diverse product mix as far back as 1917, when the company first launched Natural Vegetable Oil Soap made with pure vegetable oils and no animal bi-products, fillers or colors. Almost a century ago its advertisements boasted “Just pure soap, that’s all”… and “Pure enough to eat!” As globally-minded as its customers, Watkins now aims to make household chores a little easier with its newest line of J.R. Watkins Natural Home Care cleaning products. Made with refreshing lemon and lavender oils and highly effective plant derived surfactants, Watkins diverse line of cleaners are safe and effective for your home and your family.
Responsible manufacturing processes are as important as its commitment to providing natural, consumable items for everyday life. By utilizing gravity- fed filling, biodegradable packing materials, as well as strict recycling programs and much more, Watkins is devoted to leaving the smallest environmental footprint possible.
Since moving from Plainview, Minnesota to Winona in 1885, Watkins has consistently been one of the largest employers in Southeastern, Minnesota. It has remained a leader and responsible contributor to not only its local community in Minnesota but also to the world at large and continues to support educational, cultural and humanitarian efforts, including the United Way, Best Buddies, The 52nd Street Project and many other non-profit organizations dedicated to making the world a better place.
Since its beginnings, Watkins has been family owned and operated. J. R. Watkins’ descendents—Watkins and Kings—guided the company through its first 110 years. In 1978 Irwin L. Jacobs purchased Watkins, and the Jacobs family continues the Watkins’ tradition of manufacturing the highest quality products and providing outstanding service that exceeds expectations.