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Made Right Here: Straight Arrow

By Amy Unger, Reporter, AUnger@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 13 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 14 2013 07:07:41 PM CST

"Mane and Tail" products are known the world over for beautifying the hair of humans and horses.

"Mane and Tail" products are known the world over for beautifying the hair of humans and horses.

Turns out, they're all "Made Right Here" in Bethlehem by a company called "Straight Arrow."

"Back on the farm when I was little we used to make this in little 90 gallon tanks," said Straight Arrow president Devon Katzev.

A lot has changed since "Straight Arrow" first "trotted" onto the scene in New Jersey in 1970.

That's when the parents of current company president Devon Katzev concocted a recipe for a shampoo and conditioner that would give their Arabian showhorses an edge.

"We'd go to the shows and people would be looking at the horses and they'd be like, what are you guys doing," he said.

The business grew from the back of the family horse trailer to the front of the family home.

But sales really stacked up when customers started lathering up their own heads.


"They were kind of like, 'my horse looks pretty good, let me try it for myself.' All of a sudden everybody had to use it for their hair," he said.

"Mane and Tail" products have been rolling off the assembly line at the company's plant in Bethlehem since 1993.

"All the manufacturing worldwide is done here," said Katzev.

The company's lab technicians whip up the perfect potions.

"You're looking at everything from hair gels, to hair sprays, hair strengtheners that we make, mousses, shampoos, conditioners," he said.

Then those recipes become reality.

"You'll see everything from 2,500 gallon mixing tanks to 1,000."

The product is pumped into holding tanks, and then sent to thevarious production lines.

"Here you have the 12 ounce filler, it's filling at speeds of 105 a minute. After we fill the product it will continue on down the line," said Katzev. "It will be capped, and then from the capping station it will continue on down and go through a labeler."

The whole process is so fast human hands can no longer keep up.

"We have a new packing robot. This is packing at 16 boxes a minute," said Ketzev.

Another machine seals the boxes and then away they go to stores around the world.

Soon the entire company may be on the move to bigger digs.

"We're considering moving to Forks Township," said Ketzev. "The demand for the products is really growing now."

One thing that won't change is the basic recipe for success that was born in a barn all those years ago.

"When we put it together it just hit, and the formula has been locked in for 40 years so we hit it pretty good."