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A Look Back at 60 Years of Zim’s

Posted by Mark Smith on

Every now and then, we like to look back to our roots. Perhaps its nostalgia or maybe just the experience of remembering how we got here, but after more than 60 years of business, there’s something humbling about recollecting Zim’s early days. It’s important to acknowledge the contributions of those who came before us and all the lives that have been touched by Zim’s throughout the life of the brand. Taking pause brings fresh focus and perspective to why we do what we do here at Perfecta Products.

If you haven’t heard the story of Zim’s, then you may be surprised to discover how the brand’s upbringing is seeded in U.S. history. It began over 60 years ago when World War II was a not-so-distant memory and rock ‘n’ roll music was just hitting the airwaves. President Dwight D. Eisenhower had recently signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 into law. Authorizing the construction of 41,000 miles of the U.S. Interstate Highway System, it was the largest public works project in American history at the time. Thousands of hard working Americans would spend day-after-day laying down cement to build the national interstate highway system.

Keep in mind that this was before modern civil engineering and today’s machinery that makes leveling ground and moving tons of asphalt a much easier process. This was when road workers used their hands, wheel barrels, and a shovel or two to build an entire interstate. It was serious, back-breaking labor. Imagine the impact this work had on their skin, especially during colder months.

Cement workers often suffered from dry, cracked skin on their hands caused by their harsh working conditions. Well, in the small Midwest town of Austintown, Ohio, it was no different for the local cement workers there. Their hands would dry out and crack.

In search of help, they did what most people did in the 1950s when they had pain or aches. They went to their local pharmacist for help. However, to their dismay, help could not be found. You see, back then, there weren’t the variety of solutions we have today for addressing dry, cracked skin. These cement workers faced a problem that hadn’t been solved yet.

After numerous inquiries from cement workers seeking something for dry, cracked skin, an Austintown pharmacist took note. Recognizing the real need these cement workers had, he sought out to develop a lotion that would soften and moisturize their hands. Using only natural ingredients, the pharmacist formulated an herbal-based liquid formula that seemed to do the trick.

Word got out fast about the pharmacist’s special product, which soon became known as “Cement Workers’ Lotion.” Cement workers from the surrounding area began flocking to Austintown in search of the pharmacy selling Cement Workers’ Lotion.

The product was gaining a reputation for its unique ability to help moisturize the skin. Its local popularity grew rapidly, building a strong following of loyal customers.

Old fashioned word-of-mouth soon spread beyond local cement workers. Cement Workers’ Lotion began peaking the interest of anyone troubled with the discomforts of dry, cracked skin. Everyone around town loved that the natural product not only made their hands soft and supple, but it even helped stubborn, rough skin, as well.

In the years to follow, increased demand for the product would set the stage for its expansion beyond the Austintown market. Cement Workers Lotion was about to go from a small town sensation to a nationally-recognized household brand.

However, to reach its mass market potential, the product needed to appeal to a broader audience; not just cement workers. To reposition it for anyone seeking help with dry, cracked skin, Cement Workers’ Lotion was renamed “Zim’s Crack Creme.”

Soon thereafter, with a fresh rebrand and proven consumer interest, a national distribution deal was struck. Zim’s Crack Creme began selling at pharmacies and retailers across the United States. And the rest, as they say… is history.

After 60 years of happy customers, the Zim’s brand stays true to its Mid-century roots. The original all-natural, pharmacist-developed Zim’s Crack Creme formula is still sold; used by thousands of happy customers nationwide. Only now its accompanied by a full line of naturally-based products.

This year, we updated the Zim’s name to “Zim’s Max.” The brand refresh accommodates for the growth of the brand, from a single offering to an entire family of products made with naturally-based herbal ingredients. And while we’ve come a long way, Zim’s Max products maintain the ethos of an Austintown pharmacist who believed in creating products that improve the lives of customers.

Today, more than 25 products bare the Zim’s Max logo. With a range of applications, including pain relief, skin care, lip care, elder care, cough & cold, and first aid, Zim’s Max products simply work, living up to their brand promise in every way.

The Zim’s Max product line can be found in nearly every major retailer in North America. To get great deals and learn more about our products, sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

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