NCA Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Retail and Consumer Products
Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry
Method Products, Inc.
Co-founders Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry are not only leaders of their company, Method Products, Inc., but also leaders in a historically stagnant industry. They have led from a core set of values, even when facing the recession and much larger competitors.
Ryan and Lowry began with a goal of creating cleaning products that consumers wanted to buy and weren’t toxic to the cleaner or the environment.
In 2002, they started with hand soap, differentiating themselves with highly effective, safe, green products with an aesthetically pleasing design and smell.
Method went from zero to $100 million in revenues in six years, but it hasn’t always been easy. One of the biggest mistakes was going into to many categories too fast, while retailers did not want to pay for a premium product during a recession. Now, a new product is only introduced after it is fully developed.
Method’s triple-concentrated laundry detergent has forced their cleaning giant competitors to offer similar products. This has resulted in far less packaging across the industry.
Today, Ryan and Lowry are taking Method to a new level with a larger global footprint. In August 2012, Ecover, a large, Belgian-based green cleaning products business with one of the world’s best-known green cleaning product lines, acquired Method.
Ryan and Lowry admit that one of the biggest challenges is to maintain their cultural values during a period of unprecedented growth and change.
They have a hands-on role when it comes to running the company, and expect others to as well. There is a saying at Method: “The bigger we get, the smaller we act.” The company no longer has a receptionist and instead each employee rotates as receptionist every six weeks. They also still have the Monday all-hands meetings, only now remote locations videoconference in.
For the future, the co-founders maintain an ownership stake and are looking to build a 100 percent sustainable plant in the U.S.
How to reach: Method Products, Inc., www.methodhome.com