Above: EnvironMolds line of ArtMolds mold making and casting products and EZ Cast Kit of life casting poses.
Founded in 1998 and celebrating its 25-year anniversary, EnvironMolds, a leading player in the casting kit and mold-making industry, is the brainchild of founder and owner Edmund J. McCormick, Jr. With a strong commitment to excellence and a passion for art and culinary creativity, McCormick established EnvironMolds to provide artists, hobbyists, and professionals with high-quality mold-making materials and innovative solutions. This article delves into the story behind EnvironMolds, explores its business strategies, highlights the challenges and opportunities in the mold-making market, and offers valuable advice to aspiring entrepreneurs based on McCormick's journey.
Business Name and What It Does
Since many mold making materials tend not to be healthy materials to be exposed to, the company name, EnvironMolds, was derived from its emphasis on its offerings of environmentally friendly products. The company specializes in manufacturing and supplying top-quality safe-to-use mold-making materials. The company's product range includes its ArtMolds® and EZ Cast Kits® line of molding and casting kits, alginate impression material, silicone rubber, polyurethane resins, casting plastics, clay, and various other materials essential for mold making and casting processes. EnvironMolds caters to diverse industries such as art, crafts, special effects, prototyping, and architectural restoration. Additionally, EnvironMolds' subsidiary, Cape Crystal Brands, offers a line of hydrocolloid products for culinary professionals, providing specialized food ingredients such as thickeners, stabilizers, emulsifiers, and dietary fibers.
Cape Crystal Brands came about after learning that that a French Chef Ferran Adria had popularized the molecular gastronomy movement worldwide with his foams and faux caviar, known as Spherification. His faux caviar was made in part using sodium alginate. It was one of the same ingredients that EnvironMolds used in its formula for making its alginate impression material. It was decided to sell it separately and a single ingredient. So, after registering its facilities with the FDA and receiving Kosher certification, Cape Crystal Brands was founded.
Above: A sample assortment of some of Cape Crystal Brands twenty-four unique food specialty products.
EnvironMolds has established itself as a leader in the mold-making industry through effective business strategies. The company prioritizes the provision of high-quality products that meet the specific needs of its customers. Which it sells through art store chains throughout the USA as well as online through its own website, Amazon, and Walmart.
By conducting continuous research and development, EnvironMolds remains at the forefront of product innovation, constantly improving its offerings to stay ahead of the competition.
Exceptional customer service is another cornerstone of EnvironMolds' business strategy. The company focuses on building strong, long-lasting relationships with its customers by offering prompt assistance, expert advice, and technical support. This commitment to customer satisfaction has been instrumental in fostering customer loyalty and generating positive word-of-mouth referrals.
Above: Edmund J. McCormick, Jr. founder of EnvironMolds celebrating its 25-year anniversary.
Founder's/Owner's Story and Motivation
Edmund J. McCormick Jr. is a notable figure hailing from Far Hills, New Jersey. With a strong background in business and a passion for entrepreneurship, McCormick has made significant contributions to various industries throughout his career.
Born in Chicago and raised in Westchester County, McCormick developed an early interest in business and innovation. He pursued his education at Carnegie Mellon and Long Island University, where he honed his skills and knowledge in business administration. Armed with a solid academic foundation, McCormick embarked on a journey to make a mark in the business world.
McCormick possesses a profound passion for art and sculpture. His journey began when he discovered the transformative power of life casting after viewing Duane Hanson's life casting pieces at Ft. Lauderdale airport in 1995. Inspired by this experience, McCormick trained under renowned lifecasting artists such as Mark Prent and David Parvin.
Driven by his own struggle to find reliable and high-quality mold-making materials, McCormick recognized a gap in the market-- a slow setting impression material to allow life casting artists more time to capture their molds. With the help of a hydrocolloid chemist, he developed such patented products as Fibergel™, as well as MoldGel® and Hollywood Impressions™. He also developed Algislo™ which controls the setting time of most impression mold materials. He envisioned a dedicated supplier that could offer a comprehensive range of products along with expert guidance. With a mission to empower artists and creators, McCormick founded EnvironMolds to provide the tools and materials necessary for individuals to bring their artistic visions to life.
Another important product developed by EnvironMolds is InPlais™ . InPlais is a liquid-based product that can be applied on carpets and rugs of any shape, style, size, or type. And because it adheres directly to the rug or carpet in question, there is no risk of the adhesive coming off, or becoming misaligned. Since over 70% of falls occur in the home, and 45-50% of these falls are associated with an unstable or insecure carpet/rug. This is the problem that the InPlais™ rug adhesive has been designed to solve.
Above: The life casting sculpture by Duane Hanson that inspired McCormick, to eventually create his company, EnvironMolds. It was being displayed at the Ft Lauderdale Airport when McCormick first observed it.
The Challenges in the Business/Market
Like any business, EnvironMolds faces several challenges in the casting kit and mold-making market. One significant challenge is the increasing competition from both established companies and new entrants. The industry's growing demand has led to a crowded marketplace, requiring EnvironMolds to continually innovate, expand its product offerings, and maintain its commitment to quality to stay ahead.
Additionally, the mold-making industry is subject to evolving customer demands and preferences. Technological advancements and emerging techniques constantly reshape the landscape, necessitating EnvironMolds to adapt and remain abreast of these changes. This requires ongoing research and development efforts to introduce new products and technologies that cater to the evolving needs of customers.
The Opportunities in the Business/Market
Despite the challenges, EnvironMolds enjoys several opportunities in the casting kit and mold-making market. Firstly, there is a growing interest in DIY projects, arts, and crafts, which has led to an increased demand for mold-making materials. EnvironMolds can capitalize on this trend by targeting hobbyists and enthusiasts who are eager to explore their creative side.
Furthermore, the hydrocolloid division, Cape Crystal Brands, presents significant opportunities for EnvironMolds. The hydrocolloid market is projected to reach $14.5 billion by 2028, and EnvironMolds is positioning itself as a formidable player in this sector. By offering competitively priced hydrocolloid products, EnvironMolds can expand its product line and provide innovative solutions to customers in the culinary industry.
Advice to Others About Business
Based on Edmund J. McCormick's entrepreneurial journey with EnvironMolds, there are valuable lessons to be learned. Firstly, it is crucial to identify a gap or need in the market and develop a business concept that addresses that need. EnvironMolds' growth can be attributed to its ability to develop new and unique products that cater to customers' specific needs.
Additionally, maintaining a strong focus on product quality and exceptional customer service is paramount for building a loyal customer base. By consistently delivering high-quality products and going above and beyond to assist customers, businesses can establish enduring relationships and generate positive word-of-mouth referrals.
Furthermore, staying adaptable and embracing innovation is key to meeting evolving market demands. Keeping a finger on the pulse of industry trends and investing in research and development efforts enables businesses to introduce new materials, technologies, and solutions that cater to the changing needs of their customers.
Above: A life casting workshop led by Edmund J. McCormick, Jr. (center) demonstrating the ArtMolds line of molding and casting products.
Lessons Learned from Running EnvironMolds
Running EnvironMolds has provided Edmund J. McCormick with valuable insights and lessons. One crucial lesson is the importance of persistence and dedication. McCormick's unwavering commitment to his vision, even in the face of challenges, has been instrumental in EnvironMolds' success.
Additionally, fostering a strong company culture that values creativity, innovation, and customer satisfaction is essential. By cultivating a team that shares the same passion and commitment, businesses can achieve remarkable results.
Moreover, McCormick emphasizes the significance of adaptability and the willingness to embrace change. The ability to anticipate market shifts and adapt accordingly enables businesses to remain competitive and seize emerging opportunities.
According to McCormick, spotting an opportunity to create a new product requires a keen eye for identifying unmet needs, gaps in the market, or emerging trends. Firstly, conducting market research and analysis is essential to understand consumer preferences, pain points, and existing solutions. By examining customer feedback, industry reports, and conducting surveys or focus groups, one can uncover areas where there is a lack of satisfying products or services.
Additionally, observing changing demographics, technological advancements, or social and cultural shifts can reveal opportunities for innovation. Being attentive to customer complaints or frustrations with existing products can also signal potential areas for improvement. Furthermore, staying curious and open-minded, actively seeking feedback from potential customers, and engaging in brainstorming sessions can help generate ideas and uncover unexplored niches.
“That is exactly how we developed the Cape Crystal Brands division,” says McCormick. “Ultimately, seizing an opportunity to create a new product requires a combination of market awareness, creativity, and a deep understanding of customer needs and desires.”
Above: EnvironMolds donates its time and materials for community projects like these insulators (insert) it produced for the restorarion of the steam boat W.P. Synder Jr.
Edmund J. McCormick's EnvironMolds has made a significant impact on the mold-making industry, providing life casting artists, hobbyists, and professionals with high-quality materials and innovative solutions. Through effective business strategies, a deep passion for art, and an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction, EnvironMolds has positioned itself as a leader in the industry. While challenges persist, the company is well-positioned to navigate them by capitalizing on emerging opportunities and staying at the forefront of innovation. Aspiring entrepreneurs can draw valuable lessons from McCormick's journey, emphasizing the importance of identifying market gaps, delivering exceptional products and service, and embracing adaptability and innovation to succeed in the dynamic business landscape.