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Foxx Life Survives an Economic Roller Coaster
Published Friday, April 28, 2017

From left: Matt Taylor, marketing manager; Diana Sosa, retail store manager; Tara Lynch, HR manager; and Thomas Taylor, president. Photo by Matthew J. Mowry.

Thomas Taylor has experienced every dive, loop and curve the economic roller coaster has to offer. And he not only survived but conquered it.  

Taylor has spent his career in the medical products industry, rising through the ranks of the industry in the 90s  and early 2000s. Then in 2008, he launched his own life science products company, Foxx Life Sciences in Salem. And the Great Recession hit. “The Dow was crashing, and I’m sitting at my home with a set of patents and products I thought could do well and running out of money,” he recalls.

When banks and venture capitalists were no longer interested in investing, Taylor found a partner, Jack Roush of Roush Fenway Racing, who was looking to diversify his company. The joint venture lasted five years, but, by 2012, Foxx was growing 40 percent annually, and Taylor was able to secure his own $200,000 bank loan and $300,000 line of credit.

However, Foxx Life Sciences isn't your typical science business. Yes, Foxx has continued to grow over 40 percent annually since 2012 and exceeded sales goals for 12 consecutive quarters, according to Taylor, the company’s president. And, yes, it exports to about 30 countries. But Taylor has also launched four other companies under the Foxx umbrella, including Lab Rat Gifts, a retailer of science-themed gifts that started two years ago. “Originally we were looking for  a way to promote our products more aggressively,” Taylor says. “We turned our promotional activities into our own company.” Lab Rat sells science toys, microscopes, stickers and more through LabRatGifts.com, a retail store at its Salem headquarters and three other boutique sites: scienceties.com, sciencemugs.com and scienceteeshirts.com.

A second business is Boston Lab Shop, which distributes life science equipment produced by both Foxx and its competitors and is 51 percent owned by Taylor’s daughter, Nicole. (The business is a family affair, as son, Matt, is the marketing director for Foxx.) A third company is solventwaste.com, which sells lab safety products, and a fourth company is a real estate firm.  

Between the four companies, Taylor employs 30, though the majority (22) are Foxx employees. And more than 85 percent of employees are below the age of 30 and often seen on creative videos produced for customers and its social media sites.

“Our long-term goal for the company is to be over $100 million in the next 10 years, be privately held and be the market leader,” Taylor says.

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