Denver — Eldon James Corp. decided to go against the grain 30 years ago, and that decision is paying dividends now that the tubing industry has evolved.
The firm decided not to make products using PVC, instead utilizing innovative polyethylenes and thermoplastic elastomers under its Flexelene brand to produce a family of cleaner tubing products.
"I was concerned about PVCs and the effects on the health of humans," Eldon James President Marcia Coulson said. "In the evaluation it was very clear to me that this is a much better alternative. Something we could believe in and lead the way in introducing it to the market. That was very fulfilling."
When the firm researched materials initially, Coulson said there were several reasons to provide PVC alternatives. Internally, the corrosive nature of the material could lead to chloride gas emissions. Furthermore, she said Denver-based EJ discovered that it wouldn't be able to run TPE grades on the same equipment as PVCs because of the residuals that PVC leaves behind.
She co-founded the company and is now the only founder still involved in the business.
"My family has always been entrepreneurial," Coulson said. "My parents owned their own business and we grew up with a small business. The thought process was go to school, get a good education, get a good job where you can continue to learn, but eventually look at owning your own company. I have four siblings and almost all of us ran with that philosophy and owned our own business in one way or the other. I was always inspired to own my own business, but I really needed to find a product I could believe in. You can't sell something you don't really believe in."