The Box Latch Products team with a certificate of
completion from ExporTech on Nov. 18 at Waukesha County
Technical College. From left to right, Box Latch
co-founder James Wilson, marketer Lisa Geason-Bauer, Lt.
Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and co-founder Jack Wilson.
PEWAUKEE — Jack Wilson was helping a friend craft a new
product when he suddenly realized something which
altered his career path for life: Most cardboard boxes
are used just once.
Quickly, Wilson recognized there’s a need and a market
for a unique product, which allows users to reseal and
reuse boxes for multiple use, thus saving customers
money in the process.
Wilson linked up with his brother, Jim, and created a
company known as Box Latch Products. The main item for
sale is a plastic-based product that enables its users
to get a firm seal on corrugate-box seams. It attaches
between a box’s seam, closing it and sealing it without
having to use tape.
Box Latch is a product Jack said is aimed at businesses.
For the first time, it gives them a sustainable option
for reusing boxes.
A Box Latch produced by
Box Latch Products is used on cardboard boxes to reseal
and reuse them. The product is made in Pewaukee by Jack
and James Wilson.
“There’s never been a good, simple way to close and
reopen boxes,” Jack Wilson said. “Businesses think
they’re doing this wonderful thing about recycling, but
that’s not sustainable. It takes 60 percent of the
energy and water required to make a box to recycle it
for it only to be used once.”
According to the company’s website, BoxLatch.com, 90
percent of all cardboard boxes are used just once. And
with an average cost of over $1 per box, businesses
often spend an abundance of money purchasing them.
Therefore, the Wilsons saw an opportunity to market
themselves to businesses across the globe in an effort
to remain sustainable for the future and help reduce
environmental footprints. In collaboration with his
friend’s patent which had a similar objective, the two
brothers worked up a simple design for the product and
began producing and marketing it out of Pewaukee.
100-plus years, we never could find a product to (close
a box) and with the interest in moving toward
sustainability, I felt there was a market for this type
of product,” Jack Wilson said. “The design that I came
up with worked and we used his (friend’s) patented
application as one of our products. But it opened my
eyes there’s a market for the product, there’s nothing
available like it that we’re aware of.”
extensive farming backgrounds in rural Wisconsin, the
Wilsons used their knowledge to form the company, create
a usable product and work toward making it grow.
flower starts with a bud and then it gradually opens
into a partial bloom and then the beauty is the full
bloom,” Jack Wilson said. “As a startup company, it’s a
low-tech type of idea with high-tech ideas in terms of
return on investment and reusing.
“It’s been something else to see this dream form.”
the Wilsons’ dream has continued to evolve, as recently
it received certification as a B Corp. A B Corp
certification is reserved for for-profit companies that
meet rigorous standards of social and environmental
performance, accountability and transparency. Currently,
there are more than 1,600 of these types of companies
from 42 countries, with Box Latch Products becoming just
the fourth in Wisconsin to do so. Patagonia and Ben &
Jerry’s Ice Cream are two of the bigger-name companies
that are certified as B Corps.
motto since we started was ‘Changing the way the world
closes and reuses boxes,’” Jack Wilson said. “My brother
and I refer to each other as the Box Latch brothers; we
don’t have a background in business but we saw this
opportunity and went for it.”
the certification now in hand, the Wilsons continue to
see the fruits of their labor, expanding globally by
enrolling and graduating from ExporTech, an educational
program which helps businesses grow their reach into
international markets. The program is delivered in
partnership with the Wisconsin Economic Development
Corporation and the Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing