A message from our founder
As long as I can remember I have had a romance with the mountains. Wet feet, it seems, was just a way of life, something to joke about around the camp fire. Being employed in the aerospace industry as a chemical engineer gave me the background and expertise to do something about this problem. An in-depth study of leather showed me that available waterproofing compounds were not giving leather what it needed. What was needed, in fact, was a new technology.
Through a long period of trial and error, I filled hundreds of little jars with experimental compounds before hitting on the ultimate leather waterproofer/conditioner. What we now market as AQUASEAL® had its humble beginnings on a one burner hotplate in my basement. Next came the field testing. Boy Scouts, mountaineer expeditions, tree planters, well diggers, hundreds of hunters and hikers, all in wet conditions, each person using AQUASEAL® on leather boots. A few adjustments were made to the formula, and a totally unique new product was born. At last, I can enjoy the outdoors in all weather conditions. My Mid-forties have come and gone, but dry feet are here to stay!
Ralph O'Quinn, founder of Trondak, Inc.
Dan Metcalf's Trondak, Inc. story:
In 1979 I married Ralph O'Quinn's daughter, Jann. When visiting his home I often noticed Ralph busy in his shop experimenting with various "goops". Once when I asked him about his "leather waterproofing" he said, ''Here, put some on your shoes.'' So I rubbed some on my leather shoe, then ran some water over it in the nearby utility sink. I watched with surprise and delight as the water just beaded up and ran off.
Suddenly in my mind I was back on the cold wet steep slopes of the Oregon Cascade Mountains. For a brief period I had been a tree planter on those slopes and I remembered the daily two hour ride home after a grueling day of work. Each night several of the guys would warm their boots, melt this heavy waxy product, and smear it on their boots. All that effort for some very tired young men who only hoped for a few extra minutes of dry feet the following day, knowing they would have to repeat the process the next night.
When I saw with my own eyes the near miracle of AQUASEAL® the thought came, "Every American who knows what its like to get wet feet in the great outdoors needs AQUASEAL®." Little did I know that this would become my personal mission in just a few short years.
That moment was twenty-seven years ago. It has been an adventurous and rewarding journey. Wherever AQUASEAL® is sold we continue to hear similar stories. Everyone expresses how easy it is to use, how well it conditions the leather, and how it effectively keeps their feet dry. With time many other quality products have been formulated and added to the product line. Now we are able to serve many diverse people with many diverse outdoor activities.
There is another dimension of Trondak, Inc. which has been foundational to all of our achievements. It is our trust and dependence on a mighty God. As a young feller at the age of fifteen I lost my sense of direction in life. Several years later I surrendered my life over to God in hopes that he could do a better job. He did, and he has been the captain of my ship ever since.
Every day in business we have many challenges. When I first hired on and began working with Ralph, and his wife Claire, they made it clear that God was the "Chairman of the Board". Many years later, the next generation, Walt de Fisser, my wife Jann, and I stepped into the role of ownership. It took a few years of learning from our own "hard knocks" to understand firsthand the importance of letting God take the lead. Now, it is our regular practice to meet together for prayer, giving thanks for all God has done, and to ask for his wisdom for the tasks at hand.
Perhaps you are experiencing some difficult challenges in your own life that seem too big to handle by yourself. We would encourage you to call on the One who has the power to save you out of any trouble. His name is Jesus Christ.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever shall believe on him should not perish but have everlasting life."