Hello again, it’s Ryan Andrews. I am REUZEit’s Chief Innovation Officer and have been an integral part of the company’s overall development selling used lab equipment. Over the past 10+ years, our vision of creating a circular economy through Surplus Asset Management as a service has propelled the company to what it is today. In this blog, I’ll be discussing REUZEit’s history and origins.
REUZEit: a Family Business
My brother Justin and his wife Becca first came down to Temecula, California, where our parents moved, after the loss of their house in Reno and the loss of my fathers’ job due to dementia. Justin and Becca were there ready to help make ends meet when our mom Renee encouraged Justin to pick up an old side gig of our dads that he ran out of our garage.
The Man Behind the REUZE Philosophy
Our father, the eternal optimist, genius, and goofball had a storied career in facilities/project management in the life sciences and biotech industries. He worked for companies like Pacific Biotech, Guidant, Eli Lily and many others. Before the internet, back when everyone walked uphill in the snow to school (both ways!), our dad was introducing the world to the possibility of a reuse economy of lab equipment. He would often take home broken or obsolete equipment, tinker on them in the garage, and redeploy them back within one of the facilities he was running. For the equipment his companies didn’t want, he connected with local medical sales guys and convinced them to sell lab equipment. He did this all over the country, developing a network of brokers who regularly received instruments from his sites, in return for capital recovery for his workplace. Since this was all before the internet, these brokers ended up being some of the most successful players in our industry.
Hustle and Muscle: Renee and Peter
After some years and after the internet came about, my dad started a side business to refurbish and resell biotech equipment, they sweetly named the company PAR equipment. Though Peter was an avid golfer, the name actually stood for Peter and Renee.
Our mother Renee, being pretty much the overall boss and bookkeeper and all-around badass for the past 20 something years, had started helping our dad with his business. Our dad was good at drumming up opportunities any time she would instruct, “Peter, go out and get some equipment, kids are almost getting ready to go to college!” But the real magic was done in the back-office support, making sure everything was well organized and running smoothly. So, when it came down to suggesting we give this business a shot, our mom was integral in the beginning stages, helping us understand how our dad did what he did.
Unbeknownst to myself or Justin at the time, they both really laid down the foundation of what REUZEit is today.
Justin and I like to often refer back to the beginning as a team of ‘Hustle and Muscle’. By 2010, our father was sadly unable to contribute to the business due to the effects of dementia; the only way to survive during that time was through grit. Through a resilience that would often bend but never broke, it was a trying time for us.
Shortly after Justin kicked things off in the used lab equipment flipping business, my girlfriend (now wife, Stacy) and I moved down to Southern California from Reno to come and help.
More Than Just Another Salesperson
From the beginning, this was a family business and is very much to this day. When preserved and balanced, those values can hold. The early days had the whole family, including our sister Robyn, hitting the streets and knocking on every biotech company door in Southern California. In those days, our dad came along with us for as long as he was able. Being the smooth talker he always was, he instructed us all to be more approachable. He would say something to the tune of, “They teach the front desk to tell salespeople to go kick rocks in the parking lot or simply go away.” If you are in sales, you probably know this is common. He told us, “dress down, you are talking to facilities people, scientists and engineers, wearing a suit is too stuffy, be business casual, be cool…and before you say anything just say, ‘I am here to buy your surplus‘.” He had many ways of saying it, but the strategy was to just assert early that we were not salespeople, and in fact were there to buy something from them. By understanding that companies generally like making money, we were able to get through the invisible ‘salesperson’ roadblock, so we could talk to the right people.
Stay tuned for the next installment of this origin story!
REUZEit: The All-in-One Solution for Used and Surplus Lab Equipment
Investing in laboratory equipment for your scientific research is a necessary cost, and we’re committed to providing you with options that you can fit into your budget. Money saved on one product can be used to finance another resource that is just as important to your progress. Whether you’re searching for innovative chemistry lab equipment or looking to replace broken lab equipment, REUZEit offers low-cost solutions that work as hard as you do. Browse the best surplus and gently used biotech and pharmaceutical equipment on the market! Check out our USA-based store or our European-based store to shop discount laboratory equipment.