On February 2, 2006, the industry lost Claire Farr, founder of Klaire Labs. Her company sold specialty formulas to complementary and alternative medicine physicians and other health professionals. Her company was founded in 1969.
For years, at ACAM and later at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, Claire was the older lady with red hair that everybody loved.
Many companies emulated Claire’s business style and became financially more successful, but nobody could copy Claire’s incredible personal style of beauty, dress and wit.
Shortly after I started my own tiny company, truly a one-man show at the time, I met Claire. True to her loving and giving nature, rather than see me as an upstart threat, she gave me great advice: Use white bottles, low allergy formulas and include in the labeling language directed to health professionals. She exclaimed to me, “You’re gonna do great!” How right she was! But only because I listened to her. For years, going to a show meant going to Claire’s booth for hugs and personal and business updates.
Claire was an industry pioneer and champion. Back in 1991, Congressman Henry Waxman was having a district townhouse meeting and I went there with Katie Flamm, the owner of Vitamin Trader and a distributor of Jarrow. We went up to Waxman and began to demand answers to questions we had about his pending legislation at the time that would have given guns to FDA inspectors and empowered FDA agents to write “fix it tickets” for up to $250,000. (The tickets could be challenged in federal court but the legal fees would be as much as or higher than the fine.) To our surprise, Waxman offered to meet with a group of industry people in his subcommittee’s hearing room in Washington. This historic meeting, of course, was attended by Claire who flew out from Carlsbad, California to be there. Our food and drug lawyer, P. Scott Polisky, came down from New York, Katie Flamm from Huntington Beach, California, myself from L.A. and perhaps eight others.
Years later, Claire’s company needed an infusion of cash and while we did not come to terms, it was a given that Klaire Labs and Jarrow Formulas would speak to each other about our futures.
Claire sold her company and moved to Florida about six years ago so we eventually lost touch until I received a message from Ray Fisch, her life partner, asking me to call. I guessed that Claire had passed away. I reached Ray about one hour after the funeral had concluded. Klaire Labs’ labels were her favorite colors, yellow and green. There must have been many yellow flowers at her service.
For those of you who knew Claire, pause a moment and remember and give thanks for our industry’s yellow rose. We love you, Claire.
Jarrow L. Rogovin
President, Jarrow Formulas, Inc.
Chairman of the Board, Jarrow Industries, Inc.