OXO began with a few simple questions - Why do ordinary kitchen tools hurt your hands? Why can't there be wonderfully comfortable tools that are easy to use?
The man who asked these questions was Sam Farber, an entrepreneur in the housewares industry. Noticing that his wife Betsey was having difficulty gripping ordinary kitchen tools due to a slight case of arthritis in her hands, he saw an opportunity to create more comfortable cooking tools that would benefit all users. Sam came out of retirement and approached the design firm Smart Design with that challenge. As part of the initial research that included talking with consumers, chefs and retailers, Patricia Moore, a noted gerontologist, was brought on board to help understand the needs of users with special needs.
After hundreds of models, dozens of design iterations, and extensive research, OXO was born. In 1990, the first group of 15 OXO Good Grips kitchen tools was introduced to the U.S. market. These ergonomically-designed, transgenerational tools set a new standard for the industry and raised the bar of consumer expectation for comfort and performance.
Today, OXO offers over 850 products covering many areas of the home. Each was developed based on the concept of Universal Design (also known as Inclusive Design), a philosophy of making products that are usable by as many people as possible. The concept of Universal Design makes room for all users by taking as many needs as possible into consideration in the design process. For OXO, it means designing products for young and old, male and female, left- and right-handed and many with special needs. Today, OXO is recognized globally by many prestigious institutions, including Harvard Business School and the Royal College of Arts, as an example of how a well-executed Universal Design philosophy not only creates products that are beneficial to end users but is a sensible business model. OXO products have won numerous design awards and are included in the permanent collections of many museums worldwide.
Today, OXO continues to be dedicated to providing innovative solutions that ease everyday tasks.