Andrew Lessman founded what was to become ProCaps Laboratories in 1979 – back in what some consider “the early days” of vitamin supplements. More than a quarter of a century later, it remains one of the few companies that actually manufactures the vitamins they distribute, and the only one in its class for uncompromising quality.
ProCaps Laboratories is still owned by the man who founded it, and his commitment to quality has remained unchanged.
An Early Start for Andrew Lessman
We often accidentally discover our career path as a result of interests we exhibit early in our childhood. Such is the case with Andrew’s interest in vitamins, which began when he was a very young child seeking to make his pets healthier. In fact, years later, he even made his junior high school science project a study on whether vitamins could help improve the health of his pet mice. He divided his mice into two groups, feeding them identical diets, apart from the vitamins one group received. He then carefully monitored the weight, activity and appearance of both test groups. Naturally, the vitamin-based group thrived, even to the extent that after the study was complete, two of the mice in the vitamin group accounted for their robust condition by giving birth to large litters.
It was this initial interest in the science of nutrition that encouraged Andrew Lessman to study biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was honored as a Benjamin Franklin Scholar. After leaving the University of Pennsylvania, Andrew attended the University of Hawaii to continue his studies in medicine. Disappointed in medicine because it focused disproportionately on illness and ignored the preservation of health and wellness, he eventually elected to discontinue his medical studies. For Andrew, common sense dictated that health was not merely the treatment of disease, but the prevention of disease before it occurred.
Following his departure from medical school, Andrew was determined to find a way to help physicians and institutions change their approach to health. He decided the best way to accomplish that would be to acquire a law degree and focus his law practice on medical and health care regulation. Andrew entered Loyola University Law School in Los Angeles, where he received a Juris Doctor Degree and subsequently opened a law practice, focusing on a myriad of medical legal issues, including food and drug law.
True Passion Changes Andrew Lessman’s Career
Andrew Lessman had another passion, beginning in his childhood and continuing throughout his entire academic career, which was to exercise an equally momentous influence on his present endeavors. This other passion was athletics, particularly track and field. After completing his undergraduate studies, Andrew continued his commitment to competitive track and field, devoting dozens of hours per week to rigorous training. Andrew’s focus in track and field was the decathlon, which requires proficiency at 10 different events and demands speed, strength, agility and coordination. The intensive training and limited recovery time encouraged Andrew to look to nutrition as a means of improving performance, speeding recovery and preventing injury. His research confirmed that the same issues of nutrition and biochemistry that ensure optimum athletic performance also directly impact optimum health – which is nothing more than avoiding disease.
It was at this precise time in 1979, while attending Loyola Law School and training for the decathlon, that Andrew developed a straightforward vitamin regimen to provide performance-enhancing ingredients for elite athletes, as well as life-enhancing ingredients for everyone in general. At about that time, he also began giving seminars for physicians who were seeking to be more informed in the recommendation of supplements to their patients. Unfortunately, the supplement ingredients required by the scientific research were not available in conventional products. To make matters worse, the quality of those supplements discouraged Andrew from either consuming them himself or recommending them to physicians or others. Andrew Lessman was left with only one alternative: To design and create his own vitamins; high-quality nutritional supplements that conformed precisely to the scientific literature.
Where and How to Create Vitamins
Designing and manufacturing a high-quality vitamin is not a simple process. It requires a great deal of expense, hard work and experience – which is precisely the reason most companies that “sell” vitamins don’t make their own supplements, but simply market products made for them by contract manufacturers. In the case of the vitamins Andrew Lessman sought to take in 1979, neither the production technology nor the ingredients were available from any existing company, so he was forced to find a way to produce his vitamins himself.
Fortunately, while Andrew attended law school he had worked part-time for a vitamin company, which permitted him to create and manufacture his own formulas. In so doing, Andrew developed the unique additive-free manufacturing process that makes ProCaps Vitamins the only 100% pure vitamins in the world. The incredibly pure and active formulas he produced soon became the favorites of the elite athletes he knew. From this initial small core of athletes, interest in Andrew’s products began to grow by word-of-mouth to a large group of health professionals, as well as the general public. By the late 1980′s, Andrew felt encouraged by the public’s increased interest in nutritional supplementation and he decided to retire from his law practice and devote himself exclusively to a lifelong dream: To produce not only the highest quality vitamins in the world, and make them the most popular. Clearly, at ProCaps Laboratories, Andrew has accomplished his first goal by producing what are objectively the finest vitamins in the world. Now, the only obstacle to their popularity is education, since “if one makes the best vitamins in the world, the strongest bridge to a new customer is education.”
Starting ProCaps Laboratories
Andrew Lessman’s departure from his law practice in 1989 and his decision to make an ethically-marketed line of vitamins with unparalleled quality could not have happened at a better time. Multilevel marketing was at its high point and consumers reasonably doubted the outrageous claims and questionable formulations made by the vast majority of supplement marketers. In short, the public was poised for an ethical alternative and was extremely receptive to both Andrew Lessman’s informed educational approach to supplement marketing and the easy-to-understand, empirical differences in his formulations.
As the years have passed, the vitamin industry continues to be a place where charlatans and snake oil salesman ply their trade, while the large pharmaceutical companies continue to manufacture and market products that remain decades behind the research. All of this has resulted in a marketplace that favors the manufacturer-marketer of products that are objectively superior – products based entirely on credible, established research, and patiently, accessibly explained to the consumer. Andrew’s strength is that he has taken the natural, rational course: sane, realistic, intractably honest – then he has presented his audiences with the unvarnished truth. It’s an admittedly novel approach these days, but Andrew Lessman’s success stands as a testament to the power of an unwavering devotion to excellence.