As a rural pharmacist, James Tennyson dispensed his share of antibiotics, cough remedies and eye drops, but it was his customers' fear of poisonous snakes that led him to his true calling.
Tennyson developed a snake repellent out of his father's garage, mixing his first batches in brown paper bags before switching to steel drums to keep up with demand. He eventually quit working at the drug store to devote all his time to the product, called Snake-A-Way, despite the skepticism of some of his neighbors in Pelham, a southwest Georgia farm town of four-thousand.
Tennyson says that when he started, people in his own community called him a snake-oil salesman.
From that humble start, the company Tennyson and his father founded in 1990, Dr. T's Nature Products, has grown into a major repellant maker, boasting annual sales of about ten (m) million dollars and customers as far away as Saudi Arabia, Greece and Israel. Its customers range from pest-control companies to the U-S military to large retailers such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Lowe's.