By David Benda, Record Searchlight, May 2011
Sean Weaver’s upstart Redding company is gaining national attention.
Weaver is president of Eko Research, a research and development company that focuses on manufacturing sustainable construction materials.
One of the products Eko Research makes is TechniSoil Pathway Stabilizer, which premiered last week on DIY network’s “Yard Crashers.” The episode is scheduled to rerun at 10:30 p.m. Thursday, 8:30 p.m. Sunday and 11 p.m. next Wednesday.
In the episode, called “Backyard Balcony,” Weaver is shown using Pathway Stabilizer to help revitalize a Sacramento home’s backyard.
On the show, landscaper Ahmed Hassan hangs out at a home-improvement store looking for the perfect do-it-yourselfer who might need some help. Hassan and his troupe of backyard makeover artists then follow the person home to help transform
“It was fun,” Weaver said. “In the ‘Yard Crashers’ show, there is a lot happening, you’re redoing somebody’s yard in one day, so it is action-packed.”
TechniSoil is a polymer solution that is sprayed on crushed granite on limestone paths, giving the surface the stability of asphalt.
Through TechniSoil’s network of sales representatives, the DIY network discovered the product and contacted the company, Weaver said.
TechniSoil also will be featured in “Vegas Splash Pad,” which premieres at 10 p.m. on June 9, and an episode shot in Atlanta, which does not have an air date at this time.
“The sales have been very strong and our growth has been very strong,” Weaver said. “We just signed a nationwide distributor in Ohio … We want to try to get it in all the big-box stores.”
TechniSoil is sold in about 150 outlets in California that sell TechniSoil products, including in Redding at Axner Excavating, Custom Creations and Vic Hannan Landscape Materials, Weaver said.
And with the growth he envisions, Weaver sees the need of more space to accommodate production.
For the time being, Eko Research will stay in Redding where it will lease a 15,000- to 20,000-square-foot facility.
Currently, Eko Research is headquartered next to Weaver Lumber, a wood products and construction firm owned by Weaver’s brother, Brent.
Eko Research has eight employees — up from three a year ago — and three sales representatives canvassing the country.
The advantages of being in Redding include the low cost to ship freight and the area’s inexpensive wages, Sean Weaver said.
“As it stands now we are going to stay here … However, we have not ruled out relocating the company as it gets larger,” Weaver said.
Mark Lascelles, president of the Economic Development Corp. of Shasta County, said his organization will work hard to keep Weaver in Redding.
“At the end of the day it will be Sean’s decision, but we will do everything we possibly can to influence that decision and see that he continues to build (expand) here,” Lascelles said.
Weaver envisions one day operating out of a large manufacturing plant in a business park setting.
“We built Stillwater for large companies in Redding,” Lascelles said. “The most exciting way to fill Stillwater is by putting one of our own in there and this is the perfect type of company to do it.”
In March 2010, Weaver moved his operation from Phoenix to Redding to be closer to family after inventing TechniSoil in 2007. Sales of the product have doubled over the last year.
“While (new home) construction is down, remodeling and renovating goes up and our product fits into that DIY category quite well,” Weaver said. “Homeowners can … remodel their backyard and install the material without a contractor. I think
that is why we have seen a surge so much in our sales.”