When a common and usually harmless virus almost destroyed Kenneth Robinson’s career, the professional trumpet player had two choices: either find a remedy or a new profession.
Robinson has performed with the Four Tops, the Temptations, the late Aretha Franklin, the Michigan Opera Theatre, and “Aladdin” the musical, among other shows. He’s a member of the International Symphony Orchestra and has been through 26 symphony seasons. Through it all, he suffered from almost constant cold sores, and sometimes the problem caused him to lose gigs.
Rather than play through the pain, Robinson eventually decided to repair musical instruments for a living. “I was miserable for about three weeks because it was my favorite toy,” he says of his decision to give up playing the trumpet.
But then Robinson tried another route, which resulted in the creation of a home remedy. As founder and president of Robinson’s Remedies, he developed a line of lip care products with musicians in mind.
In 2016, the company was launched in its current form, and Lip Repair Enhanced hit the market. It immediately drew customers; even Lady Gaga’s trumpet player uses the formula.
The cold sore treatment has five antiviral ingredients and eight moisturizers, reduces swelling, and improves lip muscle endurance. The company also offers Lip Renew, a moisturizer and endurance product that’s absorbed immediately so it doesn’t get in the way of playing. Both products are creams, although the company is developing a stick version of each. Future plans include creating callous treatments for string players and percussionists.
Robinson says this is his fifth symphony season in a row without a cold sore.