St. Louis-based Kvell Cosmetics, LLC, recently established in March 2012, has announced its full operability as the exclusive U.S. distributor of algae-based skin care line, Oceanwell. The Oceanwell product line is created by biotechnology firm, oceanBASIS, located in Kiel, Germany.
The Oceanwell skin care line is said to be the only skin care product that includes bioactive molecules that are extracted intact from laminaria algae (brown algae). Because oceanBASIS’s patented fermentation extraction process is completed without the use of solvents or chemical additives,Oceanwell meets all criteria for the prestigious European NaTrue certification and is a certified natural cosmetic line. Kvell Cosmetics will sell theOceanwell lines to organizations that provide premium skin care services and sell associated products (spas, salons, laser hair removal facilities, medical spas, and more).
Oceanwell skin care products are in high demand overseas. European sales figures for 2011 totaled over $1.3 million; the line is carried in more than 150 salons and spas throughout Europe, including Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Oceanwell is also carried throughout Australia and new agreements have been recently signed for exclusive distribution in South Korea and China.
“The Laminaria alga is resilient, regenerative, and withstands harsh environmental conditions,” said Jeff Ellebrecht, mechanical engineer and general manager of Kvell Cosmetics. “These properties continually impressed the marine biologists at oceanBASIS as they were researching wound healing and cell repair innovations. The Oceanwell line was a byproduct of marine medical research.”
This research has carried over into the harvesting process. First, algae from the Baltic Sea are harvested by oceanBASIS divers. Then, in an all-natural process, the algae are multiplied, and the bioactive molecules are extracted. It then enters the Oceanwell manufacturing phase before being shipped to Kvell Cosmetics in St. Louis.
“I was immediately drawn to the Oceanwell product line because of its all natural ingredients and sustainability emphasis,” said Andrea Ellebrecht, Kvell’s product manager and cosmetics industry veteran. “oceanBASIS is committed to preserving the environment in all of their research endeavors and Kvell is committed to distributing a product that is packaged responsibly and promotes pride in purity.”
In fact, Kvell (pronounced Ca’velle) is both a Yiddish term meaning “pride” and the combination of the company’s principals’ last names. Andrea and Jeff Ellebrecht are joined by Xenon International Academy-trained esthetician Ashlinn Cavarretta and sales team leader Joshua Cavarretta. By July 2013, Kvell Cosmetics anticipates two additional hires and year one revenue of $500,000. By year five, they forecast a staff of 12, a distributor network totaling 100 organizations, and $3.5 million in revenue.
“I knew that Kvell Cosmetics was the right company to bring Oceanwell to the U.S. market because of their comprehensive understanding and appreciation of our patented process, the quality of our product, and the science behind it,” said Christian Koch, part owner of oceanBASIS. “The Kvell Cosmetics team has the perfect industry, professional and marketplace experience to make Oceanwell a household name in America.”