Kvell Cosmetics, LLC, Launched in Wildwood Based on Marine Biologists' Breakthrough
Wildwood entity has exclusive right to distribute novel algae-based skincare line in the United States. The "Oceanwell" discovery was a byproduct of marine medical research originating in the Baltic Sea.
Wildwood residents Jeff and Andrea Ellebrecht are embarking on a new cosmetic industry endeavor that involves the natural benefits of algae. The Ellebrechts established Kvell Cosmetics, LLC, in March, and now will sell algae-based Oceanwell product lines to premium skincare services providers, such as spas, salons, laser hair removal facilities and medical spas.
On Monday, The Ellebrechts announced their exclusive U.S. distributor of Oceanwell's skincare line. The Oceanwell product line is created by a biotechnology firm, oceanBASIS, located in Kiel, Germany.
"We think these products can change people's lives," Andrea told Patch. "I like people with honest intentions. Once I met the team behind the products, I knew it was the right step to take, and was encouraged that they were 100 percent, European-certified ingredients.
"What you read on the labels is what you get."
The Oceanwell skincare line is the only skincare product that includes bioactive molecules extracted intact from laminaria algae (brown algae), according to a news release distributed by the company. Because oceanBASIS’s patented fermentation extraction process does not use solvents or chemical additives, Oceanwell meets all criteria for the prestigious European NaTrue certification and is a certified natural cosmetic line, stated the release.
“The Laminaria alga is resilient, regenerative, and withstands harsh environmental conditions,” said Jeff, who is a mechanical engineer and general manager of Kvell Cosmetics, in the release. “These properties continually impressed the marine biologists at oceanBASIS as they were researching wound healing and cell repair innovations.”
European sales figures for Oceanwell skincare products last year totaled more than $1.3 million; the line is carried in 150-plus 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, according to the release.
The Harvesting Process
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, according to the company's news release. It then enters the Oceanwell manufacturing phase before being shipped to Kvell Cosmetics in Wildwood.
Andrea, Kvell’s product manager, said she was immediately drawn to the Oceanwell product line because of its all natural ingredients and sustainability emphasis. “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.”
She said her goal since she was a teenager was to be cosmetologist. "I was into natural products; it was always my interest."
However, Kvell represents the first time in her career she was able to realize her dream. She previously was a language arts teacher for middle school aged students. She has not been in the education work force for the past five years, however.
The Ellebrechts have lived in Wildwood for the past six years, but are St. Louis area natives. Jeff is president of Max-Air Technology in O'Fallon, MO.
Andrea said they have been empty nesters for the past year, making the timing of Oceanwell "just right."
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, as stated in the release. 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, in the company's news release. “The Kvell Cosmetics team has the perfect industry, professional and marketplace experience to make Oceanwell a household name in America.”
Andrea said they are working toward getting Oceanwell certified with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other American regulating entities.