Q&A with Seabolt & Co. Founder: Jamie Seabolt
In 2012, Jamie Seabolt observed a lack of natural skin product offerings for men and founded Seabolt & Co. Since then, Seabolt and Co. has grown exponentially, offering an assortment of all natural, hand-made products for both men and women, as well as a variety workshops and services.
We talked to Jamie about the process behind their handcrafted, small-batch, products and to learn more about everything there is to love about this Ohio original!
What is the story and inspiration behind Seabolt & Co.?
I could ramble on for days about this! I was teaching Makeup and Skin Care classes throughout Columbus, showing women of all ages, lifestyles, and backgrounds how to apply makeup using better products. I created a syllabus that covers an extensive 29 steps of skin care and beauty. At the same time, I was also working with two major Natural Skin Care companies and noticed a miss in the natural skin care segment for men. So I partnered with a chemist of over 20 years and developed my first products under the Seabolt & Co. name. To help promote the newly launched brand, I demoed the skin care line to women in the makeup workshops. They loved them so much that they wanted their own. We then created the Seabolt & Co skin care line for women, under the Rein name. That is still one of our oldest and most popular product categories in the store. Finally, after becoming an Advanced Esthetician and Esthetics Instructor, I combined my famous makeup workshops, our new Seabolt & Co. skin care products, and added in esthetics services such as waxing and facials to create the first ever Seabolt & Co. brick and mortar store. That store opened on March 2, 2015 in the Short North neighborhood.
What differentiates Seabolt and Co.’s products and services from competitors?
All of our products are hand-made, in small batches, right here in Columbus, OH, USA. Everything is paraben-free, sulfate-free and Vegan. We only use naturally derived fragrances and true essentials oils, and only add ingredients to products that serve a purpose. Nothing is used as "fluff" or "filler".
Seabolt & Co. makes a point to hire persons with disabilities. Please elaborate on how this program was developed.
This has always been very important to me. I've always wanted to do the right thing and offer opportunities to people who were normally turned away for jobs. We partnered with a local organization who specializes in day services for the disabled and developed our pilot program. It was quite successful and we identified fun, engaging tasks that can be done easily at our warehouse. We started out with a team of four people who made bath bombs and bath soaks, as well as packaged other core products. The repetition of these jobs gives people the chance to master a skill while tearing through the job barriers that most disabled persons face. To me, the best part of the program is giving real interviews - it makes their day! For most, this is the first time they have applied for a job and they are so proud. It makes me feel good to see the excitement that these tasks generate for people otherwise overlooked. Today, we operate the program Monday through Friday from 10am to 3pm and currently have a wait list of persons wanting to join the program.
If you had to choose, what is your favorite Seabolt & Co. product and why?
For men, it is the Beard Oil. We take a lot of pride in the oil and its ingredients. We blend six premium oils: three to target the skin and three to target the hair. It's simply amazing and, in our apothecary stores, men can blend in their own custom Beard Oil Scent from a choice of over 140 scents. For women, I would have to say it is the Caffeinated Eye Cream. It is our biggest seller in the skin care category and runs out of stock every time we make a fresh batch. We use naturally derived caffeine, without any harsh chemicals, to flush away any fluid build-up and discoloration in the under eye area. It is all natural and rivals any national competitor in effectiveness, at the fraction of the cost.
What is your most popular products?
That's easy - our Bath Bombs and Shower Steamers! Last year, we sold over 28,000 hand-made bath bombs. We squeeze and press our bombs by hand, making them in batches of approximately 16 at a time. We don’t use any machinery or hydraulic presses. Also unlike national competitors, our bath bombs do not leave a dirty, oily ring around the tub when you are finished. Our bath bombs are cleaner and healthier and unlike their Vegetarian Bath Bombs, ours are Vegan. We use naturally derived fragrances and essential oils compared to synthetic scents and the best part is our price point. Not a fan of the bath tub? Then use our Shower Steamers, exclusive to us at Easton Town Center, these Shower Steamers have triple the essential oils for a truly aromatic experience. We debuted these at Easton in Mid-December 2017 and sold 3,877 of them in 3 weeks-time. That's a lot of showers!
How about a hidden gem?
Our waxing services would definitely fall into that category. These all-natural body waxing services are one of Columbus’ best kept secrets and we just started offering waxing at our Easton location. By the way, new clients get half off their first wax service!
Can you tell us a little more about the workshops and classes you offer?
Classes and workshops were the core of the business before we went brick and mortar. You can come in and host a variety of workshops. We offer a 29-step Makeup & Skin Care Class, Bath Bomb Parties where you make your own bath bombs, and Essential Oil Custom Blend Workshop, and so much more. Classes start at $50 per person, and classes hold 4 to 6 persons. We have generally scheduled public workshops that you can hop into when your schedule allows, or a hostess can create her own private party for her and her select guests. The possibilities are endless. We proudly call our Makeup Workshops "Red & Rouge" as you sip wine while learning makeup application from the everyday to special occasion. Bath Bomb Parties are great for guests of all ages (and perfect for kids).
Finally, what is one thing people should know about the Seabolt & Co. brand?
Seabolt & Co is full of warm fuzzies. We do what’s right, right here at home. Our company mission is to "Deliver a WOW moment to each guest". Our products are natural, paraben-free, sulfate-free, Vegan, and only use naturally-derived fragrances. Our manufacturing is done in small batches, all made by hand, while giving people with disabilities job opportunities. The majority of our stores are opened in storefronts and buildings that are locally owned or managed in Columbus, some of which are family-owned. We also try to go as green a possible with LED lighting in as many of our light fixtures as possible, and instant-on, tankless hot water tanks to conserve power. We are 100% Ohio based and we recommend everyone shop local and support local.
To learn more about Seabolt and Co.’s products and services, visit their store located on The Strand East or visit their website.
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