Citlali Chevaili created Seabenefit in 2013 and in just five years, Chevaili has seen her beauty company grow from a small startup into a business preparing to open offices in Europe.
Chevaili had years of experience under her belt in the beauty industry. Working with a variety of companies and businesses, Chevaili had learned the ins and outs of marketing high-quality beauty products. Using the ocean as her guide, Chevaili began using seaweed and other sea-inspired items in her line. The result has been an assortment of beauty enhancing items under the Seabenefit name. But Chevaili’s beauty products aren’t just about enhancing one’s exterior. Seabenefit’s line also targets the inside of customers and promotes well-being.
In just a short time, Chevaili’s Seabenefit line has become one of the most highly sought after beauty product ranges on the market.
Citlali, how did you come up with the idea for Seabenefit?
I have always had a passion for skincare. The idea came from my quest to find the best products and innovations in the market for skin care and merging them with ancient beauty secrets.
While growing up, I was lucky to have spent a lot of time with my maternal grandmother, Ana Maria Gracida. She was born at the beginning of last century, and she taught me many of the feminine arts that used to be passed from mother to daughters before. She also went to beauty school, and she showed me many of the “old-school” beauty remedies and secrets. I mixed them with 21st-century ingredients to produce innovative products and created the Seabenefit line.
How did you discover the beauty secrets of seaweed?
I love the sea and the wellbeing it brings you after you’ve been in the ocean. I wanted to be able to replicate some of the benefits of the sea by using seaweed in beauty products that you could use every day at home.
Knowing the ocean is rich in nutrients, I began to do some research about the benefits and qualities of the sea and found Thalassotherapy.
Thalassotherapy comes from the Greek words Thalassa (sea) and therapeia (treatment) is the use of seawater in a therapy form. It is the application of the sea’s beneficial effects, which include the ocean climate, sea water, sea mud, seaweed, sand and other substances. Thalassotherapy’s main asset is acquiring all the benefits of the ocean environment through the topical use of algae.
Thalassotherapy helps mainly to remove toxins, relax, slender the body and soothe the skin; it even helps relieve some aches and pains. In fact, seaweed has been across the world in different cultures. For example, the Chinese used it for curing burns, and for its nutritional and slimming properties; the Polynesians for treating wounds, bruises, and swelling; and by mariners who recognized its healing and medical properties.
Some people go to the Dead Sea or pay hundreds of dollars to get seaweed treatments in spas. With my products, you can get many of the benefits of the sea whenever you want in the privacy of your own home.
What is a unique feature and benefit your Seabenefit Seaweed soap delivers?
My seaweed soap, used daily, can help you detox at home while exfoliating and toning your skin. Massage and seaweed combined help you reduce the appearance of cellulite and help get rid of water weight. The principle it is based on is that massage improves the efficiency of your lymphatic system and seaweed helps tone and tighten the skin. When you use both products at once, you stimulate your lymphatic system while you bathe and apply self-massage.
The lymphatic system is the body’s inner “drainage system,”it has no “pump” of its own, but it can be activated mainly by exercise or massage. This is why I recommend massaging your body with gentle, but firm pressure in circles to the left (counter-clockwise) and always toward the heart, to improve toxin removal.
Think about it, most everyone loves going to spas – there are some wonderful treatments, lymphatic massages, de-stress massages, seaweed detox baths, and infusions, but how often can you do it? We are limited by time and sometimes by resources.
I am very proud of delivering a straightforward and efficient product that benefits men and women by enhancing their overall wellbeing in privacy of their own home and at an affordable price.
Chevaili believes one of the aspects that sets her company apart from others is the ingredients. Chevaili promises Seabenefit products are filler-free. Customers will not only get the best, natural ingredients, but they will also get a product without expensive packaging.
What are the biggest differences between using Seabenefit seaweed inspired products and other brands?
My products contain real active ingredients, I don’t spend money on useless packaging or pass the consumer an enormous bill for marketing. I spend my money on high-quality raw materials so that the product delivers real benefits.
Some manufacturers could say their soap includes seaweed, but instead of seaweed algae, they add oatmeal for texture and fake coloring. I never add what are called “fillers” in the industry. I only add the best active ingredients at high percentages for real results.
I also believe in not polluting the environment with excessive packaging. That is why my packaging is minimal, and everything can be recycled.
Not long after forming, customers of San Francisco’s historic San Remo Hotel were able to use Seabenefit products while staying. It was a major coup for Chevaili and her young company. She hopes to expand the Seabenefit reach into other areas of the hotel and travel industry.
You’ve seen success in the travel industry with your products. San Francisco’s San Remo Hotel carries Seabenefit. How big of an accomplishment was that for you at this stage of the company? Are there any other relationships like this one you have in the works?
I enjoy working in the travel industry and having my products at the historic San Remo Hotel in San Francisco. Guests at the hotel have left reviews about how much they enjoyed their stay and using my products.
With such great feedback, I would like to expand to the cruise travel industry. Cruise ship travelers could benefit significantly with my products while they are on a boat and will get to see the real results in the seven or ten days they are captive on the ship.
Chevaili has big plans for the future. She wants to introduce a sunscreen line to the market as the effects of sun damage are extremely dangerous. The sunscreen line will go nicely with the variety of products Seabenefit already sells. From shampoo and conditioner to body gel, Chevaili has reacted well to the demands of customers with an assortment of seaweed infused products.
Regarding growing Seabenefit further, what do you have your eyes on next?
I am planning on bringing a combination of sunscreen, seaweed extract, and collagen, into an all-in-one cream. I believe sunscreen is the most essential everyday beauty product for men and women. If you don’t want to have a complicated beauty regimen and would ask me what you should use, I would say use sunscreen religiously every day in every weather: sunny or cloudy, hot or cold.
How can I prove sun damage is the worst enemy for your skin? Just check your body parts that have never been exposed to the sun and see how the skin is neither damaged nor wrinkled.
On the Seabenefit website, there are a number of other products besides the seaweed soaps. Can you tell us about them?
I have different seaweed-based products like a body gel with two types of seaweed and 11 botanicals, a seaweed shampoo and conditioner and many more. I want anyone who goes to my website to find a product that is right for them, and variety is the key.
Makeup, dietary supplements and more are available. What led you to expand the line from just the original seaweed soaps?
Beauty is intricate; itdoes not only come from the outside, but it also comes from the inside. It is not about doing one thing only. It is a delicate balance of many different elements.
I’ve been adding products that I think will enhance my client’s lives.I want my customers to feel all right because when you feel good, you look better.
Seabenefit has found its niche in the market thanks to social media and the way in which it reaches customers. The company sells most of its products via the Internet, but customers can also find it in spas and boutiques. It has taken some time to reach this point and Chevaili explained just how Seabenefit finds its clients today.
When the company started, how easy was it to reach new customers in the beauty market?
It has always been a challenge to reach your designated audience, but it is still about being creative and flexible more than anything else. Analytics can give you an incredible insight into your own business and help you decide if you need to deliver your content differently.
What methods did you use to reach customers?
I started years ago with another company name. In those days, a cost-efficient way to find new customers was through TV. We sold our products through direct response for a few years. Mail order catalogs, TV shopping channels as well as infomercials – now it has shifted to the Internet. We sell on our website and through Amazon as well.
As a brand, what has been the best way to reach new clients? Has it been social media, more traditional means or a combination of the two?
It is always a combination of both, but I love social media; it gives independent brands like mine a voice and a way to reach customers directly. It also allows you to have a conversation with them and hear their concerns. Some people hate it, but it is here to stay, so as a brand it is best to embrace it.
Do you see your target audience for Seabenefit changing, and if so, how will you respond to this change?
I do see my target audience changing somewhat; I have more male buyers than before. I think men are now more conscious of their skincare health and taking better care of themselves, which is excellent news, but I am also aware that the millennials are the ones to keep an eye on. I am planning to add a bathing gel version of my seaweed soap and an exfoliating glove, to appeal to this group, they prefer bathing gels to bars of soap.
The Seabenefit website is the main venue for customers to shop for the company’s products. Do you have any new sales outlets in the pipeline or are there stores customers can buy the products from?
We like to sell directly to the public, and the internet has proven to be a great avenue for us.
We also sell through independent beauty and gift stores, as well as day spas, and of course The San Remo Hotel.
Started in the United States, Seabenefit is now ready to take on the rest of the world. Chevaili is prepared to open up her business to Germany and the entire European market. It has only been five years since the birth of Seabenefit, but Chevaili has proven a great product line can grow quickly.
Do you have your eyes on the European market and will you be moving into it in the near future?
As we are speaking, I am excited to let you know that we are working on establishing a subsidiary in Berlin, Germany for Seabenefit. We will be distributing from there to the rest of Europe, and the website will be Seabenefit.de.
Seabenefit’s success has been achieved through fulfilling the promises of enhancing customers’ beauty and well-being. In a world where products are bought and sold each day thanks to empty claims, Chevaili has found her seaweed-inspire items are making customers happy after every use.
Seabenefit’s rise has been fuelled by Chevaili’s hard work and expert knowledge of the beauty product business. After just five years on the market, Chevaili’s seaweed items are ready to convert new customers to the wonders of natural beauty products.
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