CEO of Organic Skin Care Line OSEA Tells All

May 8, 2019
Melissa Palmer
I have no shame to admit that I am a health fanatic. I’m literally that gal you see at Whole Foods spending hours in the organic section of produce, reading almond milk and vegan protein powder labels, or perusing new essential oils to try.  Anything I consume or apply to my skin must be organic, NON-GMO,  and gluten-free.
When it particularly comes to skincare, there’s nothing more refreshing than clean, cruelty free, non-toxic and vegan products. Enter in OSEA, the natural marine-based skin and body care brand, headed by Melissa Palmer, to solve all your skincare needs with the help of a potent blend of organic seaweed concentrates, combined with lush botanicals and essential oils.
Palmer, the CEO of OSEA, is a born and bred entrepreneur and marketer who is passionate about growing innovative wellness brands.
I interviewed Palmer to learn more about her journey as the CEO of OSEA.
Jewish Journal: Tell us about OSEA for those who may not know.
Melissa Palmer: My mom, Jenefer Palmer, founded OSEA 23 years ago with the intention of creating an effective skincare line that was safe for our bodies and good for our planet. Her goal was to create products that actually deliver results by nourishing the skin with potent, bioavailable ingredients.
OSEA was inspired by the roaring waves of the ocean off the coast of Malibu and we unite the elements of Ocean, Sun, Earth & Atmosphere to refresh and rejuvenate your complexion, body and mind. Each and every product we create is infused with a uniquely potent blend of organic seaweed concentrates, lush botanicals and essential oils to deliver safe and effective skin solutions for all skin types at every age.
We use USDA Certified Seaweed (marine algae) in almost all of our formulations because it’s one of the most abundant sources of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and essential fatty acids. This full spectrum of nutrients makes it an incredible source for diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, reducing the look of hyperpigmentation, banishing blemishes and soothing sensitive skin.
JJ: How did the idea of OSEA come about?
MP: My mom was working as the spa director for an amazing mineral springs resort and spa. She had representatives from every company come and pitch her their lines and why they should be stocked at the spa. After hearing brand after brand talk about their products, she realized that it didn’t matter whether the product was five or fifty dollars, the ingredients were virtually the same. She literally went to the library to research the ingredients, and discovered that these “holy grail” products were filled with so many things that she would never dream of putting in her body, so why would she put them on her body?
At that point she began formulating her first product, the Essential Hydrating Oil, and that’s how OSEA was born. Her products and treatments quickly developed a kind of cult following that continues to inspire her to formulate new, innovative products.
JJ: What does a day in the life look like for you as the CEO of OSEA
MP: This is new for me, but for the past few months, I’ve been working to create a true morning routine for myself. I start each day with a self-care practice to set the tone for the rest of my day. When I wake up, for the first 40 minutes I try and make sure to put my phone on airplane mode. At that point, I’m able to meditate and practice Tai Chi without interruption. Once I turn my phone back on, the emails start rolling in and it’s full steam ahead, so for me that first 40-60 minutes of time to myself is really important.
I spend a lot of time at our offices in Venice with our team, having creative and business meetings with our staff about our latest marketing initiatives. Typically I do a check-in daily with our OSEA Skincare Studio on Abbot Kinney or I’m out stopping into new spa & retail locations with our sales team. Then there are the days where I’m at the lab with my mom working on product development, so there is a wide range of things that I could be doing depending on the day.
I’ve also been trying to tap into my creativity more. As our company grows and I’m able to delegate more to our amazing team, I have more space to dive deeper into what I really love to do! I spend a lot of time conceptualizing, creating and manifesting new and innovative ways to grow the business and continue to reach more people.
JJ: What do you believe makes OSEA stand out from other organic skin and body care brands? 
MP: Over the years I’ve really come to see how unique we are and I believe it’s because of our commitment to sourcing and using only the highest quality, plant-derived ingredients and you can see the difference right away. Even though we are an organic brand, we’re all about more is more. We pack as many wonderful ingredients into a formula as we can to create the best products in the green beauty space that actually deliver results.
OSEA will always be product forward as opposed to brand forward. We’ve definitely ramped up our marketing efforts and adapted to the digital landscape, but our commitment to creating the best products is and always will be our north star.
For decades we’ve led the market and created the trends rather than following them. I swear my mom can see in the future and she always knows what the next “hot” ingredient is going to be.
JJ: What is your ultimate goal with OSEA and the impact you’d like it to place on consumers? 
MP: Our ultimate goal is to build consumer confidence so they understand that they can get beautiful results with safe, non-toxic products. We love making people feel great in their own skin!
JJ: As Albert Einstein once said: “Failure is success in progress.”  What have been some of your failures, and how has it helped propel you towards success?
MP: I stepped away from OSEA for a few years to pursue a passion project called Hoopnotica, a hula hoop fitness company. It was a rollercoaster ride. It went from being a huge success, to a huge failure, to ultimately being a huge success. I learned so many lessons during that time and when I finally came back to OSEA, I was able to put those lessons into action. It taught me how to be impactful with creating growth and I also learned what was important to me in terms of integrity and ethics, which are invaluable aspects of how I operate our business.
JJ: What is the biggest piece of advice you’d give someone who is interested in entrepreneurship?
MP: I love the expression “mediocrity makes money.” It’s a good reminder to let go of perfectionism. Painstaking deliberation conflicts with productivity. Instead of ruminating endlessly on getting things done, just get things done. Even if you don’t know where it will take you, it’s what will lead you to the next step. It might even mean failing, but always have the courage to take that first step.
I also like to tell people that if you don’t know where to start, go work for someone who is doing something that you want to do or who inspires you.
JJ: Let’s talk a bit about the business side of OSEA to help provide insight and inspiration to future entrepreneurs. How did you work on growing a loyal customer base for OSEA
MP: Product quality and exceptional customer service. We stand behind our products and proactively communicate when there’s an issue, such as a batch of faulty pumps or a textural issue. We also provide full transparency around any price increases, it’s so important that our customers know they can trust us.
We choose to nurture and harness the power of kindness and honesty. These key attributes hold a lot more weight in business than most people think.
JJ: What are 3 marketing tips you’d give to entrepreneurs?
  1. Try everything
  2. Stick to your instincts
  3. Find smaller ponds where you can be the bigger fish
JJ: Discuss the process you utilized to get OSEA in major shops and spas such as Four Seasons, Neiman Marcus and ABC Home:
MP: Visualization and manifestation… they all called us!
JJ: Any new inside scoop you would like to share on what people can expect coming up this year for OSEA: 
MP: New products, expanding our spa menu at our Skincare Studio and growing our community!
JJ: We would like to leave readers with a little nugget of inspiration. What has been your greatest inspiration? Is there a particular quote, life motto or mentor you look up to that has given you unforgettable advice that you’d like to share? 
MP: “How may I serve? How may I serve? How may I serve?” -Wayne Dyer
And something I’ve been practicing myself lately, which is to “lean more into who you are….” -Sheryl Sandberg

Berenice Famli is the CEO and founder of the Jewish emoji app Shalomoji and a Los Angeles based writer who covers lifestyle, health, and entrepreneurship. 

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