Marketplace: Park City duo creates skincare products with hemp, hops
Chett Boxley is happiest in his lab, mixing chemicals and other ingredients to concoct solutions.
So when he met Chris Rebsamen, who specializes in consumer goods marketing and sales, it was not long before the pair came up with a new business idea. They created a skincare company called Batch Twenty-One last summer. It sells moisturizers and body soaps made with hemp, hops and other plant-based ingredients.
The two Park City residents met four years ago through the entrepreneurial network nonprofit PandoLabs. At the time, Rebsamen was helping other entrepreneurs in Park City sell their products and Boxley was creating eco-friendly ingredients to sell to skincare companies. After trying to get national brands to buy his goods, he decided to leave his business and jump headfirst into the skincare industry.
“At the end of the day we were kind of like, ‘Why are we not doing this ourselves? There is an indie brand that launches every day in the skincare world, why not us?’” he said.
While learning more about the skincare world, Boxley discovered the benefits of hops, a plant that is used to brew beer, and hemp. He said hops have anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to skin, and hemp seed oil keeps skin moisturized.
“The combination of the two is super powerful,” Boxley said.
He told Rebsamen about his idea to combine the two ingredients to make skincare products, and Rebsamen agreed to help Boxley build a brand.
Rebsamen, who has 30 years of experience selling consumer goods, believed there was space in the crowded skincare market for a high-quality product that was affordable and locally made.
They settled on the name Batch Twenty-One because 21 is the legal drinking age in the U.S. and hops are a major ingredient, Boxley said. Plus, he said the word batch is representative of the company’s hand-made, small-batch style.
Boxley worked on perfecting the formula for a couple months and then, last March, the team came to its biggest obstacle. Rebsamen was diagnosed with blood cancer. He went through treatment as Boxley finalized the formula, found packaging and started selling products online.
By September, Rebsamen beat the cancer and was eager to push the brand forward. The next month, the business started getting into spas and other businesses in Park City and Salt Lake City.
Rebsamen and Boxley are proud when they see the products selling in businesses like Uinta Brewing. They are glad to have their names behind a product that uses natural, plant-based ingredients. The products are also packaged in eco-friendly containers made from recycled plastic and paper.
Boxley said he has tried to use his chemistry skills to create eco-friendly materials since he graduated with a doctorate degree in chemistry years ago. Even though using natural ingredients and recycled packaging can be difficult and expensive, Boxley said Batch Twenty-One is committed to having a low impact on the environment.
“It just kind of became ingrained in the way I live and my family lives,” he said.
Boxley recently released the company’s third product, which utilizes food waste as an ingredient. Batch Twenty-One’s bar soap has spent grain, a byproduct of brewing beer, in it.
Rebsamen is also passionate about sustainability. He said he has seen a lot of waste in the consumer goods industry, and he is not interested in contributing to that waste with their products. Rebsamen and Boxley want sustainability to be at the core of their work.
“At the end of our day, we are using our channel distribution to also build awareness,” Boxley said.
Rebsamen hopes to grow Batch Twenty-One to become a national brand, but he said the company will stick to its ideals. Boxley said he will be happy as long as he is able to keep making products.
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