Söliv is a Seattle-based skin care company with a breakthrough product line based on marine biotechnology.
Founder and CEO, Diane Boratyn, first connected with the Washington Technology Center (WTC) in 2001. Söliv received a research grant from WTC to collaborate with researchers in the University of Washington’s botany department to develop an advanced aquaculture system for cultivating the specific seaweed strain used in the company’s proprietary skin care product line.
The WTC grant, in combination with support from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), allowed Söliv to develop a platform for natural selection and propagation of its raw base material — a red ocean algae — and to “farm” these materials for multi-product development and full-scale manufacturing.
In 2004, Boratyn again tapped into WTC resources and contracted with Elaine Kong, manager of WTC’s business consulting services, to help develop a marketing and sales strategy to position the company for its next growth phase. With a strong business model in place, Söliv begin to realize new growth. The company added staff, expanded production and manufacturing operations, penetrated target markets and increased sales.
In January 2006, Söliv celebrated the launch of its flagship training center at Seattle’s University Village. This is the first of the company’s bricks and mortar operations and serves as both an education facility, treatment center, and retail store.
Institute Söliv represents the third step in the company’s vertically-integrated Washington operations which include seaweed farms on the Kitsap Peninsula, manufacturing operations in downtown Seattle, and Institute Söliv.
Boratyn explains that the Institute is a “concept location” for Söliv and will serve as a prototype for the company’s retail sales moving forward. The Institute opens in tandem with the roll out of the company’s new Sea 2 Skin™ brand, the trade label for its red algae-based nutraceutical skin care line.
The unique nature of the product makes education and inventory control important factors in its sales strategy. The company’s marketing approach is currently centered on outreach, referrals, and word-of-mouth. Distribution channels include both wholesale and retail partners including high-end spas, physicians, naturopaths and skin care specialists. Clients can also book appointments for services at Institute Söliv. The addition of Institute Söliv will help the company expand its retails sales, further define its niche market, and determine branding strategies moving forward.
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