Superior native launches skin care lineSuperior native Courtney Podvin launched his second business in less than a year Friday. Zo Elementals, his line of organic skin care products, was unveiled at Kate by Courtney & Leigh in Superior Friday.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Superior native Courtney Podvin launched his second business in less than a year Friday. Zo Elementals, his line of organic skin care products, was unveiled at Kate by Courtney & Leigh in Superior Friday.
“I like the smell,” said Sue Youngren of Duluth as she tried some of the Zo face cream out on her hand. The floral designer said it was awesome to see a young entrepreneur start up a business.
But what does 26-year-old Podvin know about skin care products? A lot, it turns out. Because he has a gluten allergy, regular lotions and products caused his skin to break out. In July, he set out to make his own customized face care products.
“I’m a big science buff,” said the 2004 Superior High School graduate. Podvin transformed half of his apartment in Roseville, Minn. into a “lab” of sorts where he formulated and reformulated mixtures to create gluten-free, fragrance free, cruelty free, organic, eco-friendly products for the most sensitive of skin. Much of his free time has been spent testing mixtures, filling lotion bottles, fitting on roller balls and choosing colors for the Zo labels
“I’m very much a perfectionist,” he said. He researched other products, finding many of them only had one or two “buzz” ingredients that really impact the skin.
“I decided to put them all into one,” Podvin said. Ingredient lists for Zo products include antioxidants like silk peptide powder, white tea to reduce skin puffiness, a peptide that relaxes muscles to reduce wrinkles and vitamin A to help renew skin.
Once he developed the skin care products, Podvin decided to share them. But they can only be purchased through Kate.
“I wanted to make it exclusive to them for at least a year,” said Podvin. This way as his business grows, he keeps it all in the family. Both Courtney & Leigh and Kate are owned by his parents, Kevin and Linda. Even the name of the product is a connection to Podvin’s roots — Zo is what his younger brother Dayton used to call him.
This is the second business Podvin has launched in the past nine months. On Memorial Day, he opened another small business, Courtney Charles Photography. The other half of his apartment is devoted to that, Podvin said. The two businesses are, in a way, complimentary.
“I really like making the world a beautiful place,” Podvin said.
The 26-year-old has a day job at the Target corporate office, as well.
“He is an enterprising young man,” Podvin’s father said, with a lot of energy and drive. Maybe the entrepreneurial spirit is genetic, Podvin said, but he plans to put it to rest for now.
“My new year’s resolution for 2013 is not to start any more businesses,” he said.
More information on Zo Elementals is available online at kateliving.com, by calling 715-392-5283 or by stopping at Kate by Courtney & Leigh, 10 N. 21st St.