Waterbody, a Wrangell-based skin care company that sells products like facial and body oils, soaps, salves and bath soaks won first prize in the Beyond the Plate category of the Symphony of Seafood product competition last month.
The category is meant to highlight seafood products that can’t be eaten. In this case, Waterbody’s winning product is a kelp-infused bath soak, called Deep Blue Sea.
Waterbody founder Angie Flickinger says the epsom and sea salt soak has Alaska bull kelp, peppermint, lavender and jojoba oils, and — like all of her products — is inspired by the nature of Southeast Alaska.
“One of the main areas of focus for the Symphony is mariculture, and kelp is a very up-and-coming ingredient and resource in the region,” Flickinger said. “So I wanted to highlight one of the products that use kelp. There are whole flakes of kelp in the sea soak, so you’re actually soaking in it too, which I think is cool.”
While Waterbody has multiple products that use Alaska kelp, Flickinger says she wanted to highlight the bath soak on the big stage.
“That’s my best selling product overall,” she said. “And so it has a large following and a lot of folks love it. I also really love the packaging of the bath soak, because I think it communicates — it sort of draws people into what it feels like to be on the water here. It just has that feeling, so the whole package just felt like a good fit for that contest. It really looks like the ocean, and it has parts of the ocean in it.”
Flickinger makes, packages and ships Waterbody products from a 500-foot studio next door to the Churchill Laundromat and across the street from Wrangell’s marine service center. And she says winning one of the five category prizes at this year’s Symphony of Seafood won’t radically change that operations model.
“I’m just working to grow the business. As I’ve, you know, learned how to better operate a business and challenge myself in all these ways and grown as an entrepreneur, I see this business as a way to invest more in my community, locally and regionally,” Flickinger says.
The Symphony of Seafood is a product competition sponsored by the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation. There are five main competition categories — retail, food service, Beyond the Plate, salmon and whitefish — as well as a grand prize and prizes for Seattle’s Choice, Juneau’s Choice, and Bristol Bay Choice.
The Symphony of Seafood Grand Prize will be announced at an event in Juneau in February 2022. As a category winner, Waterbody will get booth space at the Seafood Expo North America in March and an entry into the expo’s product competition, the Seafood Excellence Awards.
Waterbody is one of two small Southeast Alaska companies to win category prizes at this year’s Symphony of Seafood.
The other, Seagrove Kelp, sources kelp off Prince of Wales Island in Doyle Bay. It won the food service category for its Alaska Grown Ribbon Kelp, which it sells to retailers and wholesale to restaurants and other food producers.