We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Walmsley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Product transparency is of the utmost importance to us and there’s no doubt in my mind that PBO’s success stems from our mission and promise to our customers to provide the highest quality sunscreen with the least environmental impact. If it doesn’t come from the earth we don’t utilize it in our sunscreen products and our customers have come to trust the brand to provide a safe and effective product that doesn’t pose health risks to humans, marine life, or the environment.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Pacific Beach Organics is a sunscreen company whose mission is to produce the highest quality sunscreen with the least environmental impact. When I started at a farmer’s market in 2015 I was excited to bring consumers a product like Riptide Sunscreen because I felt the market was seriously lacking reef safe sunscreens with pure ingredients consumers could trust. It was fun formulating plant-based products that truly worked and the idea that we could impact the industry and the planet in a positive way drove my passion further. Our refusal to compromise ingredients in pursuit of profits is what sets us apart from the majority of our competitors. Additionally, we don’t use deceptive labeling practices and believe consumers have a right to know exactly what’s going on their skin and into the world’s oceans. Starting a sunscreen company with pure intentions has been rewarding but hasn’t been without its own set of obstacles. One of the biggest challenges being that sunscreen is an OTC drug and the industry itself is heavily regulated by the FDA. These regulations help protect consumers but for small start ups the costs attributed with maintaining a cGMP facility can leave them dead in the water. A lot of small businesses never make the jump from the kitchen to the laboratory but we decided to take that leap in 2020 and while it’s been a lot of work, we are finally reaping the rewards. This year Pacific Beach Organics had two sunscreen products rate Green in the Environmental Working Group’s 2020 Best Beach & Sport Sunscreen Guide. We received the highest rating afforded by the EWG and that was a huge accomplishment for us. A reoccurring theme that continues to arise along our entrepreneurial path is that there is no great gain without great risk. The sky’s the limit if you’re brave enough fly.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There’s so much to love about San Diego and it’s no mystery that the beaches are what drove me 3500 miles from where I’m from to call this place home. Some of my favorite places include Windansea Beach, Little Italy, Pacific Beach, La Jolla Shores, Mission Beach, and Ocean Beach to name a few. While I prefer the beach areas, no trip to San Diego is complete without visiting the museums at Balboa Park or the eateries downtown. You could hardly say you saw the city if you missed out on the rich cultural history of Old Town or forgot to stop into the San Diego Zoo. Be sure to check out Sunset Cliffs after a day of exploring the Point Loma Tide Pools or surfing in Ocean Beach. Don’t forget to snorkel La Jolla Cove and catch the seals basking in the sun over at the Children’s Pool Beach. For a day of shopping and dining you won’t regret stopping into Seaport Village, Liberty Public Market, or strolling through the Little Italy Mercato farmer’s market for fresh local food and artisan goods. One thing is for certain, anyone looking to take in everything San Diego has to offer will need to clear their calendar for several months of exploration and near constant enjoyment.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Navigating the sunscreen industry has at times been daunting but along the way I’ve been fortunate enough to cross paths with other like-minded industry professionals who have helped in some capacity. One person in particular that stands out among the rest is Erik Kreider, founder of Kabana Organic Skincare. Erik also produces earth safe sunscreen products and has been working in the industry for a long time. There were some tough obstacles along the journey and there was a time where Erik provided tremendous insight, advice, and guidance that reignited the entrepreneurial fire inside of me to continue to bring the products to market. I’m eternally grateful to Erik for that phone call.
Lindsey White of We Are PB Elizabeth Ochse of Junon Jewelry