STUART — Not quite two years after H2Ocean placed its line of natural health care products in 21 Walgreens stores within easy reach of its Stuart headquarters, the company recently began selling its lead product — the Extreme Tattoo After Care Kit — in almost 5,200 Walgreens nationwide.
The company, owned by Edward Kolos and his wife, Geri, holds three patents on the use of sea salt in products such as mouthwash, nasal spray and wound-care rinses.
Tattoo After Care, however, “is where our name is branded and the industry we’ve been in the longest,” said Scott Stier, H2Ocean’s vice president of operations.
Noting tattoo industry estimates say 21,000 tattoo salons nationwide generate revenues of about $2 billion a year and growing at about 5 percent a year, Stier said, “We’re going to draw consumers into Walgreens. We’re very fortunate and very excited about this opportunity.”
Stier said the growing statistics validate the tattoo industry as big business in mainstream America.
He said several tattoo reality shows are in their third and fourth season on television with growing ratings. Pew Research Center statistics show that 45 million Americans have at least one tattoo.
H2Ocean, which celebrates its 12-year anniversary next month, says its products are the most recognized for tattoo and body piercing after care worldwide.
Its Extreme Tattoo Care Kit is a three-step system designed to ensure safe after care for a new tattoo. Retailing for $24.99, the kit containsH2Ocean’s Blue Green Foam Soap, Ocean Care Moisturizing Cream and Aquatat Tattoo Ointment.
Use of these pharmaceutical-grade tattoo products results in vibrantly healed tattoos with minimal skin irritations common with new body art, Stier said.
The 5,179 Walgreens — more than two-thirds of the pharmaceutical chain’s 8,206 stores — that will stock the Extreme Tattoo After Care Kit in the first-aid section are those “in the larger markets and markets where the tattoo studios are,” he said.
Stier said the company added a few employees to help fulfill Walgreens’ initial nationwide order so that two or three kits would be on each store’s shelves by March 14, but it’s too soon to know what production level H2Ocean will have to maintain to restock Walgreens’ distribution centers.