May 7, 2021
The sun is shining again. And everyone from outdoor enthusiasts to endurance athletes is getting outside and enjoying this wonderful weather. Curious about the latest body and hair products for endurance athletes? I am so excited about today's guest because she's with Zealios, a company whose products I absolutely love from protecting my skin from the sun. To protect my hair from the pool, the chlorine in the pool, and the salt in the open water to protecting my skin with her cream.
I'm Hilary Topper. And this is Hilary Topper on Air. Today, I have the great pleasure of speaking with Stacey Kiefer, director of sales at Zealios, body and hair products for endurance athletes. The company's product offerings are designed to endure the intense physical demands that athletes experience in training and in competition. Welcome to the show, Stacey.
Stacey - Thank you. I'm super excited to be here. I'm overwhelmed with joy that summer is on the way and races are starting again. And our company has just been super crazy busy with everybody waking up and being able to get outside and do activities again. So it's great to be here.
Hilary - So tell us a little bit about your background because you have a really cool background. And, also, tell us about Zealios and what you guys do and the products that you offer.
Stacey - Sure. So I just happened to start my career. I started as a swimmer, I was a young swimmer competitive started when I was five years old, swam through age-group swimming, high school swimming, went on to swimming college, and I decided I'm going to set myself up for a really fun life. I'm going to pick a job that really relates to something I like to do, which is swimming. And I just happened to be located very close to the Kiefer swim company and actually started working there in college and just happen to meet my future, now husband, at the time who was, or is the grandson of Adolf Kiefer, the 1936 Olympic gold medalist in the hundred backstroke in Berlin. So we became the employees and family of the Kiefer's swim company. So I spent about 16, 17 years at Kiefer. And it was great. I worked with my mother-in-law and my grandmother-in-law and my grandfather-in-law and my husband. And we had a lot of nepotism. We had lots of other family members who would intern and took in people who were married and we broke all the rules and it was great fun and we loved it. And we were always trained to come up with new products, whether it was for pool swimming, or learn to swim or open water or water safety and rescue lifeguards. It was great.
Unfortunately, when my husband Robin's grandparents got into their nineties, they decided to sell the company. And so we kind of parted ways from the company and went different places. And I ended up working at Speedo for a few years which brought my family from the Midwest out to the West coast. And we ended up in the amazing, beautiful town of Bend, Oregon, which is becoming very populated because so many people want to live here, but it really is beautiful.
I parted ways with Speedo but found this great company called Zealios. And it's a very small company. Right now, we have four and a half employees and we're in our sixth year. But it's amazing. I love it. Everybody at the company is very happy. We make these great relationships with triathlon teams and swim teams and running teams and cycling teams and we go out to Ironman events and sell products and we're hustlers, but we love it, and it has come to a point just this year where things have just exploded, you know, like all small companies, we were really worried about making it through COVID and we did okay. But we never expected to be as busy as we are now with things just reopening and everyone being so excited to get back to swimming and doing triathlons and cycling teams reuniting, and, finally, getting out to race.
And so it's been great, but we are just running in circles trying to keep up that's for sure. So, yeah. So we're, right now, we have our sun barrier, which is an 8% zinc oxide, sunscreen that doesn't burn your eyes. You can put it above your eye line and you're still going to sweat because it doesn't clog your pores, but you don't turn pasty white, you don't get the stinging of the eyes. It'll actually stay on for a Half Ironman. We usually tell people, apply it at least once if they’re doing a fall, but it's a tough puppy. That's for sure. And the best part is it feels like a light face lotion, but it's for your whole body.
So that's kind of our main body and hair product for endurance athletes that most people know us for. But Hilary you’re a big fan of our, Betwixt, which is our, silky, vegan, anti-chafing cream. And I have come to use Betwixt for like everything. It's just part of my daily lotions and potions. So some people just use it for cycling in, on their, their pad and their cycling shorts, which you can use for swimming. You can use it with your wetsuit. It's not going to hurt your wetsuit. I actually use it for razor burn. That's my newest thing, it has organic aloe in it. And so, if you're already chafed or you have some skin irritation, it'll actually help that while it's preventing more chafing. So it's like this miracle cream, you know,
Hilary - It's funny that you say this Stacey, because, last year, I was getting so many burns from the water. I mean, crazy and I come home with like blotches of red under my arm or on my neck. And I went right for the, Betwixt and put it all over myself. And I didn't even realize that you could do that. I was just like, Oh, let me just try this, I think this is gonna work. And it was amazing.
Stacey - Yeah, it's such a clean ingredient list too, that you can pretty much put it anywhere on your body. Like, I‘ll put it on my face. I'll put it on my neck. If I have, um, rubbing from my swimsuit or my wetsuit. And it's, it's great, you know, razor burn for women, men, whoever it is. It is seriously the miracle lotion.
So, I used to think that shower products were my favorite product. I think it's now Zealios Betwixt just because I use it for everything. So then we do have our shower line, which is shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and we got rid of our lotion and brought it back because so many people were on us. Like we got on the naughty list of a lot of people because we just decided, Oh, we don't quite sell as much of it. We'll drop it. Oh, man. When we brought it back, people were buying six and eight bottles at a time and we're like, it's okay. We're going to keep it. Don't worry. This shower line is great because it's, sulfate-free, it's also safe if you color treat your hair, but it is super strong in the fact that it takes out chlorine, salt, sweat, and stink. And it, as long as you're using the shampoo, along with the conditioner, just leaves your hair silky smooth. It's my go-to anytime I swam.
So I just make sure that is what I use to take out all the stink and keep my hair from getting really dry and the body wash. So I’m pretty sure we have more men who use our body wash than we do women. And I'm pretty sure they're using it head to toe. It's so funny when I go on work events and men will walk away with like 332 lawns pumps of body wash because they're just like drinking it in the shower. So if you are someone who gets really itchy or really dry after swimming, the body wash just is a true savior. It will keep you from being itchy all day long. So I swim a lot. I swim in several different pools as well as the Deschutes River. And I have to use the body wash. I can't just use bar soap. So it's great.
And then our newest product that we came out with right before COVID hit and gave it a wrong name, considering the time that it was launched, just called race relief. And it just happened to come out right when all the races stopped, which was a really hard sell for a brand new product. It has really picked up momentum this year. Now that races are coming back, and it's basically a 4% menthol blend of natural herbal extracts that deliver a cooling effect. So it's a cooling gel for pre-imposed workouts and races. So it doesn't, it's not like super-strong stinky, like some of the cooling gels, so you can actually put it on and go to the office and not worry that you're going to smell really bad. But it's wonderful.
So if you're someone who has a nagging, strain, when you run, like I get hamstring issues and sometimes piriformis issues, I can put it on and I will not feel my pain at all. It just cools the area and just calms it down. So I'll put it on before I go for a run and then I'll get home, do my stretching and rolling. Take a shower and then put it on again and, and then work for the rest of the day and, honestly, if you're good about putting it on. And especially when I get like, very consistent with using it, it's almost like all my pain issues go away. So again, I like to say it's like a magical gel kind of like the betwixt and magical lotion.
So, yeah, so that's our lineup now and we do have two new products that will be coming out within the next couple of months and I’m not going to say what they are, but they are new products that we have been getting asked for at least the last two years. At every event I work, multiple people come up and ask for these two products. One is very small and the other is a normal size, but, definitely becoming, a product that you will need if you do some tropical traveling. So there's a little hint, but I think a lot of people will really like both new products and we're really excited to launch them because COVID set us back a little bit. And so now it's just like, all right, let's get it out there.
Hilary - Yep. Yep, yep. Yep. It's exactly. It just, it definitely took us all by storm. So, hopefully, things are, you know, really, on the up and up now I'm getting excited that there's a lot of races happening, so it's, it's all good stuff.
So before we move on, I just have to say that I am so appreciative of our sponsors and must take this time to thank them. Please support our sponsors and tell them that you’ve heard about them on Hilary Topper on air. Special thanks to the Pegalis Law Group, The Russo Law Group, The Profit Express, Pop International Galleries, and Gold Benes LLP.
So Stacey back to you, we’re talking about Zealios - a company that produces body and hair products for endurance athletes. The products that you guys offer to athletes and non-athletes alike from sunscreen to recovery this year has been full of so much stress. What do you think making hair and body care a priority is particularly important this year.
Stacey - Well, I think a lot of people spent a lot of time inside and not going to the gym and not getting outside. And you kind of stop purchasing those products when you just stay inside and you kind of forget about how important it is to keep your body healthy so that you can train and race at your top potential. It's funny you think shampoo's not gonna help me, but it does make you feel better. And having that really good feeling and mentally, you feel fresh and you feel recovered. It does a lot for your training and your racing. So I think a lot of Zealios products really help you with maintaining just a very healthy, good feeling.
And honestly, some of our products are just like a special treat, like if you're a swimmer, getting to go into the shower and get that chlorine out of your hair and feel fresh and smell good. And have your hair feel, be your hair clean. It's a treat after a really hard workout.
So, the other thing is, especially with sunscreen, it's a necessity. You have to wear sunscreen. I grew up in the Midwest. My family didn't even have sunscreen on hand and it's not because we couldn't, we just didn't, like it's cloudy we don't need sunscreen or it's overcast, or I'm only out in the sun for a little bit, but what we have learned, especially what I've learned working at a company that specializes in sunscreen is that it's no longer just Oh 11:00 am to 1:00 pm is when the sun is bad and that's the only time you need to wear sunscreen. It's not, it's now, it's 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and it doesn't matter where you live. If you're high elevation, it's even worse. If you're swimming a lot, it's worse. If you're out riding your bike and you're on the blacktop, it's reflecting up and you're getting a double whammy of the UV rays. So I think most people are coming to the reality that you truly have to wear sunscreen. And it doesn't matter if you're out on the slopes skiing or you're swimming or running or whatever, you need to wear it.
And we have a lot of dermatologists who help us and they have said, even if you think you're going to spend the day inside, you should still put sunscreen on because you walk to your car to drive somewhere and then the sun shines through the window of your car. And then you go get your mail and Oh, you decide to mess around in your garden and fix your flowers. And before you know it, you're outside for an hour or you take your dog for a walk, and then you stop and talk to the neighbor and people don't realize how much exposure they actually have to the sun.
So, it's becoming imperative that you use sunscreen like you would a body lotion, you get ready in the morning and you put your sunscreen on because you are going to have sun exposure.
Hilary - So yeah, I need to be more diligent, I think, with the sunscreen too. And I totally agree with you.
Stacey - Yeah. And, honestly, one out of five Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer. So if you wear sunscreen, whether it's Zealios or anything, you have the ability to cut down your skin damage by 24%, which is amazing. Americans can actually control how likely they are to get skin cancer just by being very preventative, wearing clothing that covers your skin, wearing sunscreen on any skin that's exposed, wear a hat, put a light long sleeve on whatever it takes to black out the sun. It's just, it's crazy. Like I never knew any of this when I was little and I would sit outside with tanning oil on and I would, for three months out of the year, the sunniest months, I would put tanning oil on and I was so dark. And I can't even imagine I look at pictures from that and I'm like, How many years did I take off of my skin and the health of my skin from doing that. So it's. It's pretty crazy.
Hilary - Back to your shampoo, I just want to say that I think the first time I used it was several years ago, I remember trying it out and I was in the shower at the aquatic center. And I was thinking, um, I feel like I'm in the Caribbean, the smell was just amazing. Like it's just like that tropical type of fragrance that you smell when you're there and I'm just, I'm in this disgusting shower, but yet I was so happy.
Stacey - It’s so funny when I use it at the gym, people could smell it. It's a light citrus scent. And each one, the shampoo, the conditioner in the body wash is just a little different, but they all work really well together. And both men and women like it because it's not overpowering, but people are always like, what is that that you're using? Oh, it’s Zealios! And it’s so funny.
Hilary - Zealios sponsors teams. We are triathletes. I mean, well, we just changed the name to, we are endurance. So you are a sponsor of, we are endurance. Can you tell us about that? And you know, just so that other teams may be interested in jumping on board?
Stacey - Absolutely. So we've really changed our business. When I was hired, my job was to get Zealios into retail stores. And what we realized is that retail stores can sell the products. They just have it on the shelf and they sell it. But teams and team members are really the people who are using our products and very interested in promoting them.
So Zealios changed our focus as a company and decided we're going to be as good as we could for teams. And so my job, essentially, became just working with teams. And so what we do is we offer an ongoing discount. It's 25% that we give teams all year. So, anytime, a member of a team that works with us wants to order, they get a discount. And, then, we run a couple of big, really good discounts throughout the year for the teams that we work with. And we do little incentives with them to really promote it out to their members. And we don't ask for much. Our big thing is, Hey, take us on social media, like show that your members are using the product and promote it a little bit. And that's it.
And we're here when teams are having like little parties or challenges or their own little races, we can provide products for prizes and we can provide samples of our products. So we want to be there for athletes and teams and we want to make it really easy. And so, pretty much, my job is just to take care of teams and make sure everybody has what they need and you have your discount. And if you're having any issues, you can just contact me and I'll take care of it. And it's great, it's worked so well. We're working with close to 400 teams now, it's crazy. It’s great little teams, big teams, any sport, any sport at all. We're starting to work with adventure teams who are out climbing mountains and doing crazy things.
And so if you are on a team and you are familiar with Zealios products, or even if you're not, feel free to reach out to me, and I certainly will set you up with our information and we can get you set up as a team.
Hilary - Awesome. So finally, how can people get in touch with you and learn more about Zealios and purchase the products?
Stacey - So, you can either contact Zealios at firstname.lastname@example.org or Stacey, email@example.com or go to our website, which is www.teamzealios.com. And, on our website, there actually is a little spot that you can click and you can just fill out a little form if you're interested in working with us. And then I'll email you back right away with our team info. So, um, teamzealios.com is the best way to shop around and read about our products and see what they're all about and keep up with us. And we do lots of posting on Facebook and Instagram, and we'd love to work with all the triathletes and in any sport athlete that's out there. So even the children's teams, right. Yeah, absolutely. We have a couple of youth running teams, a few swim teams that we work with. Absolutely. Yeah. And it's, I mean, it's really. It's no work. You get the code, you get to purchase from our website with a discount and that's that, easy.
Hilary - Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Stacey. This was so informative. I think the world of you and of Zealios so I appreciate you being here.
I also want to thank our sponsors, The Russo Law Group, The Profit Express, Pop International Galleries. Gold Benes LLP and the Pegalis Law Group. And last but not least, I want to thank you, our listeners, for tuning in each week.
If you want more information on this show or any other show, you can visit us at www.hilarytopperonair.com or you can find us on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Apple podcasts, Amazon Alexa, you name it. We're out there. Have a great week and we'll see you next time.