SV Labs is proud to co-manufacture a wide variety of traditional and natural bath, body and skincare products at our two facilities in Watsonville, California. We started out as a classic family business, but our story is full of twists and turns, proving that things don’t always turn out the way you expect. However, if you’re inventive, hard-working and open to opportunities, sometimes what transpires is even better!
SV Labs – Timeline
California Cornucopia opened
Alida Stevens’ (then Smith) first retail store in Santa Cruz.
Cornucopia sold bath, body, hair and home fragrance products by the ounce, scoop and slice.
1970–78 Expanded to multiple stores
For the next 8 years, California Cornucopia opened a series of new stores.
Smith & Vandiver,
new company founded
Alida joined forces with Lynn Vandiver, and the duo launched their bulk concept, Back To Basics.
Manufacturing began in Watsonville
With the growth of Back to Basics, the company moved to one of five buildings in Watsonville. The town was a perfect fit.
As the company grew, it became apparent that we needed to control our own manufacturing, and we moved to the first of five buildings in Watsonville. Watsonville was so welcoming,said Alida.
Alida became sole owner
The manufacturing and wholesaling business grew, which was not the direction Lynn had first envisioned.
So, in 1985, she sold her share of the company to Alida.
Jeff joined the business
Alida met Jeff Slaboden at a gift show and they became partners, in life, love and business.
Jeff brought engineering, technology and packaging skills that created an ever expanding, state-of-the art manufacturing facility. We used to laugh that I could design and formulate the first 3 product samples, and it was then Jeff’s job to make the next million pieces,said Alida.
Loma Prieta earthquake
The epicenter of the earthquake was only 6 miles away and it struck in the period of peak holiday shipping. The morning after the quake, Jeff started digging out and rebuilding the business, one shovel at a time.
Beginnings of The Botanicals
Alida began learning about aromatherapy and started developing The Botanicals, one of the first wellness brands based in aromatherapy. She used essential oils to create dual purpose products that would e.g., moisturize and reduce stress. The Botanicals was sold in premium perfumeries and department stores.
I started thinking that everyone needs to reduce stress, balance their energy or find a little help getting a good night’s sleep, and with aromatherapy you can do this without the possible side effects from medications.Alida said.
Aromatherapaes developed for mass market
A focused and simplified collection of aromatherapy products was developed under the brand name, Aromatherapaes.
Good Clean Fun!
A child-focused brand, Good Clean Fun, was born. The line contained simple, fun and clean products for children, including our longest running item, Dino Fizz.
One of the company’s touchstones has always been to make quality products available to as many users as possible, and this market was the pathway,said Alida
SV introduced its first effervescent product, Fizzmos. SV Labs has since become the leader in this technology and is the largest domestic producer of Bath Bombs.
Organic and Natural Product Association Certifications
Getting Organically Certified as well as registered with the NPA was fully in line with SV Labs’ product history and original vision.
FDA Over the Counter Registration
SV Labs pursued FDA OTC Registration and were approved to run Sunscreens, Anti-Acne Products, Hand Sanitizers and more OTC Personal care.
Beach Street Facility opened
Due to the popularity of SV’s Effervescent Category a second production facility was opened in Watsonville (75,000 square feet) producing Bath Bombs, Shower Tablets, Salt and Powders.
SV and the pandemic
During the critical first months of the Global Pandemic SV Labs shifted operations from bath & body to Hand Sanitizers and Cleansers. Supplies of Hand Sanitizer were also donated to local communities
SV Labs was acquired by SFEP in early 2021.
The company continues to pursue its original vision of making clean, natural beauty and personal care products in Watsonville, California.
Smith and Vandiver Laboratory is now SV LABS!
The Name You Know:
For over 40 years Smith & Vandiver’s name has been synonymous with high quality products and an exceptional customer experience. Our DNA has always been impeccable and prompt service, innovation, and speed to market. Although our name is changing to SV Labs, none of what you know and love about us will.
The Logo Story:
Our logo and color palette have been refreshed to reflect our new journey while maintaining the connection to our heritage and effervescent beginnings.