A Columbus man and his uncle launch a serum.
It seems like there is no time like now to create a product that offers to destress and detox your skin, while protecting you from HEV light waves—that annoying blue light that is emitted from every screen in your home.
It’s the blue light you see every time you wake up at night.
While we’ve been working (and waking) our way through a pandemic, Columbus resident Anthony Shook and his uncle Thomas Gilman Siebnaler, a pharmaceutical chemist, have set out to solve the world’s skincare concerns.Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.
Shook, who has used Accutane three times in his life, understands the woes of anyone suffering from skin problems. Siebnaler, who now consults with companies finding their way through FDA product approval and other international authorities, is just the kind of uncle that it seems every entrepreneur needs. Their company’s name—Foster’s Labs—was derived from the family-owned Foster’s General Store in northwest Ohio several generations ago.
Their product? Foster’s Lab Anti-Tech Serum, a lightweight lotion that was developed to repair skin showing signs of aging. It combines a retinol cream, antioxidant-rich vitamin C serum, a peptide treatment, an anti-inflammatory agent, and a blue light and pollution protectant.
Foster’s Lab is all about modern style. During a recent Zoom call, Shook noted that the products check numerous boxes, including cruelty free. They are vegan, he explained, but they won’t promote that on their website until the vegan people give them a stamp of approval as such.
Following are some questions they’ve answered about their new business.
Thomas, can you explain your background and how it led to creating skincare products?
My educational background is chemistry and biology, getting my start as a bench chemist for an environmental testing laboratory, and then moving to pharmaceuticals in 1993. I was fortunate to enjoy many roles in the pharmaceutical industry, from bench chemistry to manufacturing to quality engineering to compliance. I also was involved in the development of dermatological products, from their early development through commercialization. It was in that role that I learned about multiple types of skincare dosage forms such as lotions, creams, and gels, and how to optimize their intended effects. That experience, along with the known unmet need for some amazing skincare products, blends perfectly with my nephew’s enthusiasm and experience with business building.
Anthony, what led you into this endeavor, and what is your role within the company?
I would say it is probably twofold. First and foremost, I had problem skin most of my life, and second, I really love creating things. When I was younger I learned about skincare not because it was a passion of mine at the time, but because I was having a lot of skin issues and was desperately trying to find a solution that would work for me. I am well aware of the struggles one can go through dealing with skin issues. With the second part, I really love bringing ideas to life in one way or another. For me, there is no greater excitement than having an idea, watching it grow and then eventually be something tangible like Foster’s Lab. When I see someone leaving a review, or posting that they love the product and our brand, it is such a rewarding feeling and I am truly grateful to have a platform to share my skincare solution with others.
Technically my role is co-founder and CEO of Foster’s Lab, even though I think in a new company we all pitch in everywhere in all aspects of the company. I have the overall vision of the brand and product line, but it is such a team effort that the direction of the brand organically takes shape from the entire team. While my genius uncle is perfecting our formulas and sourcing the best possible ingredients, I am running the operations and fine-tuning our advertising and marketing strategies based on the trends we see from our purchases and website visits. Being around the technology industry most of my professional life, I always say, “data is king.”