Here in South Australia, we are spoiled for choice with local brands that cater to our every need, whether it be food, fashion or beauty. It’s definitely not something to complain about and it looks as though the pool of talent in our state only grows as every year passes – including creative individuals like Gemma Vendetta.
Gemma launched her self-titled cosmetics brand Gemma Vendetta Cosmetics in 2016, which features a vegan and ethically friendly ethos. Gemma comes from a background in hairdressing and makeup artistry and found it only appropriate to launch her brand and let her expertise in the industry flourish.
Now two years into her business, Gemma is a Brand South Australia #IChooseSA campaign ambassador. Her business Gemma Vendetta Cosmetics is also a part of Shop South Australia, an initiative of Brand South Australia that is designed to promote and support local SA businesses. Locals can browse the Shop South Australia website for locally created gifts & goods, which will take you directly to the business’ website, ensuring profits remain with the maker. We spoke to Gemma to find out a little bit more about all things Gemma Vendetta Cosmetics.
Firstly, tell us a little about yourself…
Hi! I’m Gemma Vendetta and I’m in my mid to late 30s… Ok, I’m three years away from the big 4-0. I am a fulltime single mum, to the most amazing and dynamic (nearly) 8-year-old boy. I studied varying qualifications in my fleeting youth from Applied Design and Visual Art, to Education.
Finally, I’ve found my passion with hairdressing, makeup artistry and as a natural entrepreneur. My interests include arts and culture, food, music, aromatherapy, psychology, health and wellness. I would devour the Smashed Avo from Mr Pilgrim in Semaphore every morning if I could! I love driving through the hills and the only way to start the day is with a latte.
What made you take the plunge and launch your own cosmetics brand?
In 2007, I was diagnosed with a progressive, and potentially debilitating, auto-immune disease named Multiple Sclerosis. After my diagnosis of MS, I gradually became more and more conscious of my health from a holistic approach. I explored changes in my diet, my mental health, and also whether or not the cosmetics and/or beauty products I was using were a causal factor of a spike in my disease activity. Now after 12 years without a relapse, and 2 years without any disease progression, I am the walking, talking, living, breathing example of how simple and achievable changes to our diet, and our mindset, can positively affect our health.
How important was it to take a vegan/ethically friendly approach when formulating your product range?
It’s of the utmost importance to me. I feel as though animal testing is an archaic and barbaric practice. We have the power as consumers to make ethical purchases based on our core values. The rights of humans and animals are equally valuable. No animal needs to suffer for ‘beauty’.
What are your top three Gemma Vendetta Cosmetics products that you recommend everyone get their hands on?
Firstly, the 2:1 Bronzer/Blush. It’s complimentary to all skin tones, 100% natural, long-wearing and can also be used as an eyeshadow.
Secondly, you MUST add my BB/CC cream to your daily regime! One small pump applied through the T-zone and under your eyes with the vegan kabuki brush will cut your preparation time by half. It will cover pigmentation and will also give your skin a flawless finish without a heavy ‘cakey’ makeup look.
Thirdly, my vegan mineral lipsticks possess a hydrating formulation and the pigments are long-wearing. With a curated 8 shades, there’s one for every aspect of your personality.
Finally, what would you say was the best part about launching Gemma Vendetta Cosmetics in the South Australian market?
The customer willingness and open-mindedness of sampling and purchasing my new and emerging natural mineral cosmetics brand. The fact that I hail from South Australia helps in developing trust and loyalty.
It all began with Terry White Chemmart in Brighton, who became my pioneer stockist (thanks, Deb!) The best thing about starting and running a business in Adelaide means that customers love to support local. With the familiarity and presence of your brand, there’s a feeling of connection and personalisation and therefore customers want to see you succeed as they trust that the rewards will be passed down through the South Australian economy. Adelaide is powered through word-of-mouth and SA customers love to know where their products are made and sourced from.
Also, a massive thank you to Brand South Australia for approaching me to be one of their #IChooseSA campaign ambassadors. With their unwavering support, they have put Gemma Vendetta Cosmetics into prime position in Adelaide – even on the back of buses!
Images via Gemma Vendetta Cosmetics.
*This content is sponsored by Brand South Australia.