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Advice on starting your small business

Gemma Vendetta’s focus is always about what can become. To her, success is achieved by those that are pushing forward and making change from within. It’s this ambition that has led her to run her successful cosmetics brand – Gemma Vendetta Cosmetics.

“I’ve always had a creative streak. Cosmetics is a language that I understand,” Gemma says.

Inspired by pin-up designs and her vintage sparks, Gemma embraced the chance to explore these loves. With a background in visual arts, jewellery, and even painting, she was naturally drawn to a career in the cosmetics business.

To achieve this goal, Gemma found NEIS. The enterprise scheme was the support network that helped her get her business started.

“NEIS seemed like something I wanted to explore and take advantage of. I knew I wanted to start a business from it. The mentors are people actually running their own business,” she says.

NEIS gave Gemma the tools to see her idea go from something imagined, to something she could put into practice. She learned everything from business planning and sales and marketing, to branding and advertising.

All products featured under Gemma Vendetta Cosmetics are 100% vegan and cruelty free mineral cosmetics. The items are currently distributed in Gemma’s home state of South Australia, with distribution to be extended to Western Australia. She has also received interest to sell to mainland China, which, if eventual, will see her brand become a global export.

“There’s a lot of pride and joy that comes from the work. My story is mine. I’m learning all the time about how I can effectively portray my brand in the market.”

While Gemma has a forward-thinking approach, she appreciates everything that has led to her success. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007, she realised that the key to life is to pursue the things that make you happy. She left a secure job when she became a mother. Now a single parent, she knows better than most the value of hard work.

Where NEIS gave her the knowledge, direction and self-esteem, her work ethic is seeing her business grow.

“You have an idea, but I didn’t know what being in business would feel like. I was stoked when I sold one lipstick and now I don’t know how many I’ve sold.”

To find out about your small business options, visit Holmesglen's NEIS.