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Humble Beginnings: How Kester Black Started

12 May, 2021 2 min read

Did you know Kester Black used to be a jewellery brand? Okay, that was an easy one. But did you know that it was a fashion brand before that?! Aha!

Our good-weird beauty brand wasn’t always so, in fact, KB was once a jewellery line based in Anna’s bedroom. Keen to bring colour to her accessories, Anna experimented with enamel paints and silver jewellery - painting nail polish directly onto her bespoke pieces.

During this exploration phase, Anna was appalled to discover that most beauty brands weren’t taking ethical production seriously - many of them still testing on animals and using noxious substances. There was a marked absence of vegan, cruelty-free and straight-up non-toxic nail polish on the market; a gap Anna was keen to fill.

After a few years of research and refinement, Anna launched six nail polishes in 2014; tripling her turnover within 3 months. So while Kester Black existed as a concept well-before 2012, the brand really only became official after a few conscious coats were applied.

With ethically produced nail polish receiving a healthy reception in Australia, Anna was determined to redefine industry standards even further - dedicating her time and energy (up to 90 hours a week, initially) towards category innovation. In 2016, Kester Black became the first beauty brand in the world to be B Corporation certified - upholding the world’s most rigorous standards for business.

This rigorous certification (allocated by B Labs) isn’t easily acquired, it takes a serious ongoing commitment to transparency and sustainability and needs to be maintained year-on-year. Kester Black didn’t follow in the footsteps of other beauty giants, we forged our own, cleaner, more conscientious path instead.

“We have strong values surrounding our ethical and environmental footprint, so everything we do comes with plenty of consideration of these factors. This alone makes us different from a lot of the beauty industry.” - Anna Ross

And while you might’ve read about our beauty accolades, our ethical ones are just as impressive, bringing home the B Corp ‘Best for the World’ title three years in a row (2017, 2018, 2019).

What’s next for humble Kester B?

Follow our social, ethical and environmental goals (and achievements) on our latest blog:

Kester Black’s Better Beauty Growth Plan

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