Kester Black’s Anna Ross Designs for Disney
Ethical nail polish company Kester Black has created a one-off custom range in partnership with Disney to celebrate Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday. Australian city guide Broadsheet talks to founder, New Zealander Anna Ross about how the iconic character has touched both her personal and professional life.
When Ross was 14, her parents took her family on the trip of a lifetime. Her father, a truck driver from rural New Zealand, “saved his entire life to take my sister and I to Disneyland,” she says. “We were really into Disney when we were kids.”
She particularly remembers meeting Mickey and Minnie at Mickey’s House. “It was wild,” Ross says now. “I’ve still got the photos.”
With those memories to draw on, Ross relished the opportunity to develop a one-off custom range to celebrate Mickey Mouse’s 90th milestone. The collection includes five Kester Black nail polishes in classic Mickey colours (red, yellow, white, black and a nude) in bottles displaying his iconic silhouette. The same colours have been used to create a nail-art set.
Kester Black’s products are made in Australia, palm oil- and cruelty-free, and vegan – important in an industry that frequently relies on animal-derived ingredients. “A lot of the colours in nail polish are usually animal derivatives – either crushed up beetles or fish scales,” she says.
Kester Black uses natural ingredients where possible – “you can’t get 100 per cent natural nail polish because the colour is synthetic pigment,” Ross explains – and in 2019 the brand is launching a certified organic range.
Ross’s label was also the first cosmetics company in the world to get B Corp certification, a rigorous accreditation process that shows a business has met the highest standards of accountability, transparency, and social and environmental performance. “It really makes you assess your own business and look at all the different areas you can improve in,” she says.
Original article by Nicola Heath, Broadsheet, September 3, 2018.
Photo by Pete Dillon.