GRESSA story starts with our Founder, Svetlana
For the love of medicine and healing, Svetlana embarked on an alchemical journey to revive past wisdoms and conjure natural skin healing remedies. While still in college, Svetlana launched Gressa Skin which quickly found itself with a cult-following for its unique formulations that are “skin first” and “natural food for the skin.” With the launch of the Minimalist, a corrective serum foundation designed to heal with natural oils and conceal with beautiful mineral colors, Gressa Skin started a revolution in the Green Beauty industry. The Minimalist was a first of its kind and continues to be Gressa’s hero product that stands alone in the category it created. Finally, a color foundation that treated and healed your skin rather than irritating it! Using Mother Nature’s most beautiful and freshest ingredients in intelligent ways to design highly effective, elegant and artful skincare/cosmetic formulas. Today, Gressa is a world-leader in luxury skincare & cosmetic products, but more importantly, it stands as a beacon of hope for Women gathering the courage to age with grace, honesty and wisdom.
Tell us about the path that led you to Gressa.
I was raised in Russia, and I came to the United States when I was almost 14-years-old to Seattle. My personal history is important to why Gressa is the way that it is. Being born and raised in the far east of Russia, the way that we treated ailments and thought about nutrition very much ties into Gressa’s history. When I came here, I was going to become a doctor. My academic background is in pre-med, health, wellness, nutrition and biochemistry. When I was nearly done with my [bachelor’s] degree, I realized I was more passionate about prevention than treatment when it came to health. Nutrition really inspired me and fired me up. I learned about ingredients and allergens. Then, I started really breaking down cosmetics ingredients, and it was shocking to me. I was a consumer who liked a certain aesthetic, and I was finding out that everything I had been using for years could possibly cause harm to the endocrine system or to the environment. Through that discovery came Gressa and the eight skincare formulas that are still around today.
What year did Gressa launch?
Everything began in 2009, but it used to not be called Gressa. For two years, it was called something different that was tacky and awful. However, the formulas were the same. Going back further than that, it started with me making my own soaps. I used to cook soaps in the kitchen with lye, oils and water. That was my first obsession. I did farmers markets in 2011 with the soaps and the skincare. People would tell me they were amazing. That convinced me to invest in the products and the packaging. I repackaged with the packaging that I have today, and we went into Whole Foods.
Whole Foods was my first major retailer. I really learned about how they verify ingredients. They visited my facility in Portland, where Gressa was conceived, and I got a hang of how they train their staff. I had no experience. I’m not a makeup artist, and I didn’t have any business experience. I danced professionally while going to school, and I was a lover of all things related to beauty and had good taste in it. That played into how I present Gressa to the world.
Describe three products from your line that simply stand out. Can you share some tips and tricks on how to use them?
Minimalist Correct Serum Foundation - shake, drop, buff. Your life will never be the same. Nor your skin.
Purifying Oil - prep with a few drops right before the foundation for the best supple glow.
Eye Tints - the most unique velvet to powder eye shadows you'll find on the market. I am very, very proud of these little gems. Use with your finger or with one of our brushes. Line, buff, pat them on. They are so workable and gorgeous mixed together as well. They are simply delicious. Don't eat them, though!