After working in New York City in the hospitality and sales industries for many years, Valentina Ganter returned to the north country and knew that she wanted to be able to work from home and create something that she is passionate about.
In July 2020, Mrs. Ganter started La Vie Boheme Cosmetics, a high-quality cruelty–and vegan–free makeup and skin care line crafted with botanicals, natural ingredients and the best powerhouse vitamins.
“I had been working in network marketing for makeup and skincare for about five years and I loved it, it was great, but I was always lacking creative control,” explained Mrs. Ganter. “I didn’t like that I wasn’t able to choose the products, choose the colors, tweak ingredients and play with packaging, but I was really good at selling.”
Craving that creative control, she decided that she would work with several vendors that allowed her to select colors, quality of ingredients, and packaging.
“I work with several different companies within the country. I’ll tell them what I’m looking for, they’ll send me products, I sample them and test them out and if there is something that I don’t like about it they will work with me to tweak them to my standards,” said Mrs. Ganter. “It was also really important to me to create products that are cruelty-free and there is also a high demand for vegan products. For me it is also about quality and pricing options for the customer.”
Being a self–proclaimed “nerd” after years of being involved in theater, Mrs. Ganter says that she decided to name her new makeup and skincare line La Vie Boheme which means “The Bohemian Life.” Mrs. Ganter explained that the representation of the Bohemian lifestyle to her is that you don’t have to live up to anyone’s standards; that you don’t have to impress any one, saying “You just have to be happy and content with who you are, and express that.”
“I grew up a theater nerd. I wanted to create something that the misfits could relate to and not feel like they had to fit into the ‘fancy’ makeup category,” she said. “So I decided that I would just make my own.”
Creating a line of eye, brow, lip and lash products, that include eye shadow palettes, mascara, eye lashes and all the tools you will need to apply, Mrs. Ganter has a wide variety of products to suit any event or time of day. Her skin care line is just as diverse with a range of products for all types of skin.
“For skincare, we have several options now. We have an oily skin line, so if you are prone to acne or prone to oily skin. We also have products for mature skin, dry skin and we even have a dull or combination product,” said Mrs. Ganter. “And, for each type, we’ve created a cleanser treatment and moisturizer within each of those lines.”
Starting her business, especially during a pandemic, Mrs. Ganter says that social media marketing, and having an online presence with her podcast and website, has helped her to gain momentum in sales and that business has been growing. She explained that she ships anywhere in the US and that she has even been shipping into Canada and the UK.
“I’ve never really felt like having a business was limited to where I was. So when I started it was strictly online,” she said. “Now that I am here [Clayton] and not in the city, what I am finding is that there is such a local pull for small businesses. Breaking into the local community has been a lot of word of mouth and I also have a great affiliate program, so anyone can sign up on the website and if they refer their friends to me and recommend my products I will pay them a commission.”
It is safe to say that Mrs. Ganters passion and entrepreneurial drive has led her to a path of success and that is one thing that she is proud to show her daughter and she works from home developing a growing small business that she hopes one day will turn into a storefront in her local community.
“I think that success isn’t based on your paycheck, it’s based on doing something that makes you happy. If it is something that you have always wanted to do and it brings you joy to your life you should do it,” she said. “I would like to be able to sponsor events in the community as my business grows; I would like to support nonprofits and have a niche in the community where people can come shop, but also feel comfortable asking for support for things, or if they need help.”