Nerd Street recently spoke with Jen “Glam” D., the creator of Gamer Glam Cosmetics, a unique Black-owned business in the gaming and esports space. Although there are certainly other companies that produce cosmetics in the space, Gamer Glam is unique in that it caters to diverse communities. This small business started with gamers at the center of the brand from the beginning.
In this interview we explore how her business came to be and what it means to create products that speak to people who play games and cosplay while also loving makeup.
Nerd Street: How did you get into cosmetics? And what did you do prior to getting into the cosmetics business?
Jen D: I started in the cosmetic field. I actually used to sell Avon back in the day. And [it's] a thing my family and I used to do together. That’s what got me into it.
Nerd Street: What drew you to [gaming and makeup] streams?
Jen D: I used to stream myself back on Mixer where I was a partner streamer. And we used to get ready before the gaming. So usually a lot of the viewers would love to watch us get ready from bare face to a cosplay character. And they just love to see the creativity. But I [also] saw a lot of hate coming from viewers who didn't understand the correlation between makeup and gaming, so I created the company.
Nerd Street: Did you find that the hate you and your friends received was because you all are women?
Jen D: A lot of the comments [were] sexist. But [makeup] is for everyone. And I just wanted to create something that brings us all together.
Nerd Street: What's the process been like getting your company off the ground? I feel like with any new company, it's been pretty difficult. So how has it been?
Jen D: As far as the business side, with followers, it's getting better. The new palette that I released a long time ago is gaining traction. Financial-wise, it's really hard. At one point, I worked at Amazon to help me build Gamer Glam. So I'm really proud of how Gamer Glam grew from just a little bitty, you know ... but now it's just getting bigger and it's getting better. But financially, it's very hard.
Nerd Street: Sounds like a work in progress, which is normal, I think. But it's been nice to just see something like this come out, and specifically makeup necessarily focused on people of color. How does it feel to be a brand creating [makeup] for people of color? You're basically a trailblazer, so how does that feel?
Jen D: Oh, I feel great. To be honest with you, it's a very honorable experience. I never saw [makeup] as only white, I always thought that everybody should benefit. And what the beautiful thing is about being a Black-owned business is knowing that we also put ourselves in the whole mix, getting us ahead as well. I want to make sure that I'm able to help everybody -- not just like not just Black, not just Hispanic, everybody. I just want to give back to the community.
Nerd Street: What's the reception from followers and customers? How have your products impacted people’s lives?
Jen D: In the gaming community, there are a lot of people who are very new to makeup. And Gamer Glam is a build-confidence type of company. It's not based on money or sales or anything like that. It's always about building confidence first, because that's how I started [with makeup]. That's how a lot of our affiliates started. They're not licensed makeup artists, it's just something that they love. And that's why I push confidence first. And they're like, ‘OK, I can do this.’ And a lot of viewers are very happy [to see makeup].
Image credit: Gamer Glam
Nerd Street: I would love to know, what's your most popular item on your website? And why?
Jen D: Oh, the Game Over [palette]. To this day I still don't understand why people like it. But when people saw it, it sold out eight times. I think besides the color ranges [the palette sells] because of the controller. It’s similar to one of the controllers that everybody loves to use now. So people are identifying that controller with the makeup.
Nerd Street: What’s next for Gamer Glam?
Jen D: I want to grow this company to be financially stable. And get a lot more people involved like affiliate partnerships and gaming brands. I would really love that. And more tutorials!
Lead image credit: Gamer Glam