Founded in 1945 the Danish brand GOSH Copenhagen continues as a successful family owned business, creating and developing an extensive selection of the highest quality products at affordable prices.

I was fortunate enough to interview three of the family members while they were in Cape Town last week to find out more.

From left to right: Bolette Tjellesen, Sales & Marketing, Bo Tjellesen, Owner & CEO and Hanne Zinsli, Vice President.

Why the name GOSH?

BO: My father, Elner, founder of the brand, was an avid crossword solver, where words were his passion. The word ‘GOSH’ has no literal meaning, a magical word that can express excitement or surprise. It resonated with Elmer so registered GOSH as the trademark. (The Copenhagen addition came at a later stage).

GOSH Copenhagen is available in over 90 countries worldwide; what contributes to its success?

We are proud of our Nordic heritage and as a 100% family business, our first concern is listening to what consumers want. We see a younger generation with strong values wanting brands to be environmentally friendly and ethical so it was a natural progression for the GOSH brand to offer vegan products. We say we’re almost 100% vegan, as there is a small amount of beeswax and lanolin used in our lipsticks, to perfume the otherwise unpleasant odour.

What were the first available products for consumers back then?

We had a tag line that was “GOSH make it with your eyes” where we offered 3 mascaras, 3 eyeliners and 3 eyeshadows; from there we expanded our range.

What are the best sellers nowadays?

Prime ‘n Set, the Bombastic mascara and the black eyeliners.

Do you advertise?

No, we go completely by word of mouth and because we are a private family business we can really listen to what consumers are wanting, for instance, South Africans are needing way more foundation shades to accommodate skin tones so this is where we will spend time creating more shades for consumers.

What is the shelf life for GOSH Copenhagen products?

For most cosmetic products the shelf life is 30 months from the day of production. GOSH Copenhagen products are all labelled with a PAO (Period After Opening) symbol. The symbol outlines the shelf life of the product once it is opened. The PAO symbol looks like an open cream jar with a given month.

*Their latest 2018 makeup range is currently available; watch this space for my review!

GOSH Copenhagen is now available to buy online at Foschini and also available in store from Edgars and Truworths.