Shropshire Star

Gemma reveals Shropshire business's starring role at Oscars and Grammys

The likes of Sir Anthony Hopkins, Frances McDormand, Daniel Kaluuya and the rest of this years Oscars attendees took a little piece of Shropshire home with them in 2021.

Gemma Vujnovic, owner of Soul Shropshire, with her Oscar worthy candles

Gemma Vujnovic's business, Soul Shropshire, has been working with FVP Global for three years now providing candles for the VIP goodie bags given to some of Hollywood's biggest names at the Oscars and the Grammys.

"I was thinking the other day as I watched Anthony Hopkins accept his Best Actor award, he said he was in Wales and I thought, he's just over the border and he's got one of my candles in his home," Gemma said.

"It all started out of my kitchen table and now it has just exploded, it's wonderful."

Gemma Vujnovic, owner of Soul Shropshire, had her candles feature in gift bags at the Oscars. Pictured with the same kind of candle that went in the goody bag

Gemma started Soul Shropshire four years ago and was approached by FVP Global, the company that puts together the gift bags for the Oscars and the Grammys, to be included in the product list.

She jumped at the chance and hasn't looked back – they even want her Telford-based business to be involved next year.

"We have always had a big social media platform and I think they found us through that," she said. "I am so lucky with my platform on socials, our account has 110,000 followers on Instagram.

"Our company makes candles, diffusers and fragrances, but we really concentrate on the wellbeing aspect of it. So I think for something like the Oscars it's not just a candle, its the holistic stuff that helps with stress and things – the fact there's something more behind it.

Gemma Vujnovic, owner of Soul Shropshire

"It's such a huge honour. It's the biggest evening in Hollywood and the Oscars just stands out as an amazing event. So the fact that we have been involved in it is amazing."

Gemma, who lives in Newport, was a full-time mum when she started the business and just hoped it would be something to keep her busy for a few hours.

"I had finished working about eight years ago when I had my children and I wanted to be with them, but when they started school I needed something to keep me occupied," Gemma explained.

"My best friend was training in aromatherapy and couldn't find the right candle she needed so we suggested teaming up to create something ourselves. It was only meant to be something to keep me busy for a few hours a day, now it keeps me busy for 18 hours a day.

"FVP Global love the fact small businesses are involved and get a push from it. It's a huge surge in new customers for us every time it's mentioned somewhere."

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