Gemma from Quirk Botanicals

Midday Makers

Hi there! I’m Gemma, and welcome to Quirk Botanicals, my vegan and cruelty-free beauty business.

Based in Manchester, I created Quirk back in 2017. Quirk is all about embracing and celebrating natural beauty. All of my products are made with carefully selected ingredients and, of course, a lot of love!

From a really young age I’ve always been creative, and throughout school I focused a lot on my art and photography. I also fell in love with history and ultimately this led me to the University of Nottingham where I did a degree in Archaeology.

While I enjoyed my degree (and I had THE BEST time at uni) I knew that this wasn’t something I wanted to do as a career. In my 3rd year I got a part-time job as a Marketing Intern in a local theatre which opened the doors to me becoming a Marketing Assistant after I had left Nottingham and returned to my native Manchester.

Again, as much as I enjoyed the work I was doing, something wasn’t right, and I was beginning to doubt that I belonged in the ‘corporate’ world. It was during this time, with my new disposable income, that I began shopping at a certain high street store, and obsessively stocked up on bath bombs.

One evening, after what was just an awful day at work, my husband, Jon, convinced me to start a DIY project to save some money – that was making bath bombs. That’s how Quirk began. Every night when I got home from work, I’d get my ingredients out, I’d pour over books about cosmetics, natural beauty, skincare – I became a woman possessed!

I finally decided that enough was enough, and with my family’s support, I quit my job and decided to pursue Quirk full-time (it was also around this time that me and Jon decided to get married – I don’t recommend starting a business and planning a wedding at the same time!)

Quirk allows me to nurture my creative AND academic sides. I’ve learnt so much about the cosmetic/beauty industry through my journey and it’s made me more determined to make Quirk simple, transparent and authentic with the products I make.

Outside of Quirk I spend my time with my husband, my family and my cats! (but most of the time I can be found in my bath bomb cave!) Becoming involved with the Makers Market From Home has been incredible – there are so many amazing and inspiring small businesses out there, and it’s such a wonderful community to be a part of.

Watch Gemma’s interview as part of our Midday Makers series on IGTV.

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