First Light Festival Midday Makers Takeover

Midday Makers

As part of First Light Festival 2020 we did an Instagram takeover on the @firstlightlowestoft IG account and hosted a #FirstLightMakersMarket!

We spoke with three makers who have a local link to Lowestoft including Kay Lillian Designs, Helen Thrower Jewellery and Rachel’s Soaps.

It was brilliant to chat to these talented local creatives and to see inside their studios LIVE as part of #FirstLightFromHome.

Please have a watch of our interviews with these fabulous #MiddayMakers on the First Light IGTV channel here.


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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