GC Abrasives is a family-ran and Darlington-based company that is the leading UK distributor of the unique and versatile Micro-Mesh.
Gemma Charlton, who formerly had a career in the County Court, first started the business on the family’s dining table.
Her husband, Saul Charlton – who now runs the business alongside Gemma – was working away with the army at the time.
Micro-Mesh polishes items up to an incredible shine quickly, can be used on a wide range of jobs, is an abrasive that is not as harsh as sandpaper but lasts around 15 x longer, and can removes scratches without leaving a scratch.
Describing life before GC Abrasives, Gemma notes, “Juggling work, home life and four children was really hard especially when it came to school holidays, appointments, sickness, etc.’
“I also have a condition known as CFS/ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) which made it difficult for me at work. I need to be able to have regular breaks and some days I can be really quite poorly with exhaustion.”
“I needed to find something that could fit in around our family life and something I could manage around my illness”, she continues.
“To start with we were just trying to raise extra money and get our attic converted.”
“It soon became apparent that Micro-Mesh was worth investing it, and GC Abrasives was formed January 2016”, states Gemma.
“It was far from easy because Saul was away a lot of the time, I had to go back to work part time at the County Court, set up GC Abrasives and look after my growing family”.
“The only way we managed it was for everyone to muck in. Saul was helping at weekends when he came home, our kids helped making kits, as did my mum on busy days”.
Speaking of their life over three years after the start of GC Abrasives, Gemma notes, “I’m now able to take the kids to and from school and don’t have to worry about if anyone is unwell or the holidays.”
“The holidays are still difficult because every day I still need to process the orders and get them out for us to meet any ranking goals”, Gemma continues.
“Its helped massively with my CFS, as I’m able to go at a pace which is good for me, and as I’m less tired I’m a better mum.”
“Saul has left after 22 years’ service in the army and we see a lot more of each other. We work, sleep and eat together, which is far from what we used to have.”
Gemma concludes, “We have great ideas and loads of room for growth, now that my workforce has doubled and I am not juggling things quite as much, we have the time to invest even more into GC Abrasives and the products we offer”.
GC Abrasives currently sell an average of 2000 packages per month and are continuing to grow – changing from sole-trader to Limited company on 1st October 2019.
The family have sold their Micro-mesh to a diverse spectrum of customers, such as the at Home Modelist, Jewellers, Musicians, The Tate Gallery and Buckingham Palace.
The company is now a top-rated eBay seller, an Amazon Pan-European seller – currently waiting on their Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime Badge – and distribute Worldwide, holding stock in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland and Czech Republic.
The family’s ultimate goal is for GC Abrasives to become a household name, and for Micro-Mesh to become a well-known product.