Gemma Stuart followed her gut

As seen in Press & Journal


Every Monday, we ask small businesses key questions. Here we speak to north-east entrepreneur Gemma Stuart, the woman behind Gut Wealth supplements.

How and why did you start in business?

When I first started studying about gut health & IBS, I was solely trying to get on top of my own gut troubles. 

As I found staggering stats, then threw into the mix the studies about beneficial bacterias, and researching other products from other countries - it all came together to create Gut Wealth sachets as it's been my personal motivator to help people not have to suffer in silence with poor gut health. 

How did you get to where you are today?

If you’d have told me even 5 years ago when I was at my worst with painful bloating and worrying symptoms, that I’d be helping others, I honestly wouldn’t have thought this would be my path. 

I’ve had a wiggly career history after going to Oldmachar Academy then University - I was working in big financial services companies which felt a bit soulless and unnecessarily stressful (which definitely wasn’t helping my own IBS). 

Who helped you?

I feel like since starting out, I’ve realised most people want to see me succeed. I’ve had help from friends and parents - mostly cheerleading and listening ears when I need them. 

I’m like a magpie for information, so I’ve been given help from industry experts and scientific researchers. Several IBS sufferers did trials, and customers have helped a lot with feedback too.

My accountants, Infinity Partnership on Carden Place, Aberdeen has also been super helpful. I’ve used some of the guides and accessed some legal support from the Federation of Small Business and digital help from the Business Gateway

What's the best piece of advice you've ever had?

This is from a business book by entrepreneur Beththeny Frankel: “sweat the small stuff” - which is probably the opposite of some people’s advice. When starting out, you can only focus on the tiny decisions so focus on the detail always. 

But if I had a tenner for every time someone has said to me “follow your gut” or “listen to your gut” since starting Gut Wealth, then I could retire! 

What is your biggest mistake?

Oh this is an easy one - the first batches were too big from some standard letterboxes. So it meant higher postage costs (pah!) and so some customers had to go to the depot if they weren’t home. It’s all sorted now as our 2 week and 4 week subscription boxes fit in the letterbox and importantly they’re also fully recyclable. 

What is your greatest achievement?

It brings me so much joy every time I get a customer review or email. Those are my biggest achievements day-to-day. Especially for those that have been hiding their digestive discomfort and you can feel the relief in their message or they share an anecdote of what taking our sachets has meant they can now do that they daren’t do before. 

What do you still hope to achieve?

I’m turning 40 this year and I really want to spend my 40s with a healthy balance of fun / life / work / travel - I want to see more of the Highlands and get on more lochs with my paddleboard - I want to do more adventuring on my own doorstep. So an achievement would be to get that balance right - but I think for a lot of entrepreneurs that’s the hardest thing they do!

What do you do to relax?

I don’t have one thing I do to relax, I like variety so really anything that gives me a dopamine hit - chatting with friends, going for a walk, making a tasty meal that all comes together at the right moment are the simple ones, but I 

also love going to comedy gigs and going to gigs but have only been to a couple this year.

What are you currently reading, listening to or glued to on TV?

I absolutely love silly comedy and I’m known for asking people what they're having for dinner. So, my forever favourite podcast is Off Menu with Ed Gamble and James Acaster.

But my absolute not-so-guilty pleasure is ‘reality’ TV - The Real Housewives of New York’s new cast has me hooked. 

What do you waste your money on?

I live in black leggings so I have no idea why I have a cupboard full of clothes and shoes bursting at the brim! 

What's the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?

I’m a 7am starter, I admit the first 20 mins is usually scrolling through overnight orders and any customer queries. Then it’s shower, 20 min walk, prep some food and to my desk to get stuck into my to do list. 

What do you drive and dream of driving?

I drive an MX5 (I used to work for Mazda) I’ve toyed with the idea of giving up my car because I rarely drive and I mostly walk places. But I need it for trips up to see family in Nairn and I’ve had it over 10 years so I just don’t want to say goodbye.
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