Sheryl Gillies – a Toowoomba local – is the founder and director of an innovative skincare brand called Athonika organics. Athonika is being recognised nationwide as a luxury brand that provides affordable salon quality skincare and cosmetics.
Growing up on the land as a daughter of primary producers, Gillies moved to Toowoomba after finishing school 20 years ago. She has loved all things related to beauty since childhood, which inspired her to become a beauty therapist and open a salon. Running her highly successful salon, she daily witnessed the transformational journeys of her clients from the “inside out”. She realised that clients did not just come to her to “look good” but more importantly, to “feel good”. “The confidence boost that they all found from having good skin was truly an eye opener for me.”
When Gillies first tried using organic products in her salon, she found that they did not yield the same results as products with synthetic ingredients. A health scare forced Sheryl to change her lifestyle and health habits. Her decision to act on her passion for organic skincare led to Athonika’s creation. She studied to become a qualified cosmetic chemist, specialising in organic formulations. Her inspiration for Athonika organics comes from the pure potency of nature. “Each of Athonika’s products are designed with the rules that it must be organic, results driven, salon luxury, and feed and nourish the skin.” Gillies finds motivation in helping people have happy, healthy skin. “I can honestly stay awake at night with ingredients and formulas running through my head and how they can work together to help the skin. I’ve been told I’m a little weird like that but I truly love it.”
Sheryl and her team were invited to showcase Athonika’s products in Sydney on International Women’s Day. “The organisers of the event had heard about our number one selling lip balm and the strong values we hold in protecting the environment through our sustainable, eco-friendly practices and ethical sourcing of product.” Despite being a tricky time for the cosmetics industry, Gillies says Athonika has plenty happening for 2020 and beyond. The team is working hard to ensure quick processing of orders with minimal handling during the current pandemic. “You can look forward to seeing ranges for teens, men, and the all important anti-aging range in the near future,” says Gillies. Athonika services salons as far south as Victoria and is in process of expanding its range of boutique salon stockists.
Gillies loves the community feeling and support of Toowoomba. “My children were all born here. It’s home.” A mother of four, she spends most of her spare time with her children. “They’re my world,” she says. She also likes “being out in the nature and being curled up with a good book”. Gillies truly believes in the beneficial results her products deliver and is proud to be creating a positive impact on a national scale.
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