Baby safe jewellery is of not interest to you as a woman until you become a mum and suddenly you realise that wearing jewellery is now a luxury which you can’t indulge in easily. Put simply, babies love pulling at sparkly things! Today I am delighted to share my interview with Sarah who set up Halia Rose to tackle this very issue.
Where did you spend your childhood and teenage years? Was this a happy time?
I grew up in Hertfordshire and after many years of living in different parts of the UK and abroad, I’m back in the town I grew up in – apprarently I’m a boomerang kid!
What led to you living overseas?
My husband’s job originally took us out to Singapore for a year and as I was working for the same company at the time, I was able to transfer too. His project was extended and as we were enjoying living and travelling in Asia we decided to stay on – this turned into a 7 year stint!
Please tell us about your decision to become a mum.
I’ve always wanted to have children and as we were abroad it seemed like a perfect opportunity to show them another part of the world coupled with the fact we’d been married for 5 years by then, it seemed like a good time!
What was your first labour like?
It was tough! I know everyone has different experiences with their labour and no two labours are the same and I felt ready when the first contractions came a couple of days before my due date. I’d done some hypno-birthing preparations, was looking forward to a natural birth and meeting my son. However, I wasn’t expecting to be in labour for 54 hours! I was so exhausted after 24hours that my contractions pretty much stopped and I needed 3 lots of epidural to relax my body and kick-start the contractions. I was being quite sick at this time too so my body was struggling. Long story, short and after a serious 3rd degree tear my baby boy was delivered but he wasn’t breathing – after some quick-thinking by the hospital staff, oxygen was applied and we finally heard him crying. My husband and I were over the moon but shattered – physically and emotionally, it was a tough time.
How did you feel as a new mum living overseas?
I didn’t have my family around me as we were living abroad so it was tough. I had met some lovely ladies in our antenatal classes – but we all seemed to want to portray a feeling of “we’re doing ok” as we didn’t really know each other all that well. Some of them are now my closest friends though and it made such a difference having mums going through exactly the same thing at the same time, being able to meet up with them and have some adult conversation!
Who supported you through these challenging times?
My husband was amazing but he returned to work after his paternity leave and I felt pretty alone. The ladies I met during my antenatal classes went on to become some of my closest friends – I think that bond of going through things at exactly the same time really helps, and it’s a great way of getting out of the house and meeting for a playdate or coffee!
When did you realise you felt a little better about things?
Having always been a pretty resourceful and independent person, I hadn’t expected the mental and emotional changes within me. I had a turning point when my baby was around 3 or 4 months and we were in some sort of routine.
Why did you start a business?
Like all good ideas, they come from a need…after the difficult birth of my son and being exhausted constantly (like all new mums right?!) I wanted to feel like “me” again and being able to wear something designed for me was part of this. My body hadn’t popped back to its pre-pregnancy shape so buying clothes was not something I enjoyed doing at the time but wearing gorgeous jewellery was something I could do, however, I couldn’t find anything that I liked to wear that was also safe for me to wear around my baby. I also noticed that colour really affected my mood and I recognised other mums were in the same boat. The idea for Halia Rose jewellery was born!
Tell us about your products?
I wanted to create a gorgeous collection of jewellery for mums to wear so they could feel good about themselves as well as look good… they needed to be pretty and practical!
Halia Rose is a baby-safe ethical jewellery collection that is stylish but also practical and durable for busy mums. Made of 100% non-toxic and BPA free silicone it can be tugged, pulled, chewed etc and won’t break (the jewellery is also dishwasher proof so you can keep them clean and as good as new every time you wear them!) Not only gorgeous as a statement piece day or night, they are ideal as teething accessories or fiddle beads when breastfeeding.
I also have a range of baby teethers and children’s accessories to cater for all ages.
The name Halia Rose comes from a mix of my inspiration and roots…both my children were born in Singapore and I wanted something to reflect this as they were (and continue to be!) my inspiration plus also my English roots. Halia is the Malay translation for Ginger and Rose is the flower of England…my daughter also has ginger hair and her middle name is Rose!
What tip or words of wisdom would you share with a mum who is feeling very isolated?
Your way is the right way. You will receive lots of opinions on what is the right or wrong way of doing things but listen to your gut and remember your family and baby is unique so there isn’t a one way that fits all!
Look after yourself too – do something every day that makes you feel good. You can’t pour from an empty cup and making time for you is also important. For me, it really helped meeting other mums and sharing experiences – you do need a “tribe” of those you can call on when you’re feeling low to help support each other.
What tip or words of wisdom would you share with a mum who has a business idea but lacks self-confidence?
If you have an idea and a passion for something, then you’re half way there. If you have the opportunity to follow your dream, then go for it! You’ll never know what may happen if you take that first step but you’ll always wonder “what if?” if you don’t. Of course it can be challenging at times but nothing worthwhile in life is ever easy! Keep going! There will always be negative people (including family and friends!) out there who criticise what you are doing. If you believe in your business then you can make it happen.
If you could recommend ONE book to a woman, what would it be and why?
Anything that is light-hearted and you don’t have to think too much to read it. As a new mum, I found a Kindle a life-saver, I could hold it with one-hand so when baby was feeding or sleeping I could still read without disturbing baby!
From a business perspective I love Carrie Green’s “She Means Business” for its inspiration and positivity.
If you could recommend ONE website other than your own to a woman, what would it be and why?
Local community websites and facebook groups are great in finding out what’s going on near you – you’ll be surprised how much is out there and it’s so important to get out (when you’re ready!) and meet other mums going through the same as you are.
There’s a great new platform called Mummylinksapp which aims to connect mums in your local area which is great if you’re new to an area or looking for new mum friends.