Many of us dream of entering Masterchef and showing what we can do in the kitchen. Today, I am speaking to Angela who became a finalist on Masterchef following the loss of her beloved mum. She also tells us about her exciting skincare business.

Masterchef

Tell us a little about your childhood and teenage years

I was very lucky – I had a wonderful childhood – brought up in a loving family and got on brilliantly with my family. I still have great friends from my childhood and teenage years too.

What was your first job?

I started off working in marketing and PR. My first job was working for the Prince’s Trust

What led to you entering Masterchef and how did you find that experience?

I entered Masterchef just after my gorgeous Mum lost her battle with cancer. She loved watching the programme as much as I did so I only applied in memory to her. It was a fabulous experience and one that I would do again in a flash.

Masterchef

Please tell us what led to you setting up your skincare business?

It started as a hobby but essentially I was living in Spain and was made redundant and at that time (it was quite a few years ago) I couldn’t get the products that I normally used as I wasn’t coming back to the UK as often. I had plenty of time on my hands and I thought I could possibly make products myself so I started experimenting and then went on a course. That course led me to other courses and I loved everything that I learnt and eventually this led to me setting up my business.

Please tell us what is wonderful about your products?

I research each and every ingredient that goes into every product. I use the best ingredients I can and use high levels of active ingredients from nature’s larder so not only are the products good for your skin, I get amazing feedback from customers who tell me what an improvement they see when they use them.

Who supported you in setting up your business?

I used the money from my redundancy to fund and set up my business. My partner, family and friends have been (and still are) very supportive, offering my advice and encouragement.

What would you say to a woman who wants to try something new but lacks confidence?

Don’t think too hard about it – if you want to try something new, just do it. If you don’t try, you’ll never know if you’ll succeed. Also just doing something new can lead you to amazing things you would never know about had you not taken that first step.

What tip would you give to someone who wants to set up a business for the first time?

Research well and do something that ultimately gives you pleasure and that you love. I spend a lot of time working but it doesn’t feel like work because I’m passionate about what I do and I love it.

Angela Langford creates organic, vegan, cruelty free, mood-boosting skincare products by hand in Somerset. This highly effective, affordable, natural range harnesses the finest ingredients from natures larder to feed your skin – with no chemical nasties. Suitable for even the most temperamental of complexions, Angela Langford Skincare offers a tailor-made solution to each unique skincare concern.

Lucy At Home

I often ask women to share their stories on my blog. I think this one is one of the most unusual. I take from it that we should all be more like children in responding to life’s challenges and that if women use their heads, the world can change for the better. See what you think and let’s celebrate art wherever we find it.

“I’m Kitt. I live in Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK. I’m a mum of two super little humans (Finn and Ada, 6 and 3) and an artist. I guess this story combines these two aspects of my life in a roundabout, but quite lovely way.

Art

 

The last three years have been a very stressful time for our family and in January last year my hair stared to fall out. I went to the GP and by April was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata (patchy baldness). I was sad, but definitely felt there were things I would be much sadder and more inconvenienced by losing. The evening after my diagnosis, I had a little cry and shaved my hair. That night my husband and our children decorated my head with sticky jewels to cheer me up. I posted a photo on Facebook and was met with some beautiful, hopeful and unexpected responses.

Art

People with experiences of Alopecia (their own / friends / family) got in touch to share information and to tell me what it was like for them. I felt privileged that people were comfortable to share their stores with me, but shocked by how awful some experiences had been- most people had in common a huge loss of self-confidence and, alongside that, many had to deal with reactions from other people that ranged from confused to cruel. Relationships often suffered or even broke down and their general health (mental and physical) frequently declined.

The majority of people who shared their stories with me where women. Some told me that they felt their hair was a huge part of their identity as a women and when it was gone they didn’t know who they were any more. Others said that they felt ugly, and even that people had told them they were ugly, without their hair, their “crowning glory”.  The more I thought about it the clearer it became- these effects are not due to the condition itslef, but come from negative reactions to a head that is bald, wigged or unusual. These effects can be completely eliminated, not by medical science, but by human kindness. People being kind to one another and to themselves. I wanted to do something to raise awareness of this element of the condition. And I wanted it to be fun and positive- an opportunity to celebrate different approaches to beauty, to gender, to heads!!

Being an artist, my automatic response was wanting to make some art. But where would I display it in order to reach people outside of my local art community / alopecia support groups? Then I thought about the children decorating my head with jewels and it all fell into place- I would create artworks on my bald head and wherever I went- on the bus, to the swimming pool, dropping the children at school, nights out- people would see them and I could have informal conversations about what I was doing and why. I started straight away, documenting the different pieces on social media, and very quickly people were offering to make artworks / head pieces / hats for me. One of my friends Michaela Wetherell (who is a curator) suggested creating a formal(ish) call out so people could submit art work to my head “gallery”. Then we developed the name (the “Plenty Up Top Gallery”) and put all the info, plus photos of previous work, on my artist website.

While all this had been happening Michaela and I, with another artist friend Aly Smith, had been setting up a local Nasty Women group (Nasty Women North East). Nasty Women is a global art and activism movement focussed on protecting women’s rights. It was started by an American artist, Roxanne Jackson, shortly after Donald Trump was elected as president of the USA and was named after his slur to Hilary Clinton during the presidential debates. The members of the movement organise art events to raise money for women’s and LGBTQ+ charities. Our group ran the first Nasty Women exhibition in the UK and went on to organise the first Nasty Women conference in the world. At the conference we met Roxanne and other Nasty Women from all over Europe and the UK. In January this year members of the movement started to discuss the possibility of setting up an Art prize to celebrate and support the artists who had donated work to fundraising exhibitions during 2017. Because the movement aims to fundraise for other organisations we prefer to run our own events as cost effectively as possible. So it was suggested that we use my head as the venue for the art prize as it’s free! (With the added bonus of dealing with ideas of gender in a pretty unusual way).

Now, three months later, the Nasty Women International Art Prize is in full swing. There is a judging panel of artists, gallery owners and journalists from around the world including Danielle Krysa, (Artist, and Writer behind the contemporary art site, The Jealous Curator, Canada), Miranda Larbi, Feminist writer and senior reporter at Metro UK , Betsy Greer, Writer, Maker and the “godmother of craftivism” (USA) and Airco Caravan (Artist and Nasty Women Amsterdam founder).

So it’s going to be a fun few months for me and my head! As director of the venue for the prize / wearer of the art I am chairing the panel, which is a huge, exciting, and slightly terrifying (in a good way!) honour. There are two exhibitions planned as part of the judging process the first is on June the 21st and will take place in various venues across the world, including my hometown Newcastle. The second and final exhibition will be Oct 4th-7th at the Creative Debuts, Anti Art Fair in London, a very fitting event for both the prize and for the “Plenty Up Top Gallery” as it celebrates artists who are traditionally underrepresented in the commercial art world- which includes female artists, artists of colour and artists from the LGBTQ+ community. During the Anti Art Fair I will “wear” artworks made by the three finalists and “crown” the winner of the Nasty Women International Art Prize, 2018. It’s funny and very lovely to think it all started almost exactly a year ago with my children trying to cheer me up by bling-ing my newly bald head.

The Nasty Women International Art Prize is open to anyone over 16- no need to be an artist or a woman! We welcome submissions from crafters, makers, yarn bombers, community groups…. The possibilities are endless. The submission deadline is April 30th 11pm GMT 2018, please see the website for further info: http://nastywomenexhibition.org/

Art

 

 

”Tammymum”

Today I am sharing my interview with Ailsa Bosworth, the CEO and founder of NRAS – The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society which includes a little of her life story and  the reason she started the charity along with tips for women.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

 Describe your childhood and teenage years

I was born and grew up in a small village in Scotland to the west of Glasgow until I was between 7 and 8 when we came south to East Sheen because of a change in my father’s job. So my early childhood was full of freedom to roam the fields and the woods locally with other children from the village.

I am of an age where I remember dancing round the village maypole with coloured ribbons. On moving south, my ‘Glasgie accent’ gradually disappeared and after a couple of years, I went to Putney High School Junior School, graduated to the Senior School and left when I was sixteen after O-levels to attend a language school in Switzerland for a year. I came back fluent in French and with very good German.

I then attended St. James Secretarial College in London for a year to qualify in shorthand, business studies and book-keeping. As a teenager, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and didn’t particularly want to go to university, so my parents made an excellent decision to send me to Switzerland to study languages (which I was good at) although I didn’t think so at the time!

What was your first job?

So, at the age of 18 and newly out of college I was ready to start my first job. This was as a bi-lingual secretary with the Bata Shoe Organisation. I enjoyed this role, travelled with the organisation and used my French extensively. I stayed with them until I was 20-21 and then started searching for something that could become a ‘career’.

Please tell us about your health challenges

My father had Ankylosing Spondylitis from before I was born and was very ill for most of his adult life, dying early as a consequence of his disease and drug side effects of a stroke at age 62. I started experiencing problems with joints in my late twenties and it’s not clear even now whether this was the very early stages of Rheumatoid Arthritis or the result of a fall down some stairs. When I was 30 I started experiencing a painful and swollen right knee. I did not connect what I was experiencing with my father’s disease, nor with Rheumatoid Arthritis which I probably wasn’t even aware of. It was nine months before things got so bad that I was forced by my boss to see a doctor, and Rheumatoid Arthritis was diagnosed immediately resulting in being hospitalised. Thus began my journey with this horrendous disease.

In the early 80’s the drugs we have today were not available and the way in which treatment of the disease was tackled by health professionals was very different. As a consequence I experienced a huge amount of irreversible joint damage which has led to my having (so far) 19 operations including 2 operations to my eyes. It started in my eyes in the last 10-15 years. I’ve had a foot fusion, both ankles replaced, both knees, both hips, my wrists are fused with metal rods, both elbows and 2 operations to partially fuse my neck which restricts my ability to turn my head.

The disease affects every single aspect of your life. The main symptoms are pain, which at times can be unbearable, even to someone like me who has developed a high pain threshold, fatigue and stiffness. The disease halted briefly whilst I was pregnant and when my daughter was born in 1982, it migrated from my right knee to many other joints including my hands. At times I was unable to pick up my newborn daughter or change her nappy.

I went back to work when Anna was 3 months old, part time initially but by one year, I was back full time. I had a good job by then and had reached Director level in the company I worked for so was in the fortunate position of being able to employ a nanny and enjoy a level of autonomy, supported by a fantastic boss, who, in spite of my disease and having to attend hospital frequently, believed in me and enabled me to do this without penalty.

It took a long time to go through a grieving process for the life I would never get back and to accept that I was ‘disabled’. In my mind, I didn’t feel disabled. I used to ride bikes, play tennis, dance, water ski, snow ski and was generally very active. I quite quickly had to come to terms with giving all of these things up although I have never fully come to terms with the fact I can’t even go for a long walk.

There have been many occasions when I have been subsumed in tears, many times a flare has become so bad that my husband has had to call an ambulance, and many times of being in low moods and being terrified of impending surgery or what was coming next. It has impacted on relationships, although in many ways it has made the bond with my husband and wider family even stronger. For many, many years I have felt guilt (for being less than independent and having to rely on others), there is also stigma attached to having a long term condition, as if you are somehow ‘different’. You feel sad for the things you have lost and at times inadequate and wretched.

However, out of adversity often comes other benefits and strengths and so this has been for me. Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis has undoubtedly given me the ability to empathise more with others who have long term conditions and with people who have their lives restricted in some way.

Who has supported you most?

My husband Brian has without doubt been my rock. He thought long and hard about taking me, my 3 ½ year old daughter and my Rheumatoid Arthritis on but thank goodness he did! I seriously don’t know what I would have done without him and had I not re-married, my life as a single mother and later as a ‘single’ person would have been immeasurably different and less comfortable.

My daughter, like me with my father, has only ever known a mother ‘with RA’. One of the benefits of this, although she may not fully realise it, is that she learned to be resilient. When you get knocked over, you get right back up again and carry on. I think that teaching your children to be resilient is one of the most important things a parent can do. My daughter is now, at age 36, also incredibly supportive and we have a close and strong relationship. Wider friends and family and also my staff in NRAS are also incredibly supportive and practically helpful when I need it.

My heart always goes out to people with this painful disease who live on their own. It is quite isolating and awful if you can’t even get out of bed to make yourself a cup of tea when you are having a flare. Having a partner who is there for you and can do the cooking/shopping and just ‘do stuff’ makes the world of difference.

I haven’t really had experience of getting help from another charity before I set up NRAS and this was one of the reasons for doing just that.

What do you do now?

I am the founder and CEO of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society. I started work on the creation of NRAS at the beginning of 2001 following the experience of being on a clinical trial for a new drug which, for the first time in many years, had an impact on my disease and I was then unable to get access to the drug after the trial. I started with a blank piece of paper, we launched in October 2001 and we now employ 24 staff and enjoy a high, international reputation in the field of rheumatology. I had the honour of being awarded an MBE for services to people with RA in the 2016 new year’s honours.

Tell us about the services and campaigns of NRAS

The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS), is the only patient-led organisation in the UK specialising in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Due to its targeted focus on RA and JIA, NRAS provides truly expert and wide-ranging services to support, educate and campaign for people living with these complex autoimmune conditions, their families and the health professionals who treat them.

Their vision is to support all with RA or JIA to live life to the full with an underpinning mission to:

  • support everyone living with the impact of RA or JIA at the start and every step of their journey
  • to inform – be their first choice for reliable information, and
  • empower all to have a voice and take control of their RA or JIA

We provide wide ranging services including a free helpline, peer support service, on line and social media platforms for peer support and social networking, informative websites for RA and JIA, policy and public affairs campaigns and activities in all four nations of the UK, many publications available in hard or soft copy, and other support services including supported self-management programmes. We have approaching 50 community groups across the UK which provide a local forum for education and peer support. Everything we do as an organisation is about supporting people to understand their disease as best they can so that they can learn to self-manage as well as possible. We know that those who proactively self-manage effectively have better long-term outcomes. We support UK clinical and academic research and conduct our own social research. We also run training programmes for health professionals. We are involved in the setting of national standards and guidelines (through NICE and the British Society for Rheumatology) and I have been the principal expert patient for all NICE health technology appraisals (the process by which new and innovative drugs come to market in the UK) since 2003.

One of our most recent programmes launched in February is an interactive video programme, Love Your Heart. The interactive video programme is an engaging, educational platform, where people who register (free) will be able to:

    • understand the reasons why RA increases cardiovascular (CVD) risk
    • calculate a QRISK®2 score (a GP recognised prediction algorithm for CVD)
    • learn how to reduce the risk of CVD
    • log progress through a series of behavioural goals

 

Please share your tips for a woman thinking of starting a charity

Be prepared to work harder than you’ve probably ever worked before and make a lot of sacrifices in terms of work/life balance. (My husband and family are used to coming second to NRAS!). If you haven’t got a bucket load of passion for your cause, don’t even start!

Do you have any words of wisdom for a woman facing health challenges

Be kind to yourself. Forgive your body. Always have something to look forward to. Ask for and accept help. People actually like being asked for help, it makes them feel good about themselves. Took me a long time to learn that. Don’t shut your nearest and dearest out, try and talk about how you feel.

Please recommend a book for a woman to read

The memoirs of Dame Stephanie Shirley. She is an amazing woman who really pioneered getting women into the workplace in technical jobs, whilst struggling to bring up a very autistic son.

What website would you advise a woman to check out?

I honestly don’t know the answer to this. The websites I use are all very practical for ordering things.

I struggle with the idea that Amazon probably don’t pay enough corporation tax, but the practicality of being able to order almost anything you want/need from them with minimal clicks and fuss, makes my life easier! So, in the absence of anything particularly ‘women’ focussed, it would have to be Amazon!

Is there anything else you would like to say?

I would just have to finish by saying that setting up and running NRAS has been the most rewarding work of my life. It is humbling and moving to know that you are changing people’s lives for the better and although I have had a challenging and rewarding career in engineering, computers and the audio visual industry in the past, it is the work of NRAS and the support of my family and colleagues that has inspired me and causes me to think almost daily how much I love my life.

https://www.nras.org.uk/

 

Confessions of a New Mummy

Winnettes
My Random Musings

Infertility is usually a surprise initially and so many of assume becoming a parent will be straightforward and absolutely possible. Today I am sharing an interview with Berenice Smith who set up a website called Walk in our Shoes utilising  her own experiences to help others feeling the isolation of infertility and the mental health issues that can follow.

Infertility

Please tell us a little about your childhood and teenage years.

I was brought up in a sleepy village in Cambridgeshire and couldn’t wait to escape! I have a big, wider family with lots of cousins and now second cousins. It was a loving family but depression affected my mum, as it has me.

What was your first job?

My first job was cleaning cars for my grandparents business. They ran a limousine and private hire car company and I would vacuum up the confetti in the wedding cars! Inside was an artist trying to escape!

Tell us about infertility and how you feel you have handled that life change

I always wanted to be a mum. I had series of terrible relationships and finally met the man who would be my husband. He’s a bit older than me and we were friends for months before we went on a date. We just clicked. I’d already had problems in the past but not long into our relationship I was pregnant. I miscarried a few weeks later and though we were sad about it, we felt we had time. Fast forward five years and we were married. I had another miscarriage and went onto have more, mostly early but a few later ones. We were referred to investigations that ironically took place in the maternity ward of our hospital. They couldn’t find anything wrong. Finally after a few months of monitoring and blood tests we were told IVF was the answer. Only to find there wasn’t any funding in our area. We ended up going privately but this cost thousands and we were doing up our house at the time. Ultimately it meant a lot of the appointments which I went to alone because my husband worked overtime to pay for it My employers at the time were not very supportive either and it was a lonely time. The first cycle resulted in 36 eggs and 27 embryos so I had no problem there but I did suffered with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (where my body was still responding to drugs). Because of the number of embryos that we had frozen, we had 6 cycles and one pregnancy over ten years. Sadly the pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage. It’s actually impossible to articulate how that felt or the grief. By the time we realised IVF wasn’t going to work, we’d left it too late for adoption because of my husband’s age.

I don’t know that I handled the life change very well. I really did hate my body a lot for letting me down and went through a long time of having a bad body image. My weight has yo-yoed from steroids and all the other medication one has to take for IVF (about 5 types of tablets and 3 injections). I generally get the impression from many that I should be over it, but it never leaves me.

What are you spending your time doing these daysAfter IVF, I studied for a postgraduate degree in graphic design and typography having worked all my life as a graphic designer. I’m working part-time now, running Walk In Our Shoes which was researched and designed during the degree which I speak about. I’m actually presenting at Fertility Fest in May. I also have a design practice called Hello Lovely.

What was the reason you started to blog?

I wanted to address the fear that many men and women have in speaking out. Lots are put off by trolls or less than sympathetic responses. I’ve been told children are not all they are cracked up to be by a relative and that nobody died from not having kids with scant awareness of the mental health problem around infertility. Walk In Our Shoes is a safe space where people can share their stories and to bridge the gap between those who are involuntary childless and those who are parents or chose to be childfree.

How does blogging help you when you are struggling?

If I hadn’t been though all this and had a child, I’d be struggling to say the right words. I hope that I can bust some myths and in doing so it helps to know others have benefitted. I have no doubt it’s hard being a mum but infertility also brings struggles of a different kind and I strongly believe in listening and gaining respect on all sides.

Are you a fan of collaboration with other bloggers and if so, why?

Yes, very much so. I was involved in World Childless Week last year, am a huge fan of Gateway Women and run a Twitter chat called Childless Hour which has many brilliant bloggers in the conversation.

Who has supported you in life?

My husband. I always say that men are the unsung heroes of infertility and IVF because regardless of whether they themselves are infertile or not, they have to sit on the sidelines watching all this. He is my absolute hero, overcoming needle phobia to help me with injections to happily adopting our dog who has also helped me so much. She’s a rescue who was days away from being put to sleep on a council pound so I like to think we saved each other.

What are your words of wisdom to someone who is struggling emotionally?

Control social media not the other way around. I talk a lot about this on Walk In Our Shoes, from encouraging better use of Facebook friend lists to protect involuntary childless friends to having two accounts, not being afraid to remove friends if you’ve drifted apart. Seeking out support groups on Twitter and Facebook can result in a different and more supportive friendship circle. Sometimes it’s easier to have face to face friendships with mums because honest conversations in person can be more emotive and restorative, free from predictive text!

If you could recommend ONE book to a woman what would it be and why?

Dear You: A Letter to My Unborn Children by Tessa Broad. I met Tessa through her blog tour and was lucky to get an advance of this book. I strongly recommend it to every woman, to get  a brave andhonest account of life with infertility. It’ll help anyone who wants to know how to help a friend or relative coming going through IVF or coming to terms with childlessness.

If you could recommend ONE website other than your own to a woman what would it be and why?

Gateway Women. Jody Day is a friend and inspirational woman who has spoken extensively about her experiences and paved the way for the likes of me and many others to go public.

Is there anything else you would like to say about struggling with infertility?

Infertility can feel incredibly lonely because it’s not talked about enough but online you can find your tribe. There are some great support groups out there, many are listed on Walk In Our Shoes. Most of all, if you are a mum, then let your friend lead the way. Grief is so fickle. There are days when I adore having children round and other days when it may be an anniversary (and there are many) when I can’t. Many of us feel this way. Trust that your friend needs space and be careful about not letting each others struggles become a competition.

 

My Random Musings
Winnettes

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.

Baby Safe Jewellery

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.

 

www.haliarose.co.uk

 

 

My Random Musings