Sarah Cooke grew up in Berkhamsted and has recently come back to live here with her young family. As with so many business ideas, it was having children that sparked the idea for Halia Rose. I talk to her in the popular Berko hangout: Black Goo at Home and Colonial.
Can you describe Halia Rose?
It’s a stylish, feminine, colourful and fun collection of accessories that are also perfectly safe and practical for wearing when looking after babies and young children. Little ones love the chewable textures, so our jewellery can be used to help soothe teething gums and the designs and colours make them the perfect sensory object for baby to play with whilst breastfeeding. All of our products are made from 100% non-toxic, BPA free food-grade silicone so are resilient to the demands of a modern mum, but with gorgeous designs and colours that don’t look like a baby necklaces so can be worn as a stunning statement piece by day or by night, with or without baby!
How did you have the idea for your business?
I always enjoyed wearing jewellery but when my first child was born, suddenly all my jewellery was being tugged, chewed and sometimes even broken. I was also worried about hurting him or that the clasps would catch on his baby soft skin. Little ones also love the chewable textures, so our jewellery can be used to help soothe teething gums and the designs and colours make them the perfect sensory object for baby to play with whilst breastfeeding. And as they can be washed in soapy water or the dishwasher, all our jewellery can be worn outside, on the beach or during messy play and still be as good as new the very next day!
Are there people who are wearing Halia Rose just because they like the jewellery? All of our customers love the designs and colours of our jewellery – most have young children but lots don’t! They are also a perfect accessory to wear at the beach as they don’t get hot. They can also be washed at the end of the day. Our jewellery is also made of vegan-friendly materials.
I think you sell online at the moment. Would you like to be on the high street?
We currently sell online but are looking at other retail channels and are in talks with several outlets – I would love to see Halia Rose jewellery on the high street!
You mentioned that your jewellery is good for holidays?
Halia Rose jewellery is a perfect accessory to wear at the beach as they are made from heat-resistant materials which means they don’t get hot and won’t support the growth of bacteria. They can also be washed in soapy water so look as good as new every day! Silicone doesn’t fade in the sun and as there are no nasty catches or clasps, your summer clothes and resort wear won’t be damaged.
You recently returned to live in Hertfordshire, as so many people do after having children. Are there things that have surprised you?
I grew up in Berkhamsted and have since lived in several parts of England as well as abroad so it’s been lovely to return. Everything is familiar but so many things have changed (including me…especially now with two young children!) The town has grown and with that there is a wider selection of shops and restaurants so it’s been fun to explore new places and hunt out old favourites.
Any favourite places?
We are an outdoorsy family and get out of the house as often as we can. We love going for walks. Wendover Woods, Ashridge and Rickmansworth Aquadrome are great local spaces for us to run around, take the bikes and go on the hunt for mini beasts as well as enjoy picnics! We also love Willows Farm and Standalone Farm in Letchworth for the variety of animals and activities they offer. On rainy days, the Natural History Museum in Tring is a firm favourite for checking out the animals, large and small!
Children and other commitments aside, if you could be anywhere right now, where would you like to be?
I love to travel, explore new cultures and taste new foods; having been fortunate enough to live in Asia for 7 years we saw some incredible places and met some amazing people – some of which are now life-long friends. Connecting with new people is something I love so it’s been fun moving back to England and catching up with old friends and meeting new people too. But I also love what I’m doing right now! Having young children and being fortunate enough to have a business that works around them is great. I love seeing the world through their eyes and re-exploring the old places in Hertfordshire that I enjoyed as a child – they love to try new things and explore new places too so we’re always looking for a new adventure. With that, however, means that finding a little time for me can sometimes be challenging as I’m sure every mum can relate to….a beautiful beach and a glass of something chilled is always an appealing option!