My youngest daughter, Lotte, was just 7 months old when I was diagnosed with grade 3 advanced Breast Cancer after finding a small round lump whilst breast feeding. At 31 and with no family history it came as a shock to everyone. The following year was a roller-coaster of scans, hospital visits, surgeries (including mastectomy and lymph node removal), chemotherapy, radiotherapy and of course emotions.
I lost my hair during chemo and felt very cold, especially at night. I struggled to find suitable head-wear. Scarves would slip in bed and woollen hats were too itchy and hot. I found my wig was incredibly uncomfortable and wore it on just two occasions, at the request of my oldest daughter, Olivia then aged 4, who really struggled with my hair loss. I wanted to cover up for my family and to keep warm - I needed something soft and simple, yet stylish, to slip on around the house and wear in bed... the idea for Bold Beanies was born.
When I started to regain my life and energy I decided to start making my Bold Beanies for fellow sufferers ... to make a bad situation just a little bit more bearable.
The business, like myself, is going from strength to strength. I am able to offer my hats as a Bold Beanies Bouquet ... how wonderful for carers to be able to give a traditional gift that is not just beautiful, but practical too. My friends and family would have bought me one in a heartbeat... anything to make me feel a bit better.
When I got my first email from a happy customer, I knew I was doing the right thing... I was called a 'life-saver' which may seem a little extravagant... but explains the sheer relief from finding a hat for your sensitive scalp which is so soft, comfortable and breathable and such beautiful fabrics you even want to wear them. The website and product range is continually expanding to introduce new lines to the existing women's, mens, teens and children's beanie hats; including PICC Line Sleeves Covers, Face masks and three types of head-covers - the traditional Headscarf and Bandanas in multiple cotton fabrics choices and also the Head-wrap to wrap around a beanie hat or wear on its own. As well as the bouquet cancer gifts, I've also more recently developed the Graffiti Greetings Bold Beanie, PICC covers, Cancer Bandanas and Face Masks as an alternative personalised get well soon card... a lighthearted way to show someone going through cancer treatments that you really care. More and more people are also buying Bold Beanies hats to go underneath all types of scarves, helmets and hard hats as an outdoor sports breathable layer.
From our small factory on the borders of Wales and England we are also manufacturing a new range of Eco products, many using the latest technical recycled fabrics as well planet friendly dead-stock and vintage fabrics to create unique products for our customers.
I won a special recognition award at the British Female Inventors and Innovators Awards International 2009 (BFIIN) and a European Female Innovators Creativity award (EUWIIN) in 2015, for which I am immensely proud. I recently published my first book HOPE which was a massive bucket list tick for me and DREAM is due to be released soon! Join the following on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter ...and watch this space! Take Care and Be Kind, Emilienne x