Everyone’s talking about HA Designs – an ultra luxe brand offering a unique collection of personalised, lifestyle products. Sporting a marble ‘EA’ phone case myself, and picking up many a compliment as I go, I can see how these lovely designs are sparking a frenzy in the wonderful world of fashion accessories.
Hannah O’Neill is the brains behind the brand. She divides her time between the office in Hertfordshire and her family home in Middlesbrough. When she’s not busy brainstorming new designs for her business, she’s either exploring the beauty of the North East with her two little boys, or heading for the Riverside to catch a Boro game where her fiancé, Daniel Ayala plays.
Elysia Agnew checks in with the fashion forward designer…
What inspired you to start this business?
I have always wanted to have my own business so when I came up with the idea of HA Designs it just came together nicely. It was a passion that turned into business.
What is your go-to product?
I wouldn’t be without my Saffiano pouch. It’s so handy to keep my keys, money and phone in so they don’t all get lost in my baby bag. Also my phone case with my babies’ names on reminds me why I work so hard.
Your target market?
We hope to cater for anyone who is looking for a quality product, which is unique but affordable. We have a men’s collection launching this year too, so this is sure to broaden our target audience.
Where do you base yourself?
I’m living in Middlesbrough at the moment with my family, but our office is actually in Hertfordshire. This is where I’m originally from and it will be where I end up, so I didn’t want to move the business around with me. It’s difficult commuting to and from at the moment but I have a brilliant team behind me.
Talk us through your working week?
Every week is different, but I try to juggle motherhood with working the best I can. This usually means I’m mummy in the day and then working in the afternoons when my partner is back from work. I’m in the process of developing new products so at the moment, it makes sense for me to work in the night so that I can be in contact with our factories overseas.
What does the weekend mean to you?
I’m still working throughout the weekend but I’m much more relaxed as the girls in the office don’t need me for anything as they are off. You’ll find me either at the football or taking my boys somewhere fun to play. I try to give myself a break during the weekend, but it’s difficult to switch off when you work for yourself.
What are your favourite things about the North East?
Definitely the people – they are so friendly! Also there are some beautiful places to visit.
What’s next for HA Designs?
We are bringing lots of new products to the market in 2017, including a beautiful homeware collection among many others. It’s a really exciting time for us and we are really working hard to maintain our status as a fashion forward brand.
Your luxe things in life?
Spending time with my two little boys. I have been working on HA Designs since they were first born, so I do feel guilty when I’m away from them and at work. Our house is never quiet but that’s what I love most.
A real luxury for us is our summer holiday. We have been to some lovely places as a family over the years – we are visiting Bali this year after hearing so many amazing stories from people who have been.