Head2Hope

betsy bell

The Story

In November of 2007 I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Triple Negative Breast Cancer.  In navigating the difficult world of treatment options, I learned that major surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation were all ahead of me.  Predictably, my world was rocked.  Fortunately, I have an incredibly supportive spouse, family and community who helped with my 4 children ages 5-14 (who were my biggest concern at the time).  

I needed a way to support myself physically and mentally throughout the treatment process and beyond.  Two additional strokes of good fortune came my way:  Romy Toussaint, an amazing yoga teacher and personal trainer, and The Breast Cancer Resource Center (BCRC) in Princeton, NJ.  Working with Romy some days we just practiced breathing and slow yoga movements and other days we ran hill repeaters or 3 miles through a beautiful park.  During that time I also frequented the BCRC for resources from prosthetics to support groups.  When my hair started to fall out from the chemotherapy, Romy gave me one of her workout “buffs” to wear – it acted as a great catch for my hair, kept my head warm, and was a useful sweatband when exercising.  I purchased more “buffs” and created a tucking technique for the back to lay flat because it was an open tube.

About a year after completing all of my treatments, while working out with Romy (with whom 8 years later I continue to practice yoga and exercise), I mentioned that I was experiencing a strong feeling that I should make my own version of a “buff” with more fashion focused fabrics.  This presented obstacles such as getting a sewing machine and figuring out a system for how to sew them…to name a few.  The day I voiced my desire to Romy, a woman I didn’t know who was exercising with us spoke up to say she had work experience as a fabric designer as well as sewing experience and a spare machine.  It was a sign…there was no turning back.  We made a trip to the fabric store a few days later and started exploring design options.  I had my first sale at Romy’s home in the fall of 2009 with some head scarves (as I now call them), ear warmers/headbands, and small fleece blankets.  Anyone who purchased one of my original designs – God bless you – is eligible for a free replacement anytime!!  Let’s just say there have been some improvements along the way!

The net result is that I developed a product for people going through treatment that is comfortable, fashionable, fun and funky. Then I realized that I have a product line that benefits the cause, whether it's used for treatment or not. What started with head scarves morphed into head bands, neck warmers, infinity scarves, multi-fabric throw blankets; all things that give comfort.

 My biggest hope is that my products bring everyone a sense of comfort and feeling of hope and love as you wear or snuggle with any Head2Hope item….It’s HANDMADE COMFORT TO SOOTHE THE SOUL…


Who we support?  The BCRC!  

The Breast Cancer Resource Center in Princeton, N.J. is the beneficiary of a portion of my proceeds. They were an incredible source of information and support for me. I'm increasingly impressed with the amount of free information and support they provide so many local families and the wonderful energy they put into understanding of the disease. 

The BCRC provides free programs designed to help women through the entire breast cancer journey – from diagnosis through treatment, recovery, survivorship, and even recurrence. Their comprehensive approach to breast cancer support and education positively impacts the lives of more than 5,000 individuals each year, and helps hundreds of women learn to live with, through, and beyond breast cancer.

100% Handmade

We make these comfy accessories 100% by hand. Utilizing fabrics we find at shops, shows, what's given to us by friends, and recycling gently used sweaters. It's incredibly important to us to make quality product and, if you're not happy with what you received, we'll provide you a full refund.

 

 


Thank you  to everyone who has helped make this happen! 

To Romy for …EVERYTHING; Tamara Morheim for a myriad of creative influences from first business card design, flyers, invitations, time, inspiration, to a loaner sewing machine; Suzanne Holdcraft for my 2nd loaner machine; my husband Michael and children Tyler, Chaz, Eliza, and Spencer for putting up with hours of hearing the hum of a sewing machine and fabric pieces all over our dining room – as well as for being my test pilots and models on many occasions; Leslie Hollander for modeling many items on my display board and Facebook page; Kalya Haase for technical support as well as modeling; the Breast Cancer Resource Center in Princeton for display, promotion and sales of my headscarves; Twine in Hopewell for the inspiration to design and make neck warmers using recycled fabrics as well as selling them in the shop; my niece Chelsea Koglmeier for this fabulous new website; and finally my many repeat and new customers!!