Sarah Halsall, Founder of Hand Picked by Henrietta

Specialising in sourcing design-led and handmade products, gifts and greetings cards

Eight years ago, I would have found it incredibly difficult to share with people that we had lost our son. When your heart has been broken, you definitely acquire a different outlook on life.

Cameron was born in 2004 with cerebral palsy after a difficult birth. Whilst still pregnant, I took the decision to shut down the floristry business I’d been running for a few years because I didn’t think it was viable to juggle two full-time responsibilities. When he passed away in June 2005, I was devastated. I’d become a mum again to Logan earlier that year and he was a godsend – a reason to get up in the morning and the ultimate motivation to do everything in my power to put myself back together.

The next seven years were spent raising my family (I had my youngest son, Isaac, in 2006) and working for a local florist, which is where I found myself surrounded by giftware again. I’ve always enjoyed being creative and, as a florist, you definitely run the full gamut of emotions with customers because you arrange flowers for occasions that are both joyful and sympathetic.

Over time I made up my mind that when Isaac was in school, I’d look for something new to do, which resulted in Hand Picked by Henrietta. (Henrietta is the name of the pink hippo in our company logo!)

Since opening the doors of our lovely little shop in Chapel-en-le-Frith in 2012, I’ve never looked back. Our hidden gem on the High Street has done so well that we were able to open a second shop in Poynton in 2017. These days I divide my time between the two towns and I remain as committed as ever to stocking products which are locally sourced.

I know from experience that a gift or greetings card can change someone’s day – whether it’s given to add a little bit of sparkle, express compassion, warm a person’s heart or put a smile on a loved one’s face. I believe that every milestone should be celebrated as part of life’s journey.

Each week brings new challenges, but it’s how we raise up to deal with them that truly defines us.

Hand Picked by Henrietta