When she was a student at Verona High School, Hailey Harrington (VHS ’11) played soccer and managed a basketball team. There was nothing remotely artsy in her day. But after her mother was treated for breast cancer, Harrington felt the need for an artistic outlet. She taught herself how to make jewelry and learned that it is possible for even very small businesses to raise awareness about the disease.
This month, Harrington’s sideline business, Haiilshandmade, has been featuring its breast cancer bracelets at Main Street Cottage. At the end of October, she will tally up her profits and donate them all to Susan G. Komen, the foundation that is the world’s largest non-profit source of funding for breast cancer research and awareness.
Haiilshandmade is, for now, a sideline to Harrington’s full-time focus on education. She graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University in May with a bachelors degree in psychology and is now getting ready to start a new, intensive nursing program at Montclair State University. “Right now, I really want to do pediatric nursing,” Harrington says. “That’s on the top of my list.”
But she puts aside her studies for a few hours every Sunday to focus on Haiilshandmade, which has expanded from breast cancer bracelets to other jewelry and decorative crafts. Harrington has done pieces for bridal parties and bridesmaids’ gifts, and created earrings and necklaces. She recently came into “a ton” of wine corks, and has been experimenting with turning them into holiday accents. “I think about the holidays and decorations that my mom likes to have around the house,” she says. “I try something and if it fails, I try again. If something succeeds, I evolve off that.” Her cork pieces and other things will be part of a holiday boutique at Ariane Kitchen & Bar on Sunday, November 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
When she is not in boutiques or doing trunk shows, Harrington makes use of an Etsy shop, Facebook and Instagram. “I’ve met great people doing this,” Harrington says. “You can start from nowhere and build to something amazing.”