I'm Sharone and this is #MeetTheMakerWeek

Designer carrying roll of ballet pink with black polka dots fabric, Heliades brand labels,

Recently we participated in Meet the Maker Week, a week long celebration of small businesses and makers. Most of us have small businesses focused on quality, hand made goods produced in small batches and often locally. Here's a little about us.

Say Hello.
Hi, my name is Sharone and I'm participating in #MeetTheMakerWeek.

I'm from Central America and grew up in San Jose, California where I still have family and friends I've known since Kindergarten.

I'm a mom of four, a jewelry designer, and have a corporate background in tech. Now I design, make and run a sun protective apparel small business.

I created my brand because sun damage and skin cancer are prevalent diseases that do not discriminate. Yet they are preventable with proper awareness and precautions. I wanted to design fun, stylish UV blocking apparel to wear every day that was permanently sun protective and safe (fewer chemicals) for the skin without worry of the impact it might have on the environment.

Being new to the fashion and apparel manufacturing industry has been wild and fascinating! It's very welcoming and people are willing to help.

I feel good about what I'm doing. I know my fabrics are a safer choice for my clients as well as better for our environment. Here 'sun safe’ means protect your skin from too much sun AND from harsh chemicals that are absent from the fabrics we select to use.

How have you adapted this year? #MeetTheMakerWeek

Back in March 2020 we pivoted to a subdued launch of our #UVsunGauntlets collection which happened to coincide with California's first shelter in place order.

I remember Syama Meagher of @ScalingRetail telling us to make fabric face masks. At this time everyone was scrambling to make them at home. But I froze. In time I realized that my clients, who are serious about healthy skin, would love a mask that sun protects their face. I was wrong to think short term - masks are here to stay for a while.

It's a reminder to be flexible and stay nimble. Indie brands can pivot faster than big labels. We can make in small batches, monitor quality and manage inventory and risk.

We're still designing new products, we've launched five since March, but making in small batch or made to order so we can manage our risk. Everything is made by me or at a local factory in the Bay Area, CA so I can monitor the quality.

What's new?

We recently introduced our UPF 50 sun protection three pleated face mask and new neck wrap. These are original, unisex designs and I'm proud that they're stylish yet provide serious UPF50+ sun protective armor.⁠

I like my designs to be versatile to wear different ways with different looks so my clients have creative options and there is added value to their purchase. (ex: the neck wrap can be worn like a cravat, mini cape, neck gaiter or face covering).

We also debuted these fabulous sun gloves that come in wrist and full arm length. They're super fun and easy to accessorize with your outfits while shielding your skin from over 98% of harmful UV rays. (same type of fabric as the three-pleat and neck wrap.)⁠

Designing for every day use increases frequency of protecting your skin - staying stylish and sun safe is our goal. And since it's like wearing a bottle of bottomless sunscreen this type of prevention saves time and money.⁠

In terms of seasonality, sun protection is a year round endeavor - and stress in combination with UV exposure just exacerbates your skin's health and risk. Everyone needs some UV coverage.⁠

For my next creative wave I'll continue to explore (sun protective) neck coverage but from a different constructive perspective. I love menswear so you might see this surface in subtle patterns and plaids in the next color palette.

Thank you and take a closer look here: Shop NEW

Silver linings.

It's been a doozy of a year for everyone. I am grateful for the support within our community and with other small businesses and brands. Having a community to work through shared experiences together has been a blessing.

Being a mom/woman owned business, the pandemic forced me to slow down and remember my priorities 🙏.

And it's actually been a big year for Heliades. We double downed on increasing awareness about the importance of sun protecting our skin every day as essential to our health. Taking preventative measures saves time, money and heartache. Taking care of your skin is caring for your whole body health.

We now have global friends and clients, and our message to keep your skin healthy with fun fashion x high function sun protection resonates with people on the daily. This makes me feel so proud to be of service to help others stay well.

We did launch five new products:
UV Sun Gauntlets collection of UPF 50 arm sleeves and sun gloves,
Classic and Three-Pleated UPF 50 sun protective face masks,
UPF 50 Neck Wrap in five different prints,

and a cute clear tote bag to hold your sun protective gear and other every day essentials (meets current domestic clear bag policies).

We also did a complete overhaul of our website!

This year has been a lesson in resiliency. The goalposts keep moving, but ability to live in the positive is always within your power.

For our latest about caring for your skin during times of stress and anxiety go to https://bit.ly/ManageStressList

When we send one of our designs to a new home, I still get nervous and excited every time - excited that our sun protective designs are helping others stay safe and healthy, nervous - will they like it?

Here is a message I received last week from a client:⁠

"I received my white mask today. It is a lot better than my UV mask I am currently wearing. I like that it wraps around your chin also. I also⁠ thought the filter was great to have. Great product! I will be ordering more of your different styles. The hand written postcard added a nice touch.⁠ Thank you!"⁠

We positively beam every time we read client messages like this. It validates we're on the right path towards helping others prevent sun damage and skin cancer.

If you choose to shop small, you'll support your local economy and the dreams of folks who set out to make better, make different and keep quality work alive. You'lll most likely receive personalized customer service and quality, well made products! Why not give us a try and see for yourself!⁠

 Sign up to join the Heli community and get a free, downloadable book about managing your skin's health.

#getheligirl #wearUPF #defendyourglow


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