Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hip + Urban Girls of the Week: helloberry

I've been spotting these cute bracelets all around the city. They remind me of the simple days of trading friendship bracelets at summer camp. So I was super stoked when I discovered they were homemade right in downtown Toronto! With big startup dreams and a passion for colourful gimp... say hello to Sunta and Charlene of helloberry!

What is a typical day in the life of the helloberry team?

There are no typical days for Charlene or myself. We work at different schedules on different areas of the business but our goals by the end of the day is to make sure all customers feel taken care of and products are being shipped. The faster bracelets can be on wrists, the better for helloberry as a whole.

If there were a typical day it might begin with coffee and breakfast while checking emails and the status of our online shop. We try to answer customer questions as soon as possible. Using a really nice email from a helloberry fan to fuel the rest of the day works wonders. Lucky for us, our helloberry shoppers are ridiculously sweet and have been encouraging us since the very beginning.

Tell us more about helloberry!

Behind-the-scenes at helloberry you’ll find a very hard working team working to grow helloberry and reach more people with our products.

We bounce product ideas and designs back and forth until we’re ready with a new release. Charlene rocks the camera as you can see by our product shots and is an extremely talented designer (like the deliciously cute helloberry logo!)

I love talking to our growing community of helloberry wearers, welcoming them into the family and keeping them updated and style-inspired through our social media channels.

It’s hard to summarize the helloberry story or vision but in essence, we just really love making pieces we love to wear in hopes other people will too. We have a love for colour and sparkle so we’re always looking for ways to combine both in pieces that are equal parts fun and pretty.

We lace each bracelet with compliment-attracting pixie dust, and so far, it’s working like a charm :) Seriously though, our goal at helloberry is to design products you can wear every day that are versatile enough to take from day to night, from the office to the beach.

What were you doing before you started making and selling bracelets?

Besides daydreaming about making and selling bracelets? I was working for a small start up (literally two people) that specialized in digital marketing and creating tools to help small businesses grow their communities on and offline. I worked with a crazy ambitious entrepreneur who had a contagious desire to build things, including his own business. This is also when I met Charlene and we “clicked” as friends right away, dreaming even then about building something together.

When you have that close of a look of what it takes to grow a dream, it’s hard to fight the feeling of wanting start something yourself. There is an amazing entrepreneurial spirit in Toronto, it’s really awesome to watch and be a part of.

What do you like most and least about being an entrepreneur?

It’s hard to choose what I like most. Growing helloberry with the team has been an incredible journey already, I can’t believe it’s only been about 5 months! Personally, the thing I like the most about being an entrepreneur is creating something other people like. It’s even better when they love it.

I know that might sound pretty obvious, but the idea that friends and strangers from all over the world see something we’ve made and want one (or ten!) there’s no word to describe that. We’re incredibly grateful.

What I like the least...that there never seems to be enough hours in a day. That sleep is necessary to function and that when you’re really busy, deep fried food looks so much tastier than salad. Fact.

What are your favourite places to shop in the city?

This city is full of cute shops. I love walking the Queen West strip on a beautiful day although that’s more perusing than shopping (I have to hide my credit card from myself on those days) My style (if you can call it that) is pretty basic. I have a collection of free start-up t-shirts that I love. I’m not a huge fan of in I prefer simple dresses which I find from stores like Winners, Forever 21 and H&M. A wristful of helloberries and I’m good to go! I find that I’m always jealous of how put together Charlene is, she can carry the most-stylish title for the helloberry team.

Tell us about your neighbourhood and what you like best about it.

I live in St.Lawrence Market area and so there’s the obvious love affair with the market. I have to be careful to not lose hours in there but they have really fresh produce, baked goods and probably the best guacamole. Ever. From Manotas if you’re curious.

There are great restaurants like Swish by Han, Trevor and Pravda and pubs like Scotland Yard and Bier Markt on the Esplanade. This neighbourhood has a great energy, especially on a bright blue sky day. Out of the team, I have the best neighbourhood. Hands down ;)

What did you study in college/university and if you could do it all over again, would you do things differently?

I studied Journalism and History in university. I wouldn’t change the overall experience because I met some of my best friends and made some pretty fun memories. I fell in love with the four years I had in Ottawa which is a beautiful city. I watched lots of Food Network and I found out that even though I love writing, it didn’t mean I would make a good journalist or wanted to be one.

You learn a lot about yourself and the romantic notions you had about life when you go through university and come out the other side. So for those lessons, I wouldn’t really change a thing.

Visit their website, buy helloberry on Etsy and follow them on Twitter @helloberryinc


  1. Awesome article! Loved reading about the HelloBerry story. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Has anyone seen the bfrend bracelets on etsy? Some of these bracelets by helloberry look exactly the same... I wonder who had the idea first?