Ha-Lo Ha-Lo. She makes beautiful handmade clothing.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your family
My name is Irene and I am originally from the Philippines. My family moved to the United States when I was thirteen and lived in Brooklyn, New York for 16 years. I met my husband in NYC and after living in Brooklyn, my husband and I moved to Boston. We lived in Boston for 2 years where we had our son Benjamin who is now 8 years old. We left Boston to live in LA for 1 year. We found our solitude here San Diego where my other son Mateo (who is now 4) was born. Here in San Diego is where I started I’s Ha-Lo Ha-Lo in June 2008. Halohalo is a tagalog word for a mixtures of things. I thought this to be an appropriate name for my little business since I create various things. I have been creating/crafting/sewing for a long time. Friends have told me to introduce my talent to the public, but I did not quite know how and never pursued it. Not until I visited a craft show here in San Diego one day and saw vendors who had their children with them. This really inspired me. I thought to myself “ I can do this!” This was the catalyst of where I am right now with my hobby which turned into this little shop I have on Etsy. Creating through designing and sewing have been my outlet from my many roles in life. It's an addiction that I have to continue and can only hope that this journey will last .
What do you make?
Women’s clothing, women’s accessories, baby quilted blankets, totes/handbags.
How did you get started in your craft?
I started doing crafts since I took home economics class in grade school. My mom and my sister sew, so I have always been in a crafty environment. I didn’t really start sewing until about the year 2000. I have done crochet stuff, but not sewing. I got my first sewing machine and serger from my Dad in 2000 as a graduation present (only because I asked for them LOL :) ). I sewed the clothes I wore for my graduation back then. I have retired that sewing machine, but my serger is still with me ( 12 years old ) and serves me well. I took the hobby more seriously when I started I’s Ha-Lo Ha-Lo almost 3 years ago.
How did you find Etsy?
I can’t remember how I found Etsy. I am sure through word of mouth.
Do you have any inspirations, or someone you find especially inspiring to you?
Many things inspire me. Such as, fellow designers/artists, crafters, Moms who crafts, my surroundings, the weather, fabrics, colors, fashion shows, people who critic my work (good opinions or bad opinions), my husband, my sons, people who simply browse and admire my work, etc. All these serve as an inspiration for me to create and challenge myself.
Tell us about your creative process.
Oh god:) Well, first I have to make sure that my kids are fed for breakfast. Take my eldest to school, home school my 4 yr old for preschool. Then I get to start sewing or promoting on the internet. Between their naps, homework, activities outside school, housekeeping, etc. I still get some time in between to create. In any case, I usually start with a drawing on a croquis and add design. I would then start the pattern using “Ruby” my dressform and tissue paper. This dressform is great -- sizes changes from size 6 to size 18 --- amazing! I would adjust what ever is needed on the pattern then place the pattern on the fabric and cut. There’s a lot of trial and error.
What are some things you have done you think helped your business the most?
Promoting on Etsy. Being on teams on Etsy.
Participating in fashion shows.
Do you have a favorite piece you created?
Well since I made them I like them all --LOL, but my recent post the Nina top is one of my favorite.
Do you attend art and craft fairs/shows often?
I do participate in art shows at times.
If you where to offer a newbie one piece of advice, what would it be?
Always create your pieces as if you are the buyer. Think of your standards when you are buying an item and let that be a guide for you when you are creating. Not everyone can be a fan of your work. Take the negative criticism and turn that into your advantage. Just be YOU and this will show on your work.
Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
I love going back east to NYC. I lived there for 16 years and I do miss the city life. We go back every other year to see our families. I wouldn’t want to live there at this time as we left to get away from the cold/snow and venture to something different.
Where else on the web can we find you?
Here is my fan page on Facebook:
My Etsy shop:
My tweeter site:
Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
I love karaoke and I own one, too :)
It was lovely hearing from you Irene! Thank you for sharing your story with us.