I am sitting here on a beautiful summers day with Annabel Bartfeld. The very first profile we would like to share for people who inspire us. For those who have yet to meet Annabel she is a jewellery designer, mother, runner and Fundraiser extraordinaire. I am not sure in which order. However what strikes you most the first you meet her is the energy and passion she puts in to life.
If you ask her what keeps her sane she say its her running. A classic Hampstead girl she says she came to sport late in life, avoiding it with a passion at school. She started in her late twenties inspired by an outdoor existence of cycling and mountain climbing while living in France and that love of the outdoors and nature has continued. Not a gym attender her form of mediation is to go running on Hampstead Heath regardless of the weather and she maintains whatever her state of mind at the start by the end she has always found clarity and peace.
That love of nature also extends to her jewellery. Originally inspired by living in the Sinai desert as a 17 year old her hobby became a business in her 30’s. Annabel had always loved the idea of a locket and is also a keen photographer but needed a modernised version for the 21st century, which most importantly needed to be waterproof for her triathlons. An enforced rest period with a broken leg focused her mind to find the right resin to answer all her needs and beaface.com was born. Her jewellery goes from strength to strength purely on word of mouth and she says the response she gets each time a new customer receives the jewellery keeps her motivated.
Along with being a mother of three you may think this is enough for one person however Annabel wears another hat. Back in 2007 her almost three old daughter Jessica was diagnosed with a brain tumor on the brain stem. Despite a poor prognosis consultants at Great Ormond Street Hospital undertook an eight-hour operation and amazingly managed to remove it all. The recovery was long and painful; with Annabel creating her own unique form of rehabilitation for Jessica whom I am pleased to say has led to a 100% recovery. Annabel cannot be more complimentary or grateful to the staff of GOSH for the care and support she and Jessica received during this very tough period and she said even during her worst moments she vowed that when she and Jessica got out of there she would come back and help. Her first piece of support was to be a volunteer which she did for two years as she said having just been through she felt she could really relate to those parents experiencing what she had just been through and understood the amazing difference five minutes to go to the loo can make. After two years, which she feels also aided in her own recovery she realised there may be other areas that she could help and since then has focused on fundraising. This has ranged from taking class photos for her children’s nursery classes, videoing class plays, creating tea towels with the classes pictures on, ‘Bags of Help for Gosh’, a designer bag sale, cinema screenings, triathlons, scootathons and many more. Her top tips for these activities are:
- Involve your children, they love it
- Schools are always happy and willing to facilitate these activities
- Tap into everyone you know its amazing the reaction you can get
So what’s next for Annabel? She is always on the look out for something new and has just done her first major event for GOSH involving her other great love classic cars, ‘Question Time with Motorsport Greats’ which was another financial triumph for GOSH. However what she would really like to do is create a network of people in other schools who could be ambassadors for GOSH raising money applying the many great templates that she has created. Please email her if you would be interested in helping with this. <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a> The great thing about Annabel is this is all done with a sense of humour and fun, She says she has seen hell and is grateful for every day.