Jewellery

My lightbulb moment: Jewellery designer Annie Haakm, reveals the inspiration behind her accessories brand

Annie Haak is a 61-year-old jewellery designer and founder of Annie Haak Designs. She lives in Hampshire with her husband, Johnnie, 62. They have three grown-up children.

At 21 I was married. I then spent many years raising three children as a farmer’s wife, so I never really had my own career — or travelled.

Yet I was always creative and used to sell paintings. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t give me purpose.

Then, in April 2007, my husband had a major motorbike accident in Bali — he was visiting our daughter, who was working there at the time. It caused two brain haemorrhages.

Annie Haak, 61, (pictured) from Hampshire was inspired to start a jewellery brand after meeting a silversmith during a trip to Bali 

Annie Haak, 61, (pictured) from Hampshire was inspired to start a jewellery brand after meeting a silversmith during a trip to Bali

I got the call from the hospital and was on a flight in three hours. It was terrifying. I had no idea where to go. No doctors spoke English. I thought he was going to die. It felt like my life was falling apart.

Just a few months before, my parents had passed away suddenly. I’d also had a hysterectomy. I was in shock, struggling to cope with two great griefs — and my own sense of ageing. At 50, I was at a juncture. I felt so lost. It was a midlife crisis.

For weeks, I visited my husband in hospital daily. As a distraction, I sketched. I kept thinking about a charm bracelet my parents gave me years before. I started drawing little guardian angels. Bali is known as the ‘island of the gods’. Never was I more in need of good luck.