Page last updated at 13:17 GMT, Tuesday, 23 June 2009 14:17 UK

Cancer hat designer's award hope

Emilienne Rebel with the Bold Beanies
Emilienne Rebel's Bold Beanies are designed and presented to look like gifts, including a bunch of flowers

A young mother who lost her hair while undergoing chemotherapy for cancer is up for a female inventor award after designing hats for other sufferers.

Emilienne Rebel, 33, from Wrexham, struggled to find comfortable head-wear after losing her hair, with scarves falling off and wigs being itchy.

She had the idea for cotton jersey hats - Bold Beanies - and has now been nominated for a British Female Inventor and Innovator of the Year award.

She is among 40 UK women shortlisted.

Ms Rebel, a mother-of-two who was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, said she came up with her idea as she wanted to make "a bad situation just a little bit more bearable".

"My hair loss left me feeling very cold at night time - all I wanted was something comfortable and easy to keep my head warm," she said.

With a small family running around I also needed something easy just to slip on around the house and get on with my day
Emilienne Rebel

"With a small family running around I also needed something easy just to slip on around the house and get on with my day.

"Scarves would slip and my wig was too itchy. I never found what I was looking for - the idea for Bold Beanies was born."

Now fully recovered - and despite being busy looking after her two young daughters - Ms Rebel decided to fill that gap in the market.

She launched Bold Beanies a few months ago and the range of simple cotton jersey hats are now sold on the internet.

Designed and presented as gifts, the hats are rolled to look like roses while beanie hats for youngsters are presented to look like lollipops.

Ms Rebel has been shortlisted in the Exceptionally Creative - Textile & Fashion/ Health category of the awards.

Jennine James with the Deco Rad
Jennine James has designed a device that pivots radiators to clean them

She is one of 40 women up for awards in the different categories.

Nine are from Wales and include Jennine James from Llandybie, Carmarthenshire, who designed a Deco Rad device that pivots radiators to provide easy access to clean behind them and reach dust which could harbouring MRSA bacteria in some environments.

Sian Brooks, from Cardiff, is also nominated for her development of a lightweight webbing strap - skiweb - that wraps skis and poles into one unit and provides a shoulder strap for easy carrying.

And Ermila Smith, also from Cardiff, is on the shortlist for her range of beauty and bath products - called Winter in Venice - which are packaged in every day objects, such as plant pots and vanity cases, that can be re-used.

Minister for the Economy and Transport Ieuan Wyn Jones said it was "great news" that almost a quarter of the finalists were from Wales.

"This competition helps address the under representation among women in relation to invention and supports and encourages women inventors to realise their ambitions," he added.

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