Today we’d like to introduce you to Birte Klug.
So, before we jump into specific questions about what you do, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m a native Angeleno, and getting to grow up and evolve in and with this city has been a constant source of inspiration.
After college, I entered a career in the nonprofit world, managing programs centered around creative writing and publishing for underserved youth. I had the privilege of connecting with brilliant students as young as six and as old as eighteen, and supporting them as they told their own stories—both fiction and nonfiction. After six years with the organization, I decided to take a leap and make a major career pivot. I had always wanted to pursue working in the fashion industry, so I jumped in headfirst.
It took a couple of years of adjusting and learning before I finally found myself at a company that I love, working in merchandising. At the same time, I leaned into my side hustle and started making jewelry regularly. Jewelry-making has been something that I’ve done for as long as I can remember, but for the first time, I’ve truly dedicated myself to making a business of it. I’ve begun building an intimate and passionate client base, and I can’t wait to continue growing those relationships, expanding my brand, and evolving my craft.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Absolutely not! Making a massive career pivot was a huge challenge. I went from being on a clear career path, continually climbing the ladder at an organization and gradually increasing my income and savings to basically starting over from scratch. I’m fortunate enough to have a partner that was able to support me both emotionally and at times financially while I was building from zero. I battled a lot of doubt and insecurity, and there were plenty of times that I was convinced I’d made a huge mistake. But making that shift was the right choice, and though at times it was a bumpy road, it has also been incredibly fulfilling. Starting a business has also been a huge learning experience in so many ways—finding the time to create outside the hours of my full-time job, being one-woman marketing, customer service, and fulfillment team, and trying to constantly stay inspired is a continuous journey.
What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
I am a (very very) small business. I create handmade jewelry that is completely one-of-a-kind—although some of the styles I design are similar to one another, I buy all of my materials in small batches and it’s extremely important to me that each piece feels like it was made specifically for the wearer.
In the past, I’ve made jewelry and sold it via Etsy or my own website, but this time around, I’ve decided to sell exclusively through Instagram. There’s something really special about the fact that I get to connect personally with each of my customers before they make a purchase. We collaborate on a piece of jewelry that speaks to their individual style and personality. I love getting to hear their ideas and bring them to life with my vision and artistry.
I’m most inspired by nature and organic shapes. Freshwater pearls and glass beads are currently major players in my work, but I’m always experimenting with new materials and techniques.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Early in the development of my jewelry business, I made a necklace for one of my coworkers. She posted about it in her Instagram stories, and within 5 minutes I had dozens of people reaching out to place orders. I didn’t know it at the time, but she has a very large and very loyal follower base. That small gesture really kickstarted my business and I feel super lucky that things unfolded in that way.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @bdklug