Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lori Schmidtke, founder of Klas Squared, located in London, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am the founder and lead designer of the mother/ daughter fashion accessories brand, Klas squared. Born from a need to be creative, to leave an impact, and to build something to call our own, we teamed up to develop designs that make women feel joyful, feminine, and powerful. We all strive to be more, to have influence, and to leave a mark. We value our responsibilities as caregivers, co-workers, and creatives, but our personal identity is the sum of so much more. Klas squared has evolved to become part of that identity, supporting our customers to feel powerful in wearing our jewelry at work, day, and play. Your personal style is a sneak peek into your soul, a sacred place that leads you to self-expression, self-awareness, and self-confidence. We believe that accessories have the power to make that personal connection while elevating your look from ordinary to extraordinary.
Tell us about yourself
I have always been a creator. With an entrepreneurial career in fashion design spanning over three decades, my creative eye is the passion behind the brand's designs and aesthetics. My artistic vision, combined with a focus on quality, is evident in the modern and clean composition of each piece. I see everything through a lens: color, shape, and composition. Whether it's admiring nature, fashion, contemporary art, or travel, I'm always envisioning it as a piece of jewelry. I am motivated by the women that we serve and the problems we solve for them. Be it a self-purchase or gift - special occasion, or just because, I design jewelry to celebrate women to feel their best from the inside out. It is that special relationship with women that inspires me to keep designing.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Personally, my biggest accomplishment has been embracing technology at a higher level. Although I have always had a website and been on social, the majority of my business was done in person, at events. With the coming of COVID, I had to pivot with a new website (that I could learn to manage myself) and learn the skills of social media marketing. I now have a more robust online business that will complement future in-person sales.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things about being a business owner is wearing all the hats! Keep yourself focused on your goals, and as soon as you can afford to, hire people to do the things you don't like to do (and are probably not good at) so you can prioritize things you excel at - your superpowers.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- From the very beginning, set yourself up for success with a team of good professionals in your corner (accountant, banker, lawyer, etc.). If you don't set things up correctly the first time, it will cost you more time and money to do it all over later. (Think big and long term).
- Know your numbers, and what they mean so you can make informed decisions based on data.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Running your own business is hard work, and we all need cheerleaders.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Celebrate your wins! No matter how big or small, it is those victories that keep you moving forward.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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