We're excited to introduce you to Lori & Kirsten, the mother-daugther duo behind Klas Squared, a contemporary jewelry company that combines femininity and power into wearable pieces for work, day and play. They design and handcraft each piece from a palette of Swarovski crystals and pearls, sterling silver and semiprecious stones. They are based in Ontario. Enjoy!
1. What's your favourite thing about owning a small business?
- Lori: Having my own creative outlet.
- Kirsten: Meeting people outside of the network of my full-time job; in other words, meeting other creative professionals and entrepreneurs.
2. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
- Lori: Italy
- Kirsten: Singapore... but maybe Italy too!
3. What did you do before you started your business?
- Lori: I designed children’s clothes and costuming under the label Tilly Togs
- Kirsten: As it relates to being an entrepreneur, I co-founded and co-owned a dance studio
4. What's one thing people might not know about you?
- Lori: My interest in the arts started in theatre and I once auditioned for the national theatre school in Montreal.
- Kirsten: I have a degree in Biochemistry.
5. What's one of your biggest values when it comes to your business?
- Lori: Integrity; I do my best to give my customers a piece of jewelry that brings them joy and fits them perfectly.
- Kirsten: For me, I love sharing with our customers how to accessorize and how to wear our jewelry whether it be via social media, blogs or video.
6. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
- Lori: Spa… Banff Springs!
- Kirsten: Eat and shop in NYC! Or spend time at my camp (cottage) on Lake of the Woods.
7. What's the biggest problem your business solves for people?
- Lori: We aim to design affordable, everyday fashion jewelry that stands the test of time while making women feel happy about themselves.
- Kirsten: My goal is to solve the problem of “having nothing to wear”. Accessories can help change your outfit and your look without making a major investment in your wardrobe.
8. What's the biggest challenge you've overcome in your business?
- Lori: Shifting our business model to online and e-commerce while learning to leverage social media as a platform to share our jewelry.
- Kirsten: Hiring people to help; it is difficult to delegate tasks when you know you are capable of doing things yourself. It is also difficult to acknowledge and identify the things that someone else might be better at, and then finding the right people you can trust to help.
9. Aside from your business, what's your biggest passion?
- Lori: Designing and creating is my passion. If I wasn't designing jewelry I would likely be designing with other materials such as knitting.
- Kirsten: Moving - I grew up passionate about dance and also played competitive sports. As an adult, whether it’s dance, running, yoga, weight lifting, etc. - I need to move!
- Lori: Kirsten has itchy feet.
- Kirsten: And you have itchy fingers!
10. If you could road trip anywhere next weekend, where would you go and why?
- Lake of the Woods, Kenora, ON!