We had the good fortune of connecting with Colleen Berg and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Colleen, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I was on maternity leave and about to have my first baby. I knew I didn’t want to go baby to my office job so I planned accordingly. I had several signed contracts with different ad agencies to work from home. September 11 happened and my little girl was born 3 days later. Within a couple of weeks, I had lost all my contracts because no one knew how the economy would be in a post 9/11 world. I decided to use the rest of my maternity leave to get creative and find a way to make $. I started making jewelry. I approached several boutiques in my neighborhood and they started carrying my jewelry. It’s been over 19 years and I am still going strong!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I love making pretty things! What sets me apart from other designers is that I add meaning to each of my pieces. I take your loved ones’ actual paw print or thumbprint impressions and incorporate them into my designs. I also take your loved ones’ actual handwriting, signatures and artwork to create this meaningful jewelry. I lost my father in 1979. When I started this emotional jewelry line, I found a note he had written me and it was signed, “Love, Dad”. I was able to make a mold of his handwriting and make a pendant. I can’t tell you how cathartic the piece is and how connected it makes me feel to my dad. My particular path to success is due to sheer tenacity. If you really want something, just go for it. Learn along the way and just keep going!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Haha in covid times, they would have to stay and distance in my driveway for the week! I’m so lucky that I live at the beach. My favorite things to do with friends and family are to walk to the beach, people watch and have a great meal! My favorite al fresco dining spot right how is this Tunisian gem in Hermosa Beach called Barsha. It’s a lovely family-run place with EXQUISITE food and feel-good vibes. Our week long trip wouldn’t be complete without a hike in Palos Verdes and a sunset stop at Terranea to sip a cocktail while soaking in the views.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have the unwavering support of my family. Thank you to my husband, Seth, who constantly encourages me. Thank you to my daughters who are very honest in their critiques on new designs!
Linkedin: Colleen Heavey Berg
Other: pinterest handle is colleenbergjewelry