Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better. - Albert Einstein

Celebrating Earth Day: An Eco-Friendly Life + Small Business

Earth Day, Every Day

Happy Earth Day! I thought it would be the perfect time to talk a little bit about how I try to bring Earth Day into my every day life and small business. It’s been on my mind lately because my experiences in the area of recycling and sustainability between Germany and the US are so different!

These topics have always been important to me, I love that I’m finally able to live somewhere that has an eco-friendly consciousness built into daily life. I’m also  really excited to talk a little bit about how it’s been built into my small jewelry business over the years.

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Botanical Gardens Berlin. Rhododendrons + Camelia. Berlin

The Studio is Coming!

Nomad, No More

It’s been shy of eight months in Berlin and life has finally settled down. In about a month or so, I’ll have a jewelry studio again! It’s been a long and bumpy road, but it was totally worth it.

Before arriving, I had a few ideas about what path to follow to keep my creative flow active in my new home without a studio. On that list? Spending time being a tourist in our new home. Going on walks, exploring museums, and experiencing the culture of my new surroundings played a big role. As it turned out, life had other plans and we had to put a pin in this for a while.

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Fireworks in Viktoriapark, Berlin

Resolutions + Updates

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful beginning to 2019!

I’ve gotten out of the habit of making the traditional New Year’s Resolution over the last few years, but my new home has inspired me to jump back in with both feet. This renewed interest has been brought on by one of the most amazing cultural differences I’ve noticed: people take their free time very seriously here in Germany. It’s a major contrast to what I’m used to in the States. Two weeks vacation is the standard back home, but here it’s six weeks!

As a small creative business owner who is involved from creation to sales and everything in between, it’s always been a challenge for me to take time off. There’s always a million things that need to be done, and  my to-do list grows by the day.

My new surroundings are making me rethink the way I’ve done things in the past. It’s making me want to slow things down a bit and live in the moment.

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“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it.” ~ Robert Burns quote

Best Laid Plans Edition + ZKD Update

You Can’t Plan for Everything

It’s been just shy of six months in Berlin, and Christmas and New Years are just around the corner. My husband and I agreed on some general checklist items to work on after our arrival, and after checking “find a nice temporary apartment” off the list at the end of the summer, things were looking pretty good. I had begun the registration process for my business and we were getting settled into life in our new home.

We assumed challenges would arise eventually, but as my husband told me while we were looking for a hotel a few weeks ago, “Sweetheart, I’m sorry. But you can’t always plan for everything.”

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Expat Life: Moving my Life and Jewelry Business to Germany

Life + Work in Progress

I’ve been in Germany since the middle of the summer, and have been slowly but surely familiarizing myself with the procedures for transferring my life and jewelry business. I’ll be honest, it’s pretty overwhelming!

Germany is well known for it’s thorough bureaucracy, but it was hard to put into perspective until we arrived. The business side of things felt quite a bit more daunting that it ever has in the United States, largely due to the language barrier. Even though I’ve moved my business within the States multiple times and even made the move towards incorporation in the last few years, nothing quite prepared me fully for the challenges of moving to a new country.

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Zurina Ketola Designs leather prosperity bracelets

Luisa Accessories Fall 2018 Pop-Up featuring ZKD Jewelry

Meant to Be: ZKD Handmade Jewelry Available in Chicago

Exciting news for my Chicago clients with a love for fashion, artisan jewelry, and weekend markets! Before I hopped the pond this summer, a few of you reached out and asked how to purchase ZKD jewelry since my shop would be down during the transition. As I was pondering my options, I was contacted by Luisa, one of my favorite pop-up organizers. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect!

As Luisa told me, “It was meant to be.”

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Landwehr Canal at Hallesches Tor U-Bahn

My First Summer in Berlin: Heatwaves, Canals and the Importance of Looking Up

Welcome to Berlin (and the Heatwave of 2018)

It’s been just over a month since I’ve been in Germany, and I have to say that it’s been quite the experience so far. I haven’t done a lot of writing, blogging, or really much of anything because I’ve been so wiped out. Not so much because the move in general, more because we managed to move during a serious heatwave. We’re talking 95˚F (35˚C) and above, which isn’t terrible per se. In fact it seems like it’s been fairly in line with Chicago weather this summer. I’ve been told constantly by longtime residents that this is a very unusual summer, which I hope is true. But there is one thing that has made things a little more challenging for this American… Continue reading “My First Summer in Berlin: Heatwaves, Canals and the Importance of Looking Up”

Quartz Close Up, Tucson Gem Show 2018

Important Info: ZKD Move to Berlin

It’s finally here! We’re getting on a plane tomorrow afternoon, and will be making the long awaited trip to Berlin. It’s been a long time coming, and things at the shop will be on hiatus until we get settled. I’m expecting things to be rolling again around the holidays, but I will be posting updates here on the blog and on my Instagram and Facebook for more accurate dates when they come along.

Until the shop is back up, there’s a bit of a new look around the site. The product catalog is still accessible, but the e-commerce capabilities will be unavailable until I’m settled with a new home and studio. In the meantime, the blog will be featured on the homepage instead.

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Street view of the Victory Column in Berlin.

Zurina Ketola Designs is Moving: Berlin Bound!

Goodbye Chicago, Hello Berlin!

I have some crazy exciting news! My husband and I have been wanting to take the plunge and live abroad since we’ve been together, and if you can believe it, it’s been on our bucket list for 18 years. Well guess what? It’s finally happening! We’ve moving to Berlin! Continue reading “Zurina Ketola Designs is Moving: Berlin Bound!”