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!

This has been a dream for the both of us for as long as I can remember being together. Although my husband, Tom,  is a US citizen, he came to the States as a child and was naturalized as an adult. Born in Helsinki, Finland to a Finnish father and German mother, this makes the move for us quite a bit easier than it would be otherwise. It’s always been something that we’ve wanted to work towards as a couple. A few years back we almost moved to Copenhagen, but things fell through at the last minute.

Street view of the Victory Column in Berlin.


Almost moving prompted us to think about our lives, about what we really wanted, and if we were really where we wanted to be. The last opportunity came up as suddenly as it fell through, and we were both surprisingly disappointed. We just kept thinking about it and eventually realized that if we really wanted it to happen, we had to make it happen. So early last year that we began the process of getting our home ready to sell and started looking into the details of an international move.

Why Berlin?

So this might sound a little nuts, but we’ve only been there once.

It’s hard to explain, but I’ve moved around a lot. Sometimes it was because I had to, and a couple times it was because I wanted to more than anything. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the best places I’ve ever lived were places I instantly knew I wanted to be.

When we visited Berlin, we both had that feeling. I’ve only ever had this kind of connection with a city happen once before – the first time I ever set foot in Chicago. On my first trip here, my gut just told me it was a good place to be. It took us years to finally make the move, and even though we love it here, we’re ready for a new chapter in our lives!

Besides the fact that we are both entirely enamored with the city, we also chose Berlin because there will be less of a culture and language barrier there for both of us. My husband is fluent in both Finnish and German because both parents spoke each language fluently. Growing up, and even now, he speaks Finnish with his father, and German with his mother.

Being American, it’s not too surprising that I had less opportunities to become fluent in multiple languages. While I learned enough Spanish in high school to be conversational on trips to Mexico and Spain, I’ve always wanted to learn another language. Finnish is a very cool and unique language, and I’ve definitely learned some words over the years. But given its popularity in the world overall, German was the natural choice.

I started taking classes so I could keep up a bit with the in laws, and have been studying German for about fifteen years. An added bonus? My mother in law also happens to be a German teacher by profession, and an excellent one at that! Having such a great resource in the family has encouraged my interest, and has really helped me prepare for my upcoming move.

So, How Will Work… Work?

Work is a little more complicated for me than it is for my husband. He’s a software developer, and Berlin is shaping up to be a major tech hub in Europe. Both of us work primarily from home, but while his work can be done on a laptop or desktop computer, mine might be a little more challenging because jewelry isn’t a virtual product.

A few people were curious if I would continue with my business, but I have to say, I really don’t think I could stop making jewelry if I tried. Rest assured that my jewelry business will be moving with me! I’ve been spending the last few months stocking up on inventory, so I’ll have some jewelry to travel with. After we’ve packed up the house, we’re having something of a personal Farewell Tour, visiting family and friends before making the big jump across the pond. During our “tour”, I’ll be able to make sales off the site and book personal shopping appointments with the inventory I have.

When I get to Germany, the e-commerce section of the site will probably be down for a period of time while we look for a permanent home. Hopefully not longer than a month or two. Thanks in advance for your understanding while things get settled! Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me in the meantime. I’ve spent the last couple months making inventory, and if I have what you’re looking for in stock, I’m happy to invoice and ship even if the shop is down.

Keep Up with My Adventures: Blogging + Instagram

Write On: The ZKD Blog

Over the last six months or so, I’ve found that I really enjoy writing and have made it a goal to start writing blog posts twice a month. There will be a lot of travel in my future, and I’m really looking forward to writing about it!

I was trying to decide between starting a new personal blog for the upcoming months of travel and moving, but decided to continue here. My life tends to inspire my work on every level, and this international transition is going to play a big role!

Follow my New Personal Instagram: @nomadicjewel

While my business IG account may be a little less active during this transitional period, I’ll try and post about a few times a week. I’ve found that photography can be a really fun creative activity, and love snapping pics of whats going on around me. I’ve become a bit of a shutterbug the last couple years, so I’m starting a new personal Instagram to document my adventures.

It’s going to be a little empty until we finish packing and get the house ready for the new owners, but my first trip out to Los Angeles to visit family and friends will be happening in the next couple weeks. Follow my new personal account to see what I’m up to!

What are Your Experiences?

I’ve you’ve had the opportunity to live abroad or even travel for extended periods,I would love to know about your experiences! This is a whole new world for me, and I tend to like my private space. This whole adventure is going to have me way out of my comfort zone. It always helps to hear from other people who’ve done something similar. Comment below to share!

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