Hellooooo and happy tuesday! We’re so excited today to reveal our second Babe of the Month…. meet Jessie Atkins, founder and boss babe behind Berg + Betts, the Canadian watch company we can’t get enough of.
You might remember from our first Babe of the Month that at the Skinny, we want to highlight some of the incredible inspiring women who we look up to. These women are not only doing great things in the business world but they’re also women who give back to their community, build up those around them and support great causes and values that we believe in too! So, let’s learn a bit more about Jessie and Berg + Betts, shall we?!
Berg + Betts watches are made from surplus leather cut offs that would otherwise be sent to the landfill and create waste. By recycling this leather and putting it to good use, Jessie’s watches have created the perfect solution to re-use the pieces of leather left over from the makings of shoes, purses and other fashion accessories in a way that creates a stylish and sophisticated timepiece as a a result!
Jessie is a major babe not only because she’s an absolute sweetheart but also because we admire the values behind her business. Sustainability in her use of materials that would otherwise go to waste. Her support for Canadian manufacturing with all of Berg + Betts’ watches being designed and assembled in Canada and her ethics. The watch parts in a Berg + Betts watch are ethically crafted and Jessie ensured to carefully select her suppliers. All of Berg + Betts’ suppliers are members of Sedex, an organization that drives improvements and ethical business practices globally. Majorly BABE worthy, no?!
We had a chance to get to ask Jessie a few questions so you can get to know her a bit better and see why we love her so much! (I mean, come on – isn’t she just the cutest?!)
1. We love that your line of watches are made sustainably and with the environment in mind. Has being environmentally conscious always been important to you?
I have always been an up-cycler but until adulthood I never really understood that what I was doing was good for the environment per-se. I am a creative person and growing up I didn’t always have the resources to buy new materials for each and every random project I decided to take on. When I started BERG+BETTS, it felt totally unnatural to me to cut up a large hide of leather into tiny pieces for watch straps, hence, the scraps! Resourcefulness is my greatest strength and what I credit for making me one of the many emerging responsible innovators in the realm of fashion.
2. Owning and running a business and being a mother of two is no small feat! Do you have any tips or words of advice or encouragement for other mothers who want to be able to go back to work or run their own business but worry about the time or ability to “do it all”?
This is something I still struggle with daily but I try to let go of the elusive “balance” that everyone speaks of. I am convinced it doesn’t exist. Some weeks you kick-ass in business, and feel like a bad mom. But the next week might be full of family time and feeling super connected to your kids. You will always feel slightly guilty for giving more attention to one area of your life over the other so go with the flow and get yourself a good life partner who can pick up the slack at home. [Thanks, Greg!]
3. If you weren’t doing what you are now, running Berg + Betts, what could you see yourself doing instead?
Oh, so easy! Paul Rudd’s personal assistant, a producer on the Bachelor, a dolphin trainer….
In all seriousness though, I feel like creating BERG+BETTS has me on the right path to my dream job. I have done the corporate thing in a past life so (most days!) I really do appreciate how lucky I am to be with my kids, and build a business I’m passionate about.
4. When you do get a break from work and your business, what’s your ideal way to spend your day?
Living in Victoria, we are lucky enough to spend a ton of time at the beach – definitely my happy place. Other than that, travelling with my family. I love seeing new places and cultures and if I had unlimited funds, I would run this business like a gypsy.