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Meet Jennifer and Mark Borré of Berit Brooks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer and Mark Borré.

Berit Brooks initially started in a completely different direction. As a craft, Jen spent nearly a decade in the warm glass medium either being commissioned for extra spending money or donating her time creating saleable pieces benefitting a local charity that works with and helps underprivileged kids with literacy and physical activity through the game of soccer.

Jennifer needed a “gallery appropriate” name to hang next to her art at local auctions, so she borrowed the names of her children, Berit and Brooks. Hence the brand name Berit Brooks. Her foray in glass directly led to her love for leathercraft. In late 2016, she was commissioned to create some glass coasters and platters that had leather adhered to their bases to help protect the furniture they were displayed on while adding a crisp, rustic beauty to them.

While she had never worked with leather, she saw the potential in leathercraft, the consumer affordability and creating a business that would allow her to financially step away from her job in a local emergency department, free up time to spend with her children and will enable her to work independently creating and doing something she loved. With the full backing of her husband, Berit Brooks Fine Leather was born. Jen worked hard at learning and understanding the craft, applying and working at local art fairs and seeking retail locations to feature her goods.

Berit Brooks blossomed quickly. Jen’s husband Mark joined the business as a full-time partner in May 2018 after working in a high-level corporate job for more than two decades to help Jen handle the business operations and financials in addition to being a hands-on partner in production and assembly. Their business continues to see month over month growth as they continue casting their net on a now national level.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No. It has not. As with anything new, starting a business and building a brand is a ton of work. In addition to the business side of it, Mark and I have two quickly growing, very active kids, animals, and busy personal lives. I have Multiple Sclerosis and often find that the stress and exhaustion of trying to do it all will, on surprise, pull the rug out from underneath me and slow me down and the forward progress of the business remarkably sometimes for weeks at a time.

The company financially so far has been built solely on the cash we have on hand with no loans or debt which presents its own set of challenges, especially when we decided to make it our sole income when Mark joined the business almost a year ago. The more the company has grown, the more expensive it has gotten to maintain, and then there is the comparison, perfectionist side of our personalities which are manifesting in being hesitant to put anything out into the universe until we (or I) feel like it’s perfect and ready to be seen.

I have a fear of mis-stepping and screwing it all up. The problem with that is the potentially really good things that often go by the wayside, and opportunities have walked on past. From the perspective of being a husband and wife duo, Mark is not only my husband, but he is my best friend. Of course, there are moments that we drive each other crazy, feel like we want to throw in the business towel or cannot possibly understand why the other one thinks or do what they do.

Ultimately, when the day is over, we need each other, this family and this business need us and our teamwork, and so far, with each passing day, we send our gratitude to the good lord and the universe for guiding us down such a tremendously fantastic life path.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Berit Brooks story. Tell us more about the business.
Berit Brooks is a business built from a husband and wife team that create chic & meticulously handcrafted fine leather goods in Denver, CO.

We are so proud of the company itself. To wake up and see all of the hard work and effort paying off and reflected in such fantastic product and such a loyal and valuable customer base is worth more then we would have or could have ever imagined.

It is essential to know that while we are a leather company and we may have some similar items to other leather brands out there, that we also have found a kind of rare niche in the home and the non-western, feminine element.

We’ve had so much fun bringing home goods such as our pillows, plant hangers, containers, sleeves and globes, kitchen and office items with so much more coming from drawer pulls to leather hanging shelves and possibly some fun furniture down the line.

We also feel like we have introduced gorgeous and very feminine driven leather jewelry (along with a subtle masculine range), unique earrings, beautiful purses, and clutches, etc.

Most importantly is the time we dedicate to taking each item we produce and finishing it to the best quality possible and an offer of our craftsmanship guarantee allowing our customers to trust we will take care of them and that we value and believe in the quality of our product line.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Have you ever heard that saying “you create your luck”? We believe it. This business and the foundation of which we are building it is a labor of love, blood, sweat, and tears. It is hard, long hours and a constant open eye and ear to any opportunities we need to grab hold of and run with at every chance possible.

While you could look at so many situations as “lucky” or “unlucky” we see them as “the time was right” or “it wasn’t meant to be.” We have had incredible fortunes in the quality of friendships, business relationships and customer base we have built on this journey, and we wake up daily and express our gratitude to the universe that it is recognizing the work we are putting into building something amazing.

It gives us a push in the right direction most of the time. We are constantly reminding our kids that life is a series of decisions and we have the choice in making the right decisions or the wrong ones and Mark, and I certainly are not great at always making the right decisions but we consider every step in whatever direction a part of the journey we’re meant to be on.

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