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En Route: Caroline Hjerpe

Caroline Hjerpe

Address: Åsögatan 132, 116 24 Stockholm, Sweden

STORY BY RACHEL SCHWARTZMANN – SHOP CAROLINE HJERPE –  PHOTOS BY LOUISE CECILIA PALMBERG FOR THE STYLE LINE

Stockholm-based jewelry designer Caroline Hjerpe

proves that anything is possible if you’re willing to put the work in. Since launching her eponymous brand in 2014, the self-taught talent has cultivated her ambition and love of transitional/well-crafted design to build a brand that caters to modern women globally. In fact, we first became aware of Caroline’s refined pieces via our friends at Tictail, and have followed Caroline’s endeavors since.

Handcrafted in Stockholm at her adorable shop in the equally adorable Södermalm neighborhood, Caroline works hard to design collections that appeal to a variety of modern women. While many of her pieces are delicate by nature, it’s also worth noting that there is a sense of fun and character that shines through as well (take the Axel’s Tooth and Burger rings for example). As Caroline aptly mentioned in our interview below, “Women who come to us are often powerful, encouraging, feminists who stand up for them selves and love to show it! It’s true, really, which is easy to see when looking at the pieces. Many rings are conversation starters – like the burger, the Kimberly series, the diamond and the clover – it is something that doesn’t pass by without notice.”

With that being said, we’re thrilled to share more from our inspiring visit with Caroline who kindly allowed us to peruse the shop and chatted more about being self-made and life in Stockholm. Discover the full conversation below, featuring exclusive photos from our time together captured by Louise Cecilia Palmberg for The Style Line.

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“Women who come to us are often powerful, encouraging, feminists who stand up for themselves and love to show it! It’s true, really, which is easy to see when looking at the pieces.”

I am Caroline, 28 years old,

and I live in Stockholm. I love to travel, see new places, taste new things, and get inspired by people and architecture and I wish to travel as much as I can. I value friendships, family and new experiences – like now in September I’m going by myself to Spain to do a pilgrim hike for 300km, and that kind of thing really feels good to me. And of course, my most important thing in life is my little Wilma, my dog who is both a pain in the ass but mostly absolutely wonderful.

Talk to us about the experience of being a self-taught designer. What are some challenges you’ve had to overcome and how have you learned to hone your aesthetic being that you didn’t have formal training?

I learned to make jewelry at my kitchen table three and a half years ago, with no prior knowledge of the art. It’s all learning from my mistakes really, lots of cuts and burns and failed rings. I am really proud of the fact that I am self-taught since I think it’s important to tell people that everything is possible – you don’t have to pay a lot for schools and training, even though it can be very good. You can teach yourself how to become almost anything, it’s possible!! Of course, I’ve had a lot of difficult moments – like realizing a certain way of making jewelry wasn’t good, or hearing that I’m not making it in the “school bench” way, which I don’t think matters all the time. As long as you know your making stuff that you can be proud of. I think that is what matters. I also have had to learn to believe in myself, to actually be proud of what I’m doing – which has been very hard. For many years I was ashamed cause I wasn’t sure I was good enough and what others would think of it, so I hid my hands and jewelry in my pockets when walking into a shop. Still do sometimes, but trying to believe in myself every day!

Stockholm is obviously an epicenter for design and fashion. Why do you think this city is the best place to build your namesake brand?

Stockholm is great when it comes to great design and independent brands. I think it’s lovely to build this brand in Stockholm because a lot of people are curious about smaller unique brands like mine. I adore Stockholm for many reasons and that’s why I’m proud to have my brand and shop here – hopefully, we will be able to open more shops in other cities in the future but Stockholm will always be our main place!

What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

What is the best thing about being a woman?

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“I hope that I’m empowering people to go against the mainstream flow, to be themselves and do whatever you truly want. It’s very important to help people believe in themselves. I always try to do that…”

How would you characterize the Caroline Hjerpe woman and how do you hope to see her evolve?

Women who come to us are often powerful, encouraging, feminists who stand up for themselves and love to show it! It’s true, really, which is easy to see when looking at the pieces. Many rings are conversation starters – like the burger, the Kimberly series, the diamond and the clover – it is something that doesn’t pass by without notice. Also the fact that “the more is better” shows that these are women that are not afraid to be seen. I love that. Women should be loud and proud! That’s what we encourage.

Talk to us about the shop! What is your favorite element of having this tangible space and how do you think it best embodies the lifestyle of the Caroline Hjerpe woman?

When I opened the shop a little bit more than a year ago, the whole brand grew. It was not just about sales and a place to have the pieces, it was more about getting to know my own brand and my customers. Getting a space was about decorations and showing who I AM because the brand is a lot about me so the whole setting is very personal. The shop is a way for me to show my costumers the inside – it’s playful, it’s colorful and it’s a lot, haha! It’s also amazing to be able to make my jewelry IN the shop. That makes it very personal, just the way I like it! I think my costumers experience that warmth, like visiting my home in a way.

How do you think creativity contributes to some of the world’s bigger conversations and how do you hope Caroline Herjpe as a brand is playing a role in this?

I hope that I’m empowering people to go against the mainstream flow, to be themselves and do whatever you truly want. It’s very important to help people believe in themselves. I always try to do that, by pep talks and helping with all the knowledge I have from being a female business owner and entrepreneur. It is not always easy – not just because I’m a woman but I also know what it’s like starting something new alone. I want to help women to take more space in this world.

How would you advise the next generation of designers to leave an imprint in the world simply by doing what they love?

I think everyone should do what they love and love what they do. I love my job, so much, and I don’t take it for granted, I fought for this. I do something that I care about and that makes me happy. I think everyone that wants to should take that leap. Try to at least make an imprint in this world. I have walked against the path, but I’m so much happier here than anywhere else. It is all because I dared to do it! If it doesn’t work, then that doesn’t really matter. You tried and that is the most exciting journey. Do it!