A curated home and lifestyle shop, Berte specializes in handcrafted goods and modern designs that bring intentionality to the day to day. Located in Beacon, NY, outside of New York City, Berte was founded by Aimée deSimone after leaving a decade long career in the production industry. Feeling burnt out by frequent travel and work-related stress, she began Berte with the mission to evoke a sense of pause and delight - to help herself, and others, slow down and appreciate the world around us. Norden is proud to be amongst Berte's diverse group of independent makers, designers, and thoughtfully curated products. We connected with Aimée to learn more about her journey to opening Berte and how she centers intentionality in her day-to-day. Follow along below and shop online with Berte here.

All photos courtesy of Jennifer Young Studio and Berte.

What is the inspiration behind Berte?
The whole thought process behind Berte is that slow made goods created by your fellow humans can bring a sense of joy and calm to your life. When I worked in television, I was constantly on the move - travel, shoots, managing LOTS of personalities. I realized I was rushing through my life and I needed to slow down. So I started reflecting on the things that made me happy and made me feel more present. For me that was finding new shops and makers when I was on the road. I lived for that moment of discovery and being able to bring those newfound treasures into my own home. It made me feel more connected to my world and the people in it. Berte essentially serves as an extension of that mindset.

Berte focuses on handcrafted goods that bring intentionality into the day to day. How do you personally bring intention to your day?
I made intentionality the shop’s focus because it’s actually something I struggle with every day. I have what can only be described as a “busy brain.” Constantly in motion, fluttering from one thing to the next. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to pay close attention to the things that bring me a sense of joy and calm - like a handmade mug for my coffee or a block printed bandana to keep the hair out of my face. These things may seem small, but they help me harness a moment and live in it a bit longer than I normally would. I’ll take a sip of coffee and move my finger along the mug’s ridges, reminding myself that another human created this object for a person like me, for a moment exactly like this. It’s a bit woo-woo, I know, but it works for me. Also, I try to keep my phone in another room or out of reach in the evenings ;)

How do you feel about being a small business in 2021?
The only feeling that comes to mind is gratitude. For some reason I thought it would be wise to expand our online shop to a physical storefront in the fall of 2020. And to my absolute delight, people showed UP! And they continue to show up for my little shop. Every order - online and in store - is like this positive affirmation, “Yes, we like what you do. Keep going. Grow. Be a part of our future.” For small businesses, our customers are our lifeline, and I show my thanks every day by searching high and low for new things that will fill my little community with delight. I’m very grateful to be a small business in 2021.

As summer comes to a close, how do you prepare for fall?
I mainly experience the seasons through color - both in my wardrobe and in the shop. Summer feels so joyous and expressive - big and bold colors, trying things out that you normally wouldn’t. It’s a daring season (can you tell I’m a Leo?). So transitioning from that big Summer energy into a more tranquil Fall vibe, always starts with color. But you can’t just be like *BAM* cozy neutrals. I think that would actually scare Fall away and rush us straight into Winter. No, you have to easeeee out of Summer and into Fall. Start by bringing deeper tones and neutrals into your world in small doses. It softens the “bigness” of Summer and starts putting you in a more autumnal mindset. Slowly, but surely, the big expressive colors fall away and make room for yummy textures, richness, and warmth. Then before you know it, the leaves begin to change and it’s Fall.

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