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Hillberg & Berk’s new Winnipeg location is the brand’s largest to date.

What started out as a side hustle in founder Rachel Mielke’s Regina kitchen has become a Canadian success story. In 2007, Mielke launched her brand Hillberg & Berk, a jewellery collection known for accessible jewellery that comes with a side of empowerment. “We use our brand as a catalyst for storytelling to be able to highlight issues that women have in Canada,” she says of her many charitable partnerships that include Dress for Success Vancouver and Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre Foundation. “I think that’s what’s really resonated with women.”

Mielke’s big business break came in 2008 when she appeared on CBC’s Dragons’ Den and scored an investment from fellow Saskatchewanian W. Brett Wilson, who remains involved in the business some 11 years later. Since then, Hillberg & Berk has gained a loyal following that includes the Queen, who has two custom-made pieces in rotation, and the Canadian Olympic team, who sported red sparkle earrings at the 2016 summer games in Rio de Janeiro.

Rachel Mielke got her big break when she appeared on Dragon's Den in 2008 and scored an investment from Brett Wilson.

In 2011, popular demand led Mielke to open her first Hillberg & Berk store, expanding beyond her wholesale and a by-appointment client showroom. “We had so many people coming into our little showroom that we couldn’t get any work done,” she says. Mielke has since opened stores in Alberta, British Columbia and now Manitoba, where Hillberg & Berk’s new Winnipeg location is the brand’s largest to date.

Hillberg & Berk, Polo Park Mall, 1485 Portage Ave., Winnipeg, 204-219-2823, hillbergandberk.com.

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