Klas squared’s designer and founder, Lori Schmidtke, knew she was destined for a career in fashion. By middle school, she was making her own clothes so she could sport the styles she wanted to wear – a true testament to the creative brilliance and solid work ethic that would eventually lead her to an entrepreneurial career in jewelry design.
Her creative talent took her to Ryerson’s fashion design school in Toronto where she mastered the art of pattern making by bringing her designs to life. Lori’s vision was bold and original, echoing the same spirit that had inspired her to start making clothes in the first place and what was to come. After a short time designing knitwear, her children were born and she began designing children’s clothes under her label Tilly Togs. Featuring easy to wear silhouettes in bright solids and prints, she built a strong customer base that would help her to launch a new venture when the babies fled the nest. When the time came, Klas squared was born from a need to reinvent, refuel and relaunch a lifetime of designing. After identifying a need for fashion jewelry in the market, she began playing with different materials and that familiar feeling of excitement began to surface and she knew she had found her passion in jewelry design.
Designing for Klas squared over the past 11 years has been all consuming for the designer. Lori thrives on the process of sourcing materials based on colour, shape and texture and finding new and modern ways to compose jewelry for the everyday, powerful woman: “I see everything through a lens: colour, shape, composition. Whether it’s admiring nature, fashion, contemporary art or travel, I’m always envisioning it as a piece of jewelry”. Though her approach might sound simple, this small-town-girl knows how to dream and design big.