Aimée deSimone decided to launch Berte (pronounced like Bertie) after feeling extremely burnt out from her day job as a TV and film producer. “It was crazy, you’d wake up one day with an idea and then next thing you know you’re on a plane to like Florida, so it was a lot of late nights and obsessing over stories and subject matter.” After feeling like she desperately needed a change, she did a little digging and opening up an online shop, where she was able to curate every last detail, just seemed like a no-brainer. She officially launched this year and if you haven’t gotten the chance to take a peek at her online creation, we’d totally recommend doing so. In the meantime, you can read all about her experience with launching Berte below.
From TV Production To Becoming A Shop Owner
“This is definitely not a conventional shop owners story by any means. I actually have been working as a TV and film producer for about a decade. I always felt like it made me rush through life like I can’t believe it’s already been a decade. In general, I’ve always been an all in person, but I started to realize how unhappy I was about being all in on stuff that I wasn't in love with. So, I started to do a little research and tried to really get to the heart of what I wanted to be doing with my time. I tried a lot of different stuff like I did a little bit of improv comedy for a couple of years but that wasn’t for me, I then considered moving, and even looked into cooking school.
I then realized that whenever I’d travel for work I’d put together these expansive lists of what I wanted to see and these home and lifestyle shops were always on the top of my list. I would spend hours chatting with shop owners and employees and realized I found so much joy in that and thought that that was the direction I wanted to go in. Long story short, that’s kind of how I realized I wanted to curate and own a shop.
I didn’t want it to just be pretty things and brands that I liked—there needed to be a story or some message behind it. I loved the idea of bringing lesser-known makers and artisans to people who really didn’t know them because I’ve always loved telling friends about some cool ceramist or jeweler that I found while traveling.
I think in terms of what Berte is, the thought behind it is really centered around the idea of being present and enjoying these little moments in your life. For me when I have really quality or hand-made products, it kind of stops me in my tracks and makes me slow down because I find myself admiring the craftsmanship of the piece and it just helps me focus a little more.”
How Do You Choose Your Product?
“I think it’s a few things, definitely the person behind the product is really important, and Instagram is really great for that because you can really get to know the person making the products and what their mission is. I always like to look for people who have similar values as Berte. I also love the idea of incorporating travel into who I choose as well, that’s why Berte has such an eclectic mix of where everyone is based. Then the quality of the ingredients is also really important to me, and, of course, if I really like it. In general, shaping Berte has been really fun because there are times when I see something and I love it, but other people might not as much, so I really have to find things that are for the masses which has been really interesting.”
What Is Berte Known For?
“I want to be known for quality, for sure, and just being transparent and honest. For example, I’m still at my day job and I want people to know that because it isn’t always just ‘here I go launching this shop and everything is ready to go.’ That isn’t realistic. I also never want to create something that isn’t accessible, so I tried to have a good range of prices on the site, and when things are little more expensive I want it to be more aspirational, like for when you get that new job or promotion.”
“The quality of ingredients is for sure what first drew me to Palermo. But for a more superficial standpoint, the packaging is beautiful and I think a lot of millennials love putting together a really great shelf or vanity because it just makes you feel good when you look at it. Also, what I think is so great about Palermo is the transparency the brand provides and I think Jess is really great at making that a priority.”
Favorite Palermo Product?
“I love a good soap, and the Rose Geranium + Mandarin soap is amazing. The color is great and the lather is the best. Sometimes all natural soaps don’t have a good lather, but I love the lather on this one. And, of course, the smell is intoxicating.”
“In high school, I had thought that I had wanted to open a shop but I just completely pushed that aside and fell hard for TV and film so it’s been kind of funny going back to that. Oh, and I have a Corgi named Bowie.”
Photography by Alexandra Rowley
Art Director/Branding & Web Design for Berte by Kelsey Lim