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Business Travel: An Interview with Rachel Mielke

Notes for the modern business traveller from Rachel Mielke, CEO of Hillberg & Berk jewellery.

Rachel Mielke

In just two years, Regina jewellery designer Rachel Mielke has gone from pitching her fledgling company on Dragons' Den to outfitting the Queen with a diamond and tourmaline brooch and stocking more than 30 stores across Canada with her designs.

1. Always listen to music. David Gray is a ritual, especially when I'm designing.

2. My eureka moment After seeing women react to my designs at my first convention, I realized I could turn jewellery-making into a lucrative business.

3. In my carry-on you'll find lip balm, some moisturizer, an eye pillow and Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. I like to have my creature comforts when I travel.

4. What I had to learn on the fly It's not enough just to know your craft; you also need to know how to forge partnerships and navigate difficult situations.

5. My go-to gadget My iPhone. I keep videos of my family on it to watch while I'm away and use WhatsApp to stay in touch.

6. Window or aisle? Window – to see the view above a new city.

7. My business mantra Empower women. It's amazing to see a woman change how she holds herself when wearing our jewellery.

8. The biggest risk I ever took was going on Dragons' Den. I could've been humiliated on national television.

9. Best place for a business lunch The Willow on Wascana in Regina. I always try something new. In the summer, it's the best deck in the city.

10. In business, now's a good time to evolve. The second you start relaxing is when your competitors come in and overtake you.



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