This is the story of a female driven business founded by an expecting mother who exceeded expectations. This is the story of Karen Van Der Hout.
Karen was born in New York City. Her parents immigrated from Iran, leaving everything behind to rebuild everything again. They found themselves in the diamond industry, where Karen would be immersed wholeheartedly in the people and materials of the jewelry business. Along with her father, her aunt and uncle had shops in the diamond district where Karen would spend her days, and eventually begin working at just 14 years old. As a young teenager, she learned everything there was to know about jewelry and the manufacturing process. Little did she know at 14, this would be her forever passion.
After a successful career in fashion, she always knew her heart was in jewelry. With an incomparable knowledge, passion, and background, solidified by a childhood surrounded by jewelry makers, Karen knew she had a fresh point of view. She was equipped with generational skills and years of her family's teachings. While continuing to work, mothering two children and pregnant with a third, she saw an opportunity - from there, VDH was born.
Upon moving to Toronto, Karen began knocking on doors in the diamond district looking for dealers, gold casters, goldsmiths, and suppliers of finished goods. Even with an extensive background in jewelry and her vision to go direct-to-consumer and build her own website, it was a struggle, as most would not take her or her pregnant belly seriously. She is now the President of her own jewelry brand and all those who doubted her now supply.
Resilient. Beautiful. Strong. We make jewelry for women who share the same qualities so they can be their most extravagant selves every day.