I just LOVE what the author below has written here about Julia Kalthoff! So true, I concur on every front. This woman is amazing, for her attitude, her work ethic, the vision and determination she has brought to Wetterlings. Not only do wetterlings make world-class beautiful axes, they have world-class leadership. Such an inspiration to see this fine woman take the bull by the horns and carry it. Bravo Julia! My hat is off to you!
When I first heard that the outstanding Wetterlings Swedish Axe Works a company of more than 130 years had a 23 year old C.E.O. I assumed that it must have been sort of family business situation. I just figured that a C.E.O. of that age (regardless of gender) would have to have been involved since childhood and that it was a matter of the family passing the company on to the next generation.
I can happily say, I was wrong. Not only is Julia Kalthoff not picking up any family mantle; She has in fact only been involved with Wetterlings since she was 19. I find her really inspiring: besides her clearly being a driven, business savvy woman in a heavily male dominated industry, she appears to be a truly innovating C.E.O.
Under her leadership Wetterlings has won a prize for employee work practices, returned the factory to hydroelectric power and instituted an annual Ax Day. On the product end of things, with her guidance Wetterlings undertook the high profile “Bushman Ax- By Suriviorman Les Stroud" (Created alongside and endorsed by the famous wilderness expert himself)
I do find it a bit bothersome that on various forums the main focus seems to be “She’s Hot!” Yeah, she is an attractive woman- but I think focusing on that alone is to ignore and undercut an inspiring role model & influential figure in the industry.
A 19 year old thought she might like blacksmithing, so she signed up for a 10-day course at a forge in northern Sweden. She couldn’t afford tuition so in exchange she worked odd jobs — gardening and cleaning, mapmaking and marketing. In six months she was a manager, within three years she was C.E.O.
I think the idea of pursuing something more or less on a fluke then passionately exploring that direction until you’re in a place to have a real impact on the field as a whole is simply awe-inspiring.
It is assuring to see a legendary company moving into the future with such keen direction.