Words and Pictures by Britney (IG : tiny_holds)
Give a backstory of yourself – “Who Am I?”
My name is Britney Berkstresser and I am the creator and owner of Tiny Holds. I am very tiny myself, all of 4’9″. I’m a dog mom who is obsessed with bouldering, kombucha, living a healthy lifestyle and of course, making tiny holds! I got bit by a bug… I contracted Lyme. I spent 10 years in a body riddled with health conditions. Everyone said…you’re working too much, you’re stressed, you’re going to college, you’re fine, you’re bat shit crazy, nothing is wrong with you. I lost the ability to take care of myself for the next 4 years. It was a battle of life and death as no one knew what to do, how to help me or how to heal me. At times I even lost the use of my brain, my speech, my arms and legs, everything was gone. I did everything holistic I could to try and detox my body of this disease with no known cure. My family was there to help and support me every step of the way. I started making progress with diet and herbs. I was told I would need my wheelchair and someone to take care of me for the rest of my life. My sister thought differently. She said, “you’re going to rock climb.” We both had never tried it, so we went to our local gym Sender One Santa Ana and I made it 3/4 the way up a V0 with a 102 fever, shaking and said, “Ok, I wanna do this.” I started going to the gym every day. The community at Sender One welcomed us and here I am now! A living, breathing, walking, rock crushing, bouldering, strong and healthy climber.
How did you start Tiny Holds? (broad question, answer however you like)
Tiny Holds kinda started as a joke. I spent a solid year training almost every single day mainly inside the gym to help heal myself from an illness. One day while climbing, I told my sister I wanted a pair of climbing hold earrings. We looked online and couldn’t find anything…. sooo I made my own! After tons of trial and error, I had my first pair of Tiny Hold earrings! I was not able to work full time, so I was in need of some extra income to pay off medical costs. My climbing friends motivated me and inspired me to sell them at an event at Sender One because they wanted some for themselves. I did it and now here we are!
What inspired you to start Tiny Holds?
Being so tiny myself, I love anything Tiny! Gym climbing means the world to me, it helped me heal mentally and physically. I wanted a piece of that love with me at all times. I felt I needed a way to be able to share the same feeling I got from making and wearing my personal Tiny Holds with everyone else.
How long have you been climbing?
I started climbing in June of 2018…and probably only touched a rope all of 10 times…I think I want to boulder for the rest of my life!
What other hobbies do you have?
Besides Tiny Holds and Climbing… I’m a full-time dog mom and “Boochtender” (kombucha bartender) at Zama Tea and Kombucha. I absolutely love Kombucha and most people refer to me as a “Kombucha Snob”. I love hunting down Kombucha bars and healthy foods…I love to eat!
What drives your creative mindset?
My creative mindset is driven by climbing. Every time I set foot in the gym I nerd out on all the holds and routes. Not only to figure out beta (lol), but to inspire the designs. Gym climbing changed my life, so it is imported to me to be able to make a piece of this sacred space that everyone can have with them all the time.
Britney also has a personal IG showcasing her passions in life. Check it out here!