Q: WE ARE OBSESSED WITH YOUR WHOLE VIBE ASHLEY. TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHAT INSPIRES YOU!
Thank you! Ever since I was a child I have enjoyed art and design. I think being able to express yourself through art is so important for many people and I am grateful for the journey that led me to jewelry.
I am enamored by Moonstone for all its beautiful adularescence and soothing color. It is so dreamy and ethereal, I've let the stone guide me and I have noticed that it has heightened my creativity in ways - I cannot stop working with it just yet. I draw a lot of my influence from natural beauty found in nature, ancient techniques, modern art, and design. I love simple lines and pastel color paintings by artists like Mark Rothko, Joseph Albers and Agness Martin; their work is always inspiring for me to look at.
Q: YOUR JEWELRY LINE, A.M. THORNE, IS MINIMAL, ELEGANT AND ELEVATED. HOW DID YOU COME TO START DESIGNING, AND HOW HAVE YOU ADAPTED YOUR BRAND TO MEET THE CHALLENGES OF THE CURRENT CLIMATE?
I majored in Graphic Design in college, so I'd like to think that has had a tremendous influence on my whole aesthetic. I remember passing through the jewelry department and not understanding why the jewelry looked so unwearable. It wasn't until after I graduated that I developed an interest in making jewelry for myself. I started coming up with simple designs, which then led me to start taking metalsmithing classes. At this time, it was just a hobby. With lots of encouragement from close friends, I began selling it. In fact, Eva's store was one of the first stores I started carrying my line in! I am so grateful for the connections I have made over years of finding my passion and launching my business. A lot of the success I have today has come from laying the foundation over time. Being in several stores has never been my goal and I think the fact that I have built an online business has really helped me meet the challenges of current times. It is vital for a business to have strong visuals within the brand. Instagram and having an online shop has really helped people discover and have access to my jewelry. Everything is handmade and made to order, so it has taken more time to source materials and make jewelry lately. I am lucky to have customers who understand this and have an appreciation for quality-made pieces that will take time to make.
Q: HERE AT CBK, WE TOO ARE JEWELRY-OBSESSED! ANY FAVORITE PIECES IN THE SHOP AT THE MOMENT?
I am definitely smitten with the Ross Coppelman Garnet Earrings. Garnet is my birthstone and I am a huge fan of it! Also, drooling over all the Gem Palace pieces especially the 18k Gold Rutilated Quartz Bracelet.
Q: AS A FELLOW SMALL BUSINESS OWNER, YOU SURELY UNDERSTAND THE NEED TO SUPPORT OTHER SMALL BUSINESS – ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT ARE FEMALE-OWNED. WHO ARE YOU SHOPPING AT THE MOMENT?
Absolutely, and I have been making a conscious effort to support small which is actually quite easy because all my favorite things come from small businesses. In the last few months, most of my purchases have come from Take Care. Its a great all-natural beauty shop and they carry one of my favorite skincare lines, Earthwise Beauty, which is also female-owned! As the lower temps roll in I am excited to get a sweatshirt by sustainable womenswear label Aliya Wanek. My most recent Fall treat to myself was a new scent from LAI, a New York based perfume line by one of my close friends Chibi Lai.
Q: IT’S UNDENIABLE THAT 2020 HAS BEEN QUITE A YEAR, AND WE ARE ONLY ABOUT HALFWAY THROUGH. LOOKING BACK ON THE PAST MONTHS, HAVE YOU LEARNED ANYTHING ABOUT YOURSELF – PERSONALLY OR PROFESSIONALLY?
I have to say this has been a life-changing year. I have learned how important it is to slow down and be mindful of myself and those around me. I didn't realize how many things I surrounded myself with as distractions before. Always feeling the need to move quickly, meet up with friends, or check out the newest restaurant on the weekends. Now that things like that are no longer the main part of my life, it has really allowed me to focus, ground, and take care of myself. I have learned how to say no and have it feel empowering, I have appreciated following my intuition instead of challenging it.