Life happens…most everyone understands this…but what you do with it is where the difference comes in. Life threw a curve ball at Ashley at a young age; but rather than be down and wallow in her self pity, she decided that she could make a change. That change, though she didn’t know it at the time, set out a new course for her life!
Ashley was raised in a creative home, always surrounded by things that were handmade. She was given the freedom to create from the beginning and always knew that someday she would be in a creative field. She was given her first “real” jewelry as a young girl; a gold ring with small emeralds and diamonds. This ring captured her imagination and she spent hours admiring the perfect greens of the emeralds and how it sparkled.
In addition to loving to see the sparkle in her ring, Ashley was hooked on science and spent countless hours glued to the TV watching volcanoes erupt and dinosaurs stomp around. Somehow in her mind she connected the awesomeness of the earth’s power with its power to create wonderful stones like her emerald. This love of the earth’s power followed her through to college where she started her majors in biology and then criminology and Arabic; all the while spending her spare minutes looking up stones and minerals on the school’s computers…still fascinated by the colors and properties of them.
Just short of finishing her degree, life happened, and due to a medical condition, Ashley had to leave school. She found herself working at a desk job that while it paid the bills, did not fulfill her heart in any way. She loved spending time with her two Beagles and her family as well as hiking, but she was craving something more that would allow her use her creativity.
Ashley, being the type to really do things her own way, found no interest in jewelry making classes and found the books full of terms that she didn’t understand. Instead, she picked up a bunch of supplies such as wire, pliers, and the gemstones she loves so much and taught herself the basics (with, I’m sure, plenty of false starts to learn from!) and soon moved on to much more complex designs. Her plan was to teach herself the basics and then maybe move on to more advanced metalwork, but quickly realized that wire work is as simple or complex as you want it to be and, for now, is happy where she is at.
After a short learning period, Silver Fox Gems was born! Ashley decided to start selling her designs. The positive feedback she received from her happy customers encourages her to keep going. She admits that because she uses quality stones in her work, that her creations may be out of range for some customers, but Ashley knows that her pieces are wearable art and it working to find her niche market that appreciates the materials and care she puts in.
Ashley encourages others to put themselves out there if they are considering selling their own handmade work. She believes that it is much better to try and fail than to have not tried…and be sure to have fun in the process! Having fun with what you are doing makes the risks worth while every time.
So, despite a setback early on, Ashley has found a way to make her passion a reality and creates stunning pieces with an eye for color and design that has to be seen to be believed. Are you ready to see what this gem obsessed girl can do with pretty stones and wire? Well, she is easy to find on Etsy as well as her own site! You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook and her Blog. Be prepared, however, to sit and drool over her amazing wearable art.