“Isn't friendship amazing? At one time, our friends were just strangers to us. However, there was something special about these strangers; you felt a connection, something in common, a special bond, and your friendship began. What if, as we pass all of the ‘strangers’ in our lives, if we looked at these strangers as if they could be a friend? What a different world it would be….” ― James A. Murphy
I find this quote to be ever so true lately. I have a growing group of friends and many of them I have never even met face to face. Having this little dream of mine that is ash hoffman jewelry on etsy, facebook and instagram, I am continuously amazed at how interconnected we all are. The world seems so ginormous but is it really just a small world afterall?
Ruthie ordered a bracelet from me a few months back on etsy and just last week wrote to me after ordering a one of a kind locket that I had for sale in my etsy shop. She gave me some of the sweetest compliments and I was a presently surprised that she had actually taken the time to read the inspiration behind the piece. The piece had spoken to her and she found such a connection with it. It made my heart smile. Today I got another message saying that she had received the necklace and how much she loved it. She had visited my website and read all about my photo shoots and then told me all about her days in South Carolina and we reminisced together. It made me want to drive over to her house for coffee and just chat the rest of the day! The email with the picture of her wearing the locket just topped it off because it was the closest thing I had to meeting Ruthie in person! Now we are facebook friends and who knows what the future will hold!
Jenelle and I met after a mutual friend from college posted some jewelry I made for her on facebook. Jenelle saw the post and she contacted me shortly after. I have since made some of the most beautiful pieces for her and our long distance friendship continues to blossom! I knew her babies’ names before the rest of the world (I was sworn to secrecy by her husband) when I was given the honor of making her push present to welcome their twins, Harper and Cole. Last year on our summer road trip, we even tried to make plans to finally meet in person but our itineraries didn’t match up! We chat frequently through social media and I feel quite special when I get new pics of the adorable babies in my personal inbox! She will open another special ash hoffman jewelry package this week Her gorgeous gold double bar necklace is headed her way as we speak! She's been eyeing it since she found out she was having twins!
Now instagram just blows my mind and in January of this year I did get to meet some fellow followers in the flesh in the most unexpected way. I was on vacation in south Florida to ring in 2014 and I went to my old stomping grounds, otherwise known as Anthropologie in Aventura Mall. I worked at that Anthropologie for almost a year before I moved back to South Carolina and started ash hoffman jewelry. It’s always my first stop when I get to Florida so, as usual, there I was in my most favorite store on earth (besides Studio 77 as you all know) piddling and trying on and just looking at every little thing! When I went to check out, I noticed one of the girls behind the counter smiling at me. I smiled back and thought to myself, “how nice and adorable is she?” Then she asked me, “are you ash hoffman jewelry?” I couldn’t believe it! I’m just some girl from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina who makes jewelry. I’m on vacation in Miami. No one has a clue who I am and this little lady behind the counter knows me? About five minutes later, I’ve finished talking with her and we've become buddies I’m heading out the door when Leslie walks in. Leslie sees me and says, “ash hoffman jewelry?” Now I have never met Leslie in my life, but I know Leslie through instagram because she, in addition to following ash hoffman jewelry, follows my cat (yes my cat has his own instagram), @mijifatcat. We have chatted back and forth on his instagram and she has commented on my pics when I have posted cat-stuff! SO… in the middle of Anthropologie, the crazy cat ladies who live hundreds of miles apart, one is a former employee and one is a current employee…. FINALLY MEET! We hugged, laughed, and had a mini party right then and there like friends who haven’t seen each other in years.
So… the point to all these little scenarios is that we are more connected than we think! We are more alike than different. We have friends miles away that we may never know, but if we do what we love and share it with the world, the universe will send us wonderful people who love us back and I believe we will all be better for it. There is room for all of us to grow, make art and make a living doing what makes our spirit smile. Treasure each moment you spend with a stranger, because you never know when that stranger will show up again. You may end up being the best of friends!