ash hoffman jewelry

sophia

05 May 2014

sophia

"Before you were conceived I wanted you

Before you were born I loved you…"

~ Maureen Hawkins

 
 
This is exactly how I felt almost 18 years ago upon the news that my father and stepmother were expecting a child. Her name was Sophia. It was an exciting time and my family was looking forward to showering our little princess with lots of love. We found out during my stepmother’s pregnancy that baby Sophia was going to be born with Down’s syndrome. It didn’t change the way we felt about her in any way. We began to educate ourselves about the genetic disorder and eagerly awaited her arrival.
 
Sophia was due to arrive in September of 1996. In August of that year, my stepmother, Charlotte, became ill and after visiting the hospital we learned that Sophia had passed and Charlotte had a stillbirth. We were all devastated to say the least. This child that we were so ready to meet and love was not going to be coming home with us. I was 12 and vividly remember the funeral service. It was by far the saddest one I’ve ever had to attend.
 
While I was in jewelry school my grandmother gave me a gold teardrop necklace that she had found in her jewelry box and didn’t want. Thinking of Sophia, I carved an angel wing out of the gold teardrop. I never take my angel wing off and named the angel wing necklace in my jewelry collection, Sophia, in her honor. I have made many in the past couple of years for people who have lost their child or someone close to them. I have made others for mamas whose children are their living angels. To each person, the "sophia" necklace takes on a different meaning, making it beautiful and unique to every one who wears it. It tells their individual story. For me, it symbolizes my connection to my baby sister whom I never met, but whom I have always loved. She is and always will be my angel. 
  

my "sophia" necklace

 

my beautiful friend and model, Alisha wearing her own 14k gold wing in honor of her son that she lost in her second trimester.  

photographed by savvy alli photography

 

the sterling silver "sophia" wing from the ash hoffman jewelry collection modeled by Chandler

http://ashhoffmanjewelry.com/collections/necklaces/products/sophia

photographed by savvy alli photography

 

In loving memory of Sophia Hoffman.

Peace and love to every mother and family who has had to experience the loss of a child or loved one.


to the class of 2014

In just a few short weeks my baby sister, Jessie, the daughter of my mother and stepfather (there are 12.5 years and no other children between us) will be graduating high school. Come August, we will be packing up the car and sending her off to start college. Some days I don't want her to go. Other days I want to pack up and go with her. Most days, I want her to spread her wings out as far as possible and fly as free as a bird. Learn all she can. See all she can. And dream as big as she possibly can! 

 

Lately I am asked "what is the perfect gift for a high school graduate?"  One of my favorite pieces is the sterling silver wrap ring with a hand engraved quote. The next question is... "well what quote?"  Oh goodness!!! Even at 30, these quotes light a little fire under me and make me want to take over the world!!! And they would be perfect wrapped around a silver ring as a constant reminder to your baby girl that the world is her oyster! So, here's to the class of 2014 and to my sweet little Jessie ... 

 

ash hoffman jewelry hand engraved sterling silver wrap rings 

photographed by Savvy Alli Photography

customize your own triple or double wrap ring 

http://ashhoffmanjewelry.com/

double wrap ring : http://ashhoffmanjewelry.com/collections/ash/products/double-flowers

triple wrap ring : http://ashhoffmanjewelry.com/collections/ash/products/triple-beautiful-mess

 


wynWOOD : collaboration

A match made on instagram, I found Jenn  (@jennsnails) and immediately fell in love with her work. Jenn, a fellow Myrtle Beach native, is an artist that does some of the most detailed paintings on the smallest of canvases…nails. We became insta-friends :) and a January trip to Miami inspired me to reach out to her for a jewelry collaboration project.

One of my all time favorite spots in Miami is Wynwood, a neighborhood north of downtown Miami bursting with color and graffiti from world-renowned artists. No bare wall exists in this community and for a little artist with big dreams from South Carolina, it’s a little slice of heaven.  Wanting to translate those colors into jewelry, I immediately thought of Jenn.

Wooden bangles became the canvas and I gave Jenn a little direction and a lot a freedom to create one of a kind little works of wearable art. She has an incredible eye for quirky color combos and a steady hand for the straightest of lines. The former architecture student in me (got my B.A. in Architecture from Clemson back in 2007) envies the geometries that come from Jenn’s artistic mind. A lovely collaboration was born from the “painted wooden bangle experiment” and Jenn and I couldn’t be happier with the result.

Yesterday my dear friend, Allison from Savvy Alli Photography took our collaboration pics and I am just dying to see them! The wynWOOD collection will soon be for sale online and then will be off to Charlestion Fashion Week to make their debut. We hope you love them as much as we do! Here's a little sneak peek... 

 

 


strangers >>---> friends

“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!

 

 


embrace imperfection

Many of us make resolutions each new year and while I have several (hundred) of my own, I’m going to try to stick to one main mantra for 2014…. “Embrace imperfection.” “Embrace imperfection,” “embrace imperfection,” “embrace imperfection.”

 

This mantra is what drew me to making jewelry 5 years ago. This week, while on vacation, I spent two days at my former jewelry school working on some new things and I was reminded of my beginnings there and what sparked this jewelry love affair of mine. Always a perfectionist, I was (and still am in some ways) obsessed with many things in my life being a certain way (I’m working on it one day at a time). As a teenager in school, I created a stress on myself just in taking notes during class. Every i had to be dotted and every t had to be crossed. I would only write my notes in pencil so that I could erase and if I made a mistake in pen, I would go home and re-write all of my notes until they were acceptable to me.  

 

In architecture school, my perfectionism, in many aspects, worsened. I would agonize over the straightness of a line that most of the time no one could even see. Architecture critiques were everyone’s nightmare, mine included. Standing there amongst my peers, watching the red pen pointing out all of my imperfections all over my project, was agonizing. One professor wanted everything left justified, one loved the abstract, the other symmetry. “Embracing imperfection” was not the mantra at the time.

 

Just a few weeks into jewelry school, I knew I had found my passion. It was a place where I could accept that some days the metal would do as it pleased and I allowed myself to see the beauty in the process. My teacher would push me to make things as perfect as possible, and when left on my own, I would hammer the piece all over in a bit of rebellion. I wanted to put a texture on everything especially when he asked me to make it all polished and shiny. 

 

I began ash hoffman jewelry just over two years ago. My hope was (and still is) that the men and women that bought my jewelry would appreciate the hand-crafted nature of my work; that they would find as much beauty in each hand hammered and hand engraved piece as I find joy in creating them. In 2014, I hope to continue to grow my little dream and continue to spread the love I have for hand crafted jewelry with this great big beautiful world. Thank you all for your support on this journey and in this new year, “embrace imperfection.” 



http://www.littlepaperplanes.com/product/3254-scott-albrecht-print-

strikingtruths.com

 


Studio 77

The first day I stepped foot into Studio 77, it immediately became my most favorite shop on earth. At the time, it was tucked away on the side of 77th avenue under a big tree. The windows had hand painted flowers or designs depending on the season and when you walked in, the shop had it's own amazing fragrance. Part of the aroma came from a cabinet full of pillar candles and anything wrapped in the store went out with the same delicious scent. A gift was distinguishably Studio 77 due to the hip wrapping paper and bows with the perfect mix of curly and raffia ribbon. 

I remember the day Elaine, the former owner, called me to ask if I could come to work for her. I was a freshman in college and she needed help for the holidays. It was a dream come true and a day I had always hoped for. I think my first day of work, I wore my turquoise cowboy boots that I had just gotten for my birthday. I didn't realize at the time how significant this little boutique would be in my life and the imprint that it would leave on my heart. 

It's been 11 years this holiday season since I began working at my most favorite shop on earth. The shop has changed hands since then, but I have always been able to call it home. And the delicious scent and distinguishable gift wrapping remains! Elaine and Tilghman (the current owner) have taught me so much. In their own special way, both have showed me what a successful business woman looks like. They've taught me how to go after what I want in life and have cheered me on the whole way. I could go on and on and on about all that I owe to both of these incredible women for the lessons and love they have given to me. 

Today, as I finally made time to edit photos from my most recent trunk show at Studio 77, I began to reflect on all that this little boutique has brought to my life.  I never thought on the first day I stepped foot into the shop I would, 11 years later, be hosting my own trunk shows and selling my own line of jewelry to the same local customers I helped wrap gifts for all these years. Now they are wrapping my jewelry as gifts! To most people, this may seem so small and insignificant. But to me, it's like my little dream unfolding and coming true. I find it so incredible that on the 11th year anniversary of me starting at Studio 77 and the 2nd year anniversary of starting my own business, ash hoffman jewelry, I host my 3rd trunk show at my beloved boutique. 

Elaine and Tilghman, I can never thank you enough! My cup runneth over. 

 

Studio 77 gifts and accessories is located at 5001 N. Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, 29577 843.497.5931

https://www.facebook.com/shopatstudio77

 


The Helping Hand Bracelet.

Over the summer I was asked by a fellow Myrtle Beach native to be a part of raising money for a local non-profit. I had heard of Helping Hand of Myrtle Beach and before she could even finish telling me about it, I knew I wanted to help her however I could. She wanted me to come up with a piece of jewelry that we could sell to raise money for the organization. We ran with the idea and "The Helping Hand Bracelet" was born. 

 

By September we were carrying them around and selling them out of our purses. Over $600 was raised in the first month and as we approach November, we have collected over $1000 for Helping Hand of Myrtle Beach. But why stop there? With Thanksgiving around the corner, we are eager to feed as many local families as we can. It has been put on our hearts that what we are doing is making a difference in someone's life, even if it's just a meal for one day. 

 

For this week, November 11- 16, we are asking for folks to order a Helping Hand Bracelet online. For every order received, I will put your name in a drawing to win a piece of ash hoffman jewelry (winner announced on Sunday, November 17). It's a win win! ONE bracelet FEEDS ONE family. If you are thankful this year to have food on the table and be able to gather around with your loved ones, then do your little bit of good by helping to provide that for someone else. Pay it forward. Spread the love. THANKS in advance.

 

 

 

http://ashhoffmanjewelry.com/collections/helping-hand/products/the-helping-hand-bracelet

http://www.helpinghandofmyrtlebeach.com/

 


Couture for the Cure

For the last several years, The Little White Dress, a local bridal boutique in my hometown of Myrtle Beach, SC has put on a bridal fashion show called Couture for the Cure. The show benefits Caring in our Lifetime, a local organization dedicated to raising funds and providing financial assistance with medical expenses to individuals in Horry and Georgetown counties affected by breast cancer.

 

Last Sunday I had the honor of being a part of this beautiful event. Not only did I get to strut my stuff on the runway, I was able to donate a beautiful handmade cuff to be auctioned off at the event. Proceeds from the auction went directly to Caring in our Lifetime. It was a joy to be able to participate in such a wonderful local event and give back to a great local organization helping women in our hometown. 

 

hand cut, hand hammered, sterling silver cuff with turquoise beads auctioned off at Couture for the Cure

Nicole, Nora and moi! 

Nora and moi in our Gatsby-eque bridal fashions

bridal fashions

 

Thanks to The Little White Dress for allowing me to participate in this year's event. 

http://www.thelittlewhitedress.net/

http://www.caringinourlifetime.com/


Well hello there…

I have been attempting to start blogging for quite some time now but it's been very intimidating to me for some reason! After a lovely new friend told me last night that she had visited my blog only to be greeted with "no posts", I knew it was time to bite the bullet .

 

If any of you follow me on facebook or instagram, then you know I have a lot going on! These first couple of blogs may be old news to some of you and new news to my latest visitors. Whatever the case may be, thanks for stopping by! Follow on and hopefully you will be inspired by my little dream that is ash hoffman jewelry! 

 

Last week was a whirlwind of good news and great events! The week began with the release of Smitten Magazine's Fall issue with not one, but TWO spreads featuring ash hoffman jewelry. If you haven't gotten a copy of it, you should! It's quite possibly the most beautiful bridal magazine I have seen! Below is the spotlight on non traditional wedding bands by yours truly! I like to call them bohemian bridal bling! 

 

A huge thanks to Lindsey Nowak and Smitten Magazine for the feature! Get your copy here http://smitten.issuestand.com/