The ASH + AMES jewelry collection is a collaborative effort by two friends, Trisha and Amy, to help empower and lead women to living more complete and meaningful lives. In such a short amount of time, their brand has been a huge success, with celebs like Beyoncé and Jessica Alba rocking their jewelry.
Before starting ASH + AMES, the two took on other ventures, including the creation of 3 best-selling books, I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids, I’d Trade My Husband for a Housekeeper, and Dirty Little Secrets from Otherwise Perfect Moms. The two were even executive producers for a Lifetime show called, Pretty Wicked Moms, based on their books.
However, their success on television and on book shelves left them wondering, “What’s next in our chapter?” Their idea to start ASH + AMES came in the form of their love to travel, in particular to Haiti. Amy Nobile, one of the co-founders of ASH + AMES, recalls a moment that she and Trisha traveled to Haiti for volunteer work.
“Our involvement in Haiti for volunteer work, we realized, was woven into the next chapter of our lives,” recalls Nobile. “I remember seeing women off to the side of the road, carving these beautiful cuffs, and wanting to buy them. That kind of spurred the idea of starting our own jewelry line.”
Interested in pursuing this venture, both Amy and Trisha started visiting other places around the world, such as Haiti and India, to meet and to talk with female artisans about their work. They then bring these ideas, with the help of collaborators from all over, to incorporate into their own jewelry aesthetic.
For the summer 2015 collection, Amy says they drew inspiration from “a sprinkling of different places,” including Parisian-inspired pieces, handcrafted jewelry made right here in New York, Haiti, and India. One piece in particular that she points out is a Haitian-inspired beaded necklace with a tassel on the end. The beads are considered “good luck beads” in Haitian culture, according to Nobile.
Among some of Amy’s other favorite pieces include the Haitian knotted cuff and the double bullet necklace.
“The Haitian knotted cuff is one of my favorites, because it represents who we are as a brand, and it also represents Haiti,” she said. “Another one of my favorites is our double bullet necklace because it represents togetherness…and together we can affect change. It also represents us [Trisha and I], and our journey together.”
One unique aspect of ASH + AMES is that the company is extremely charity driven. They are partnered with several non-profit organizations, and pride themselves on giving back to these female artisans. ASH + AMES will give back 100 percent of the proceeds from pieces made by Haitian artisans.
“We really pride ourselves on making a tangible connection with the people that we encounter in these places,” says Nobile. “In Haiti, for example, we met this Haitian girl named Michou, and we decided to sponsor her for a year. And the proceeds that come from people buying the jewelry help give back to kids like Michou, and help them learn English. When Trisha [and I] first met her, she didn’t know any English at all, but when we came back 3 months later, she was able to communicate with us.”
Aside from giving back to others in developing countries, ASH + AMES is also known for their ambassador program. It gives women looking to start their own business the opportunity to begin building a platform for themselves. According to Amy, there are two ways you can become a brand ambassador. The first is seasonal, in which you can sell the collections in the spring and fall, and earn a certain percentage of sales. The second is brand ambassador, which is more hands-on and dives right into the business. Brand ambassadors have their own collection, their own replicated website, and have the option of really building their own team and mentoring other women.
In regards to advice for those looking to start their own business, Amy says to start on the ground floor, and work your way up.
“Start at the ground level, do lots of research, travel, and look for you inspiration,” says Amy. “Really know your mission, and begin to effect change.”
Following her own advice, Amy is extremely excited about their reach and where the brand will be going in the future. There are currently no plans for a store front, however, Amy says that their business model is “next generation social retail,” and includes pop-up events and trunk shows.
“As far as the future goes, I really hope to see us continue to grow, especially with our ambassador program…to continue adding ambassadors, and make giving back tangible for our ambassadors,” says Amy. “We also want to continue growing our give back program, and continue uniting women locally and globally.”
Suming up what ASH + AMES is all about, Amy says: “ASH + AMES is a next generation retail brand that empowers female artisans around the world, gives back to developing countries, and inspires women to start their own businesses to live ‘beautifully balanced’.”
To purchase the jewelry and for more information on the brand and ambassador program, please check out their website.
by: Jackie Hart