Myrtle Beach based accessory designer Ash Hoffman is a creative visionary with a positive message. Her custom made jewelry is one of a kind and her process is purely organic. Ash’s bohemian influenced accessories take inspiration from fashion, travel, and her Native American roots. She pours her heart and dedication into the art of design in each piece she creates. To check out more pictures of her gorgeous look book, video and an interview with Ash Hoffman view more.
Photography by Savvy Alli, Models – Chandler Chakides, Alisha Atkinson, and Rachel Arakas.
When did you launch your line? I launched ash hoffman jewelry (online – made to order collection) in September 2013, however, my company, ash hoffman jewelry was founded in Jan of 2012. I started out making custom jewelry for clients from unworn, heirloom jewelry. I continue to make custom jewelry while maintaining the line and adding new pieces.
What is your design background? I have a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Clemson University and got my Master Jeweler certification from American School of Jewelry in South Florida. Architecture was never something that I was passionate about and as soon as I began taking classes in jewelry school, I knew I had met my true love. It came naturally to me and I like the fact that anything I may doodle on paper, I can take a seat at my bench and figure out how it’s going to work in metal. I get to be hands on the entire process from start to finish.
What is your design aesthetic? I was trained to make very elaborate and complicated pieces and I fully appreciate the work that goes into them. However, I would have to say my design aesthetic is much more organic and more appreciative of the little imperfections that can happen in the process of metalworking. I love texture and hidden little treasures in a piece of jewelry such as a hand engraved saying, date or quote. I hand engrave all of my jewelry so I can manipulate my handwriting depending on the piece, who it’s for, or what is being engraved. It makes it that much more special and one of kind for the person receiving the piece. I tend to use a lot of natural stones such a turquoise, malachite and lapis that show the different layers and colors in the stones. I call my jewelry “bohemian bling” because there is a free spirited, whimsical feel to each piece, yet made of precious metals and semi-precious stones.
Where do you find inspiration? A lot of my inspiration comes from places I have traveled to but I can also see a pattern in a fabric swatch or a piece of art and it will spark something in me. I love color so I get a lot of inspiration from choosing stones based on color schemes. I am constantly pinning, writing down quotes or buying quote books to keep in my studio as I am always moved by words. Most of my online collections are customizable for that reason. We all have a mantra so being able to forever keep that in a piece of jewelry makes it more special and something that you can enjoy everyday (and it’s less painful than having it tattooed on you!)
What is your design process? Do you gather inspirational images? Oftentimes I doodle or make a list of the new pieces that I want to create. There is usually a theme behind it or several pieces are inspired by one particular thing, i.e shape or stone, and I create a collection based on that. A lot of times I just sit at the bench and start making things. Some of my most popular pieces have come from me just sitting there “playing” and a piece is born! Over the years I have cut out thousands of pages of magazines (stuffed in file folder after file folder) for inspiration and I am constantly pinning things to get ideas, but I usually just make what I am feeling at the time. If there is a shape that keeps coming up in my head, I will go with it and see where it leads (for instance, I am currently on a triangle kick). My first collection was named “Della Lee Lorraine” after my great-grandmother who was a Sioux indian. The pieces are all native american symbols that have a particular meaning. My great-grandmother was a very talented artist, so it was a tribute to her and very dear to me as well as it was my first collection to be sold online.
Tell me about your WynWood collaboration. Having gone to jewelry school in south Florida, I was constantly exploring and Wynwood was my go to place for inspiration. I still make a point to drive through every time we visit because I am always uplifted by the amazing talent that is projected across every street wall. I wanted to make a collection of wooden bangles that were inspired by the graffiti art that is so alive in Wynwood. I had my hands full with custom jobs and creating the ash hoffman jewelry line, so I wanted to highlight the talent of another local girl who has become the go to for the hottest nails in town. Jenn had done my nails several times and she has an incredible talent for creating the most elaborate designs on the smallest of canvases. I told her of my idea and supplied her the bangles and then let her come up with the designs and color combos. I think the best bangles were the graphic black and white and the geometric designs. She has a knack for marrying quirky colors and it was fun to be able to see what she could come up with. I think being able to collaborate and share the talents of others it what life is all about. The fact that she is just another local gal like me doing what she loves makes it that much cooler and I am proud of what we did with the collaboration.
Has living in Myrtle Beach influenced the design of your collection? I was born and raised in Myrtle Beach and will be the first to admit that I never thought I would end up back at home to start my business. I think that where I am emotionally, spiritually and intellectually at this point in my life along with the activities that I participate in (such as yoga) and places I travel to has more of an influence than my hometown. I have been fortunate to have a great local following and have attracted clients that come to me because they want something unique, different and meaningful.