When I met Ashley Berman, the talented designer of Ashley Morgan Designs, at her debut trunk show at Neiman Marcus, I have to say that she sparkled just as much as her jewelry!
She had cases full of her colorful designs, quite a few of which contained delicate, hand-cut tourmaline butterflies. I thought that was very apropos, as butterflies are a Neiman Marcus signature!
I asked her how she got into jewelry design, and here’s what she had to say:
“Growing up in Colorado, I fell in love with the majestic beauty that could only be found in nature. Learning from my creative family – especially my mother who would endlessly entertain me and my two sisters – a creative spark was ignited. While earning my degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder, I strung beads and sold them to local boutiques to pay for tuition, and that was the start. I earned a Masters Degree at the highly respected Revere Academy in San Francisco and simultaneously worked at a San Francisco jewelry store training as a bench jeweler and goldsmith. It was working behind the bench when I developed an appreciation for hands-on bespoke pieces. I learned the intricacies of metals and stones and fell in love with their ability play off one another. Behind that bench, my dream to design my own jewelry was born.”
It’s clear that Ashley has BIG dreams, as her collection is really quite stunning and diverse. I particularly liked some of her diamond slice pieces.
As we spoke, she brought up her daughters and told me how they provide her with inspiration:
“While my designs incorporate many refined, unique stones such as diamond slices, emeralds, and rubies, they’re also infused with a playful whimsy that my children continually impress upon me: drawing outside of the lines, setting stones slightly askew, using pieces that include the beautiful, and often, imperfect details found in nature. All these signature characteristics represent who I am as an artist and the profound impact my children have on my designs. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my craft with them, nurture their creative spirits, and hopefully inspire them to also follow their individual, authentic dreams. It’s inspiring to watch their imaginations blossom as they play beside me in the studio – their eyes lighting up as they look through the many jewels, often times stacking as many pieces as their little hands can handle.”
I can only imagine what it must feel like for her girls, seeing the sparkle and magic happen right in front of them. It’s a dream come true! Here are a couple of the rings that they may have stacked on their fingers! Lucky girls…
With such diversity in her collection, I was very curious as to what her current favorite is:
“While it is difficult to pinpoint one particular piece, as each is a labor of love, I always really enjoy the look of stackable pieces, and they’ve maintained a prominent mainstay in my collection over the years. The stackable tourmaline rings, in particular, are a personal favorite, given their array of colors and textures. The stones are versatile and beautiful, making them true lifetime pieces. Whether worn together to form a variegated modern ‘cocktail ring’ or separately for a singular look, they are beautiful. Jewelry should be fun, and impart a sense of wonderment, not limit or confine your style. Stackables do just that.”
Not only does Ashley have a beautiful line, but she also has a “Recycled Rocks” program, where she can help you re-design items from your own jewelry box. I’m confident that most people have pieces in their own collections that go unworn, perhaps due to a shift in personal style. This is a great program to get those gems into rotation again!
Many thanks to Ashely, and her husband, Morgan, for the tour of the line. I can’t wait to see what’s next!