When you see a piece of Ashley Morgan’s jewelry your heart might skip a beat. I first had this experience when I was working at Erica Tanov in college. We got a handful of her pieces into the shop and like any shopgirl I was in awe of the beauty and details that went into her pieces. They are handcrafted here in San Francisco. When I reached out to Ashley about showcasing her beautiful work here on Sacramento Street she was excited to give us a glimpse into her jewelry box. Let me just say, I walked out of this shoot with a wish list of pieces that I want to add to my very own jewelry collection. Ashley’s creative eye for creating unique pieces for her clients is what sets her apart from other designers. Read on for a peek into Ashley Morgans stunning workspace.
1. What sparked you to begin Ashley Morgan Designs?
From a very young age, creating jewelry was a passion and something I knew I always wanted to pursue. However, I’d say that the catalyst and inspiration behind creating AMD, honestly started on the playground making personalized friendship bracelets for friends and family as a child. Jewelry has allowed me the path and forum to live out my dreams and explore through the creation of jewelry- it’s truly intertwined with who I am.
2. We love your passion for design and can see it shine through in your collections. What keeps you inspired?
Embracing the beauty of Nature and all of her magical moments is a strong source of inspiration; capturing a flower in all its glory as the sun casts a warm embrace, or the whimsical patterns neatly tucked inside an intricate spider’s web. My passion is to seek out the beauty found in the everyday; mindfully accepting the stunning images that dance before our eyes. It’s for this reason, my designs hold such honesty and vibrance. I chose each stone specifically because of the emotional response that I have seeing their raw nature and beauty. They are amulets that constantly reflect the beauty found in truth and the humbleness of strength.
3. You have two adorable girls! How do you seem to balance your work and personal life?
On the days that I think I finally have it figured out, something happens that bring me back to the drawing board to try again. My priorities at this stage are very concrete: Family, Friends and Work. I am not one that strives to do it all [all the time], but the singular things that I do get involved in, I dedicate my entire self to. Being a mom is the most exciting gift. And while it’s true that my little ones might not have their hair perfectly brushed at every moment or in an outfit void of paint from an afternoon of drawing, they are happy. They are experiencing an innocence and sweetness of childhood that I consider most important and that makes me happy as a mom. Work is my time to experience what it is that excites and inspires me, and in turn, it’s what I’m teaching my children and channeling in our home!
4. For your custom pieces, does the inspiration for their jewelry come from the client or do you find unique stones and bring ideas to the client? (Or maybe it’s a mix of both!)
It's a mixture of both. By the time a project comes to fruition, it typically reflects a strong, personalized aesthetic of the individual client, highlighting those specific components that they conveyed were important to them in the design. Fine jewelry has an heirloom-like quality about them, so it is important that each client have a design that reflects their own story.
5. What is your all-time favorite stone to work with?
Hands down: TOURMALINE… I love the varietial flavoring of colors, textures, and imagery that’s distinct to each piece. Tourmalines are harder to control and therefore require that you come to know the stone inside and out before knowing what context they can be a part of.
6. When you’re not at work or at home with the kids, where can we find you?
I like staying active and taking advantage of all that the area has to offer. To relax the mind and body, you can typically find me engaging in any one of the amazing yoga classes from my favorite, inspiring instructors, or hiking the vast mountainous trails nearby. A family favorite also involves a trip to Chinatown or a fun day at any one of the incredible museums San Francisco so graciously offers up!
A huge thank you to Ashley for letting us into her beautiful workspace – I’ll be dreaming of jewels tonight!
Photos by Caitlin Flemming