It’s hump day, friends! Enjoy yourselves. And enjoy the feature that I have for you this week! I can’t tell you how excited I am about Ashley’s company – Belvoir Handmade. I discovered her bangles when I was perusing another blog, Bliss & Bellinis (love this blog!!). I saw that there was a giveaway for these Belvoir bangles and I had to investigate further.
After reading Ashley’s bio, I found out that we had a few things in common! First, she went to college in Cleveland and we graduated from college the same year. Turns out, we know a few of the same people! Second, her business is named after a street she lived on (during college) and mine is named after a street I lived on (after college)! We both went to fairly small Jesuit schools. I decided to reach out to her and get some more info! Here is some further insight into Belvoir Handmade and the owner, Ashley.
Karen: How/when did you get started in making bangles and what inspired you?
Ashley: I started Belvoir in January of 2014. I actually saw similar jewelry in a store and thought I could make it. Once I started wearing it, people were asking me where I bought it. I had some free time and the business side really interests me, so I decided to develop a brand and website to start selling the jewelry. It was a spontaneous idea that I decided to try without any set plans. I spent some time researching and launched my website in May of 2014. I also had a photo shoot this past fall with Eva Lin Photography. It was a blast and I believe her pictures really helped to develop my brand. I’m so excited to hopefully do another shoot with her in the future!
Karen: Are you currently making jewelry full time? Do you have a storefront or is it just online?
Ashley: I work in marketing at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation full-time and make Belvoir jewelry for fun. I sell mostly online and I have a few boutiques that carry them.
Above – The Bella
Karen: Where are you from, what brought you to JCU, and why did you name your business Belvoir Handmade?
Ashley: I grew up in Pittsburgh. When I was in the process of choosing a college, I knew I wanted to go outside of Pittsburgh but still be close enough to come home if I had to. I was also a tennis player so it was important to me that I could get a good education and be able to play varsity tennis. I loved the campus and community at John Carroll — it was one of the best decisions I ever made and probably the four best years of my life so far. I ended up naming Belvoir Handmade after one of the streets near John Carroll that I lived on because I had such a great experience. I also believe I learned that a lot of the skills I needed to develop Belvoir Handmade during my time at John Carroll.
Karen: I noticed that some of the names of the bangles are inspired by JCU buildings/dorms. What are the other names inspired by?
Ashley: I chose to name each bangle after different memories that I have. A lot of them are named after John Carroll landmarks and streets in the area. The other ones are named after places where I’ve vacationed. I love the ocean so they’re all places near the beach.
Karen: Do you have a favorite?
Ashley: It’s hard to pick a favorite. I’m constantly getting new beads from different stores across the country so they’re always interchanging. I love to build new stacks and pick a few that match my outfits. If I had to pick, I have been wearing The Sanibel (shown above), The Tradition and The Marco a lot recently.
Karen: What is your top seller?
Ashley: The Dolan (shown above) is a top seller because it’s so classy and it’s always available. The Marco and The Sanibel have been top sellers recently too. Most of them are sold in gold wire, but I also offer silver wire to fit everyone’s style!
Karen: What are your hopes/dreams/goals for this business?
Ashley: Honestly, I never could have imagined that Belvoir Handmade would have grown as much as it has so far. It continues to amaze me everyday and I love watching the orders come in to see which state they are from. In the busy weeks, I’ve had to recruit my family to help. This year I hope to expand the products that I sell and have them available in more boutiques. I hope that it continues to grow as I push out new marketing ideas!
I have to say, I am super impressed with Ashley and how amazing her business is after just over a year of opening! She is extremely talented, has a great eye for fashion, and is surely a person to follow as she grows her business. I hope that one day we meet, but until then, I will purchase her products online!
Make sure you check out her website (including pics from that amazing photo shoot she mentioned!) and pick up your favorite bangle today! There are so many to choose from, I know you will find something that fits your wants and needs. I have The Marco above and I LOVE it!!