Unique, eye catching jewelry, guaranteed one of a kind. It’s designed to not only fit the designer but also the customer. We caught up with Ashlei Shannon, creator of Black Heart Accessories and our **Designer of the Month**, to give us a little insight on her life and her increasingly popular line of jewelry.
Blondie’s Lipstick What was the inspiration behind the name of your line/ jewelry?
**Black Heart Accessories** The name Black Heart is quite literal. It was inspired by the death of a relationship that had recently ended around the time of Black Heart’s creation. Black is often associated with death, mourning, darkness, and gloom and all of these things were exactly what my heart was feeling at the time. I was so eager to get my mind off of my ex that I began to search for new hobbies– new ways to keep from crying. I tried shopping for a while. Then I realized that hobby was too expensive. Then, I began to express myself artistically. I began to mix fashion and art as a form of expression. The ex was my muse. In fact, the very first pair of earrings I made for myself read “I HATE LOVE”. [laughs]
My accessories are inspired by so many things. (fashion, art, music, historic events, current events, cartoons, greek life, quotes, feelings, emotions, ect.) I could go on and on. I can draw inspiration from virtually anywhere. Hell, I made some earrings out of crayons before. [laughs]
|Marilyn Monroe quote|
|My President is Black|
|DST stud earrings|
BL How did you get started making jewelry?
**BHA** Since I was a little girl, I have been addicted to fashion and in love with art. As I stated previously, making accessories started as a hobby. I’d gone shopping for some jewelry one day and was so disappointed in the selection that I decided to make my own jewelry. (This was back in 2008 when flashy jewelry hadn’t quite made it’s comeback and being the flashy, BOOM, POW girl I am, I wasn’t at all impressed with the dull selection I was given.) So, I took a few supplies I had lying around the house including a vogue magazine, some cardboard, glue, and the backs off some old earrings I had, & created my own earrings. The next day, I wore them and had like 5 people ask me where I got my earrings from. That day was the day my business emerged.
I try to better my craft with every new line I put out. I study fashion magazines to see what’s HOT and I usually do the opposite. [laughs]. I try to stay away from trends at all costs. As far as actual design execution is concerned, I attend jewelry making workshops and I’ve even taught myself a few techniques.
BL Is making jewelry just a hobby for you or are you trying to turn it into a career?
**BHA** Making accessories started as a hobby, and will always be a hobby as it is something I love to do. I think when you start viewing your hobby as a “job”, you start to hate it. However, being a business major and lover of all things fashion, I plan on opening a fashion boutique, where I can sell my accessories, as well as other custom pieces upon graduation.
BL Would you ever consider a partnering with another up & coming designer (clothing or other accessories)?
**BHA**Simply put, if it makes money or gives me some positive exposure, it makes sense. I would love to work with an up and coming clothing designer on a fashion show or photo shoot. Working with the competition (another accessory designer)…not so much.
BL Tell us something readers should know about you or Black Heart Accessories.
**BHA**Black Heart can be considered “avant-garde” because I’m not afraid to step out of the box when designing and creating. I challenge boundaries, and create jewelry that is very “different”, yet wearable. I’m all about originality. I VOW never create the same item twice. SO DON’T ASK!!! [laughs]. I put a lot of LOVE into my work and I wouldn’t put anything out that I wouldn’t wear myself. Although jewelry is my main business, I sell all kinds of accessories (i.e. pins, hair accessories, home décor, and car tags). Items range from $5-$25
If you’re interested in more of Black Heart Accessories jewelry you’ve seen or want to purchase items, contact Shannon
BHA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org