So Many Women Have To Sacrifice Their Dreams For Reality. That Reality Could Be Lack Of Time, Lack Of Funds, Or A Lack Of Support. For Ash Herrera It Was None Of Those Things. It Was Just Life, And A Sudden, Unexpected Need To Act As A Caregiver.
The Las Vegas native began designing Ash Herrera Exquisite Jewelry more than 20 years ago at age 24, but it was always a passion. Growing up she was endlessly fascinated with the jewelry she saw in department stores. She’d even fix pieces that were broken. Mall jewelry counters were her favorite place to be.
She also had a unique eye and disliked wearing the same things as everyone else. When her mother signed them up for a jewelry class together, her fate was sealed. She loved the tiny beading class. She found using a needle and thread to create intricate pieces, picking the colors and tying everything together was fun and relaxing. And after just one class, Ash launched her career.
It didn’t happen overnight. It took another year before she sold anything. Art festivals were her first “store,” and she enjoyed that venue for the next three or four years. “I was selling more than I ever thought that I would.”
Then life happened. “My grandparents became in need of full-time care, someone to deliver food, administer medicine, routine doctor visits, light housekeeping and social outings for the soul.” That full-time job left no room for jewelry-making. “I would constantly say to myself, I need to get into my jewelry room. I need to make jewelry and figure out a way to sell it, but I could never sit down long enough to do it.”
Five years passed. She didn’t abandon her dream completely though. She put some pieces in a few boutiques in town, and even collaborated with an aunt in San Diego who sold a clothing line. Ash would display her jewelry while her aunt sold clothes, and they both did very well. But the time needed to put pieces together, travel to San Diego and take care of her grandparents was a lot to do all at once.
Eventually her grandparents health improved enough to move into assisted living. “I thought, okay, I need to do something,” she explained. “I started searching for how to build a website. I knew online sales were a growing trend, and I found a program this woman was selling, and I started digging down into that.”
It took another year to determine the right direction for her designs – pearls. She took a class specifically on the gem, and that was that. “I find myself constantly drawn to include them. Each one is unique. I think they’re beautiful, and what other piece of jewelry is designed by an animal?”
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It’s also important to her that Ash Herrera Exquisite Jewelry designs be socially responsible as well as beautiful. Thanks to sustainable pearl farms, pearls are now readily available without destroying all those oysters or the environment.