Family photos – you just want one to turn out with everyone looking at the camera, but then this happens and it turns out to be perfect because it’s a snapshot of my day … chasing around my three littles: Clark, Lily Jane and Ayla. And when the house is finally quiet, that’s when my work begins with Ayla Jane Designs.
Ever since I was a little girl, I had a dream to own a shop of my own. I’ve always loved fashion, especially accessories. But I could only wear certain earrings because of my sensitive skin. So I thought, “Why not make my own?” So what started out as a hobby has turned into an Etsy shop that I’ve run since 2016 with the help and support of my amazing husband, family and friends who believed in me – I can’t even count the number of earrings I gifted to test out for feedback purposes.
I started with just a couple of designs and now have over 15 styles and more than 70 different leathers to choose from. (Yes, I have a leather problem … but that's a good thing for you.) But what I love most is helping someone handpick a style and leather that matches their personality. One of my favorite orders to date was when a bride reached out to me about designing a bracelet for her wedding day. I sent her a sample of the leather I had in mind based on her description of what she wanted and it turned out to be an exact match with the leather detail on her dress for her destination wedding. Talk about accessory fate!
When I began drawing up my business plan, one of my goals was to donate to a special cause. Last November, I began donating $1 for each pair purchased to Journey Learning Center (journeylearning.org), a local preschool in Grapevine that provides a multi-disciplinary treatment approach for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. JLC maximizes the development of each student’s communication, social, sensory-motor and academic skills within a single setting. The founder of JLF, Mary Villarreal, holds a special place in our hearts – she’s also our son’s occupational therapist and she wears many hats. In fact, deciding on what organization to benefit from Ayla Jane Designs has been the easiest decision I’ve had to make.
I feel truly blessed to have such a supportive community. One of my college professors once told me, “Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” And while it may have taken a while after graduation to find it, I hope to never work again a day in my life while working on Ayla Jane Designs.
Thanks for stopping by and do not hesitate to contact me if I can help you with anything!