A few weeks ago at the Highland Park Village fall 2013 magazine launch party, I came across the coolest clutch. It was a CHALKBOARD clutch and Kathryn Knox of DFWStyleDaily was carrying it. I told her to PLEASE send me the information on the line and thankfully, she did. It’s been so much fun exploring ashlyn’d clutches - handmade in LA!
From fish clutches, to yes – chalkboard clutches, and glitzy adorned bags perfect for the holiday season, there’s truly a perfect mix of styles for every personality. I always like to learn more about the brand as I think it makes the pieces and designs all the more meaningful and so I reached out to the designer and CEO, Ashlee Nik, to ask her a few questions about her company, the latest collection of clutches, and her handbag line on the horizon.
N/S: Did you always know you wanted to be a designer? Why accessories?
Ashlee: I always had a love for business and for fashion. I knew that I ultimately would love to have my own brand. I think accessories are so great because they can really change the look of an outfit and its the easiest way to spruce up any look. I think you can be bold with your accessories and have a lot of fun with them which just makes them that much more exciting to design!
N/S: What was the first piece you’ve ever designed?
Ashlee: I used to design dresses for myself when I was much younger. The first ashlyn’d bag I ever designed was a cream marble printed acrylic clutch that I named “Marabel”.
N/S: How did your company come to be?
Ashlee: I was on a search for evening bags and felt the market was lacking something that was truly different but at the same time moderately priced. I spoke with my mother about the idea of creating a bag that looked as though it was made out of a material that was completely unexpected, like marble. This idea ended up emerging into a full collection which my mother, Denise Lewinstein, and I now run. It truly started more as a shopping experience and ended up as a business.
N/S: What has been one of the most memorable moments of your career thus far?
Ashlee: I think the most memorable moment since I started ashlyn’d would probably be when I saw my bags on three different celebrities on the red carpet in the same magazine! It was so exciting.
N/S: How would you describe your company in three words?
Ashlee: If I had to describe my company in 3 words, I would have to say: innovative affordable luxury.
N/S: Where can one currently purchase your accessories?
Ashlee: ashlyn’d clutches are currently sold in over 100 boutiques worldwide including but not limited to- LF stores, Dash boutiques, shopbop.com, and Fred Segal.
N/S: How would you describe your collection for fall/holiday?
Ashlee: My brand has this nature oriented theme that you will see throughout every collection. I like for the bags to look as though they are made of natural elements like marble printed acrylics or bags filled with floating sand. However, the Holiday collection definately has this edgier rock vibe to it.
the chalkboard clutch! (right)
N/S: How would you describe your own personal style?
Ashlee: My own personal style is ever-changing to say the least. I definately am not afraid to take a fashion risk and I would say my style is certainly eclectic and fun.
N/S: Where do you draw your own inspirations?
Ashlee: I draw a lot of my inspiration from nature. I am always looking at different types and colors of marbles, shells, pearls, rocks, etc. We have several bags that are made out of wood and I get a lot of inspiration for the finishes from furniture. My father having run a large furniture business for 45 years, has allowed him to acquire some beautiful antique furniture that I always get inspired by.
N/S: How do you hope to see your company grow?
Ashlee: We are introducing leathers and cross-body’s in 2014 so I am very excited to watch the line develop from clutches to a full handbag line!
N/S: What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve been given or greatest lesson you’ve learned?
Ashlee: The greatest piece of advice I have been given is to never give up. My father always tells me that there are no problems in life, only solutions.
N/S: What’s the greatest thing about your job?
Ashlee: I think the greatest thing about anyone’s job is when they get to do what they love. I get the most pleasure from taking an idea and watching it develop into an actual product. Knowing you created something from scratch and watching it grow, is a feeling that is unmatched.
We can’t wait to see what’s next for ashlyn’d!