Ring Inspiration: The ELLEN Ring
Ellen and I met through a mutual friend, Julie (of the JULIE Necklace), last summer over beers, or at least that's what I would assume. To be honest, I don't remember our first encounter quite as clearly as I remember mine and Hannah's (read all about that here), but I do remember one of our first nights hanging out together. Hobbs and I had just gotten back from our road trip, and I was dying to share some of our new beers with friends. A group of girls all went out to dinner one night and ended up at Julie's house for a game night. Everyone was sipping wine, but I really wanted to share my new brews so once the wine was gone, I brought out a bottle. Ellen was the only one who went for it. It might sound trite to say our first bond was over beer, but it's true, and I knew we'd be friends instantly.
Later in the summer I learned that Ellen had moved from Nashville to Asheville and was working at Oscar Blues in Brevard. She used to work at Imogene and Willie (one of the coolest shops I've ever seen in Nashville), and was an artist on the side. Oh, and she booked bands for events at OB. What the heck - she was seriously one of the most awesome people I had ever met, without a doubt.
Fast forward to this past winter when Ellen sent me a text saying "let's look into a studio together - I've got big goals for 2016." I had always thought of getting a studio space outside of my house, but I never really had the oomph to get it done. And here was Ellen, the encouragement I didn't even know I needed. We started looking casually back in February and then got a little more serious about it the middle of March. A couple of Saturdays ago, I saw an add on craigslist for a huge, but really dark, studio space. I had serious doubts, but decided to pass it along to Ellen anyway. We went "just to see" the next day, fell in love (there was more natural light than the picture let on), and moved in a week later. We're still getting paintings on the walls (holler for having an artist in-house), rugs on the floor, and tables set up, but so far, it feels right. This is the first time I've "gone to work" in the morning, and I'm so thankful to Ellen for the push. One of her paintings is even the inspiration for the new Fall collection - due out in August.
Some days I feel like I've known Ellen for years, some days I feel like there is so much I don't know about her. But, really, that's the exciting part about being friends with her. She's unpredictable, but so reliable. She's always there to lift you up when you feel like what you're doing is too weird or out there. She'll eat a Hole Doughnut (check it out if you're ever in Asheville - melt in your mouth amazingness) with you everyday if you ask her, and she's constantly introducing me to new music. Basically, she's a badass, and I'm lucky to call her a friend. The first piece of jewelry Ellen ever bought from me was the Porcupine Ring, so, in her honor, I wanted to name a ring after her - The ELLEN Ring.