Today is the perfect day to share something special with you.
As you know, we like to use our blog to share our everyday adventures and things we discover, but it’s also a place for us to share the things and people we fall in love with and that have a special place in our heart …Especially people! There’s always something special about meeting somebody that inspires you by following their life’s purpose and making meaningful things happen. It’s no coincidence that we love connecting with such folks, also through the work that we do, whether it’s designing and creating someone’s future branding, making a video that tells their story or just helping them see clearly through this big bold journey they are taking. Working together with people who decide to follow their dreams is a blessing, and we adore connecting with like-minded makers and creators in every way!
People inspire us greatly, and when we are not too busy with work, we like to explore the internet and social media to see what inspiration we can get from people who are doing something inspiring with their lives. I may have already mentioned this before, but instagram is a great place for that 😉
This is where we first found Haley & Jarod, a young couple from Bellingham, (Washington) as we stumbled upon their mutual creative adventure, Apse Adorn. Our attention was caught by the minimalist handcrafted jewellery, but soon enough we found out there was much more to it than just beautiful aesthetics. After checking out their website (on which they have a lovely blog, by the way), we realized that there’s more than meets the eye: a message and a mission, and one that truly inspired us.
Apse Adorn isn’t just about handcrafted jewellery. Together, Haley & Jarod have a brand with true philosophy behind it. One that is simple yet so powerful that helps them create a community and even a movement.
Having a background in fine arts, the couple had been pulled into the creative field and developping a passion for design. However, having always had a strong passion for social justice and empowerment as well, they wanted to get out of the box and create a common project that would combine those two passions. A project that would allow them to combine the joys of creating and designing a product yet giving back to the world and exuding strong values and a strong message of courage. An idea that could be turned into what we can call an “ethical”, community-oriented business and beyond. Apse Adorn is a creative platform for Haley & Jarod to create beautiful minimalist jewellery, but also one where they can connect with people, spread their message and give back. In fact, they have decided to donate 10% of their profits to different strong causes that support values of love, empowerment and unity (such as The New Drug, A21 Campaign and He For She, which we love!). This is a meaningful mission that is carried within every handmade piece in their collection.
Their well-chosen tagline sums up what they are committed to creating: “a new culture of adornment”.
Another great thing that I have to state personally: they also turned out to be one of the loveliest people that we have ever met (virtually). They are such sweet and authentic, honest people – of course it makes a lot of sense that their values are incredibly meaningful. We’ve already had some beautiful conversations together, and I gotta be honest – I can’t wait to meet them in real life some day!
Because we found them so inspiring and because we are more than happy to share their movement and to be part of it, we decided to dedicate this post to them by featuring their beautiful creations and by asking them a few questions about what Apse Adorn is all about, and how they made it a reality.
Whether or not you’re a maker/creative on a mission, this will definitely inspire you in a way or another, so read on…
What does Apse Adorn represent to you, and what is the core philosophy behind it?
Haley & Jarod: Apse Adorn is the culmination of our deepest passions – art and design, partnership and collaboration, and the healing power that love innately carries. We named the company after one of the most charged architectural features within traditional cathedrals, the apse. To us, it represents a space that designates extreme value and potential. Our wearable and functional objects, all designed under such a name, are all statements within a message that says, you are worthy, and furthermore, carry a lot of power. We believe if we live out our value, then we can create a culture that empowers others to live out their value as well, and as a result, create a culture that knows and promotes freedom, unity and most of all, love.
How did you get to start this amazing venture together as a couple?
Haley & Jarod: We both have a background in fine arts – its how we met – and were pursuing a career in the fine art world. However, for now, we felt as though this didn’t allow us to engage with the culture in the way we needed to. We became super interested in graphic and product design – marketable arts that allow for us to reach a wide audience in a really relevant way. And we have always had a strong passion for social justice and desire to empower the people around us, so it really was a natural progression, and honestly, feels as though it formed itself in a lot of ways. At this time, we both had nine to five jobs, and it became clear to us that our creative minds were not going to be satiated by doing so, especially when such a project was consuming 90% of our thoughts. So, we decided it was time to really invest our hearts and time into it, and long story short, here we are.
What do you personally love about working on such a business idea and how does it spark your day to day?
Haley: It creates a lot of opportunity for relationship, whether that’s a new creative partnership or friendship through someone who was effected by our message. I know that when I wake up, I’m not just producing or designing goods, I’m developing relationships and seeing a world that is pursuing love.
Jarod: I love to do this work because at the end of the day, no matter if feel good or bad about how things went, I know that I’m pursing my greatest passions and doing so with the person I love the most. That gives me a great sense of purpose and peace, especially on the more difficult days.
Where do you find inspiration for creating & thinking of ideas? What feeds your creativity?
Haley: A lot of my inspiration comes through rest. Some of our most successful designs have come straight out of the blue in times when I’m really at peace. And often, its when I’m at peace in the midst of transition or what otherwise might seem like disorganization. It’s when my head is clear and I’m looking inward, and especially at times of personal growth. Not to be a hippie haha. I’ve also always been extremely inspired by architecture, and have a natural inclination to think about structures, both visually and metaphorically. Architecture provides us with so many of our basic emotional needs, and is really close to my heart in a lot of ways.
Jarod: My inspirations are similar to Hayley’s; when I slow down, take the time to journal or pray, those are the moments when I feel I connect with my creativity, which can easily bogged down with my to do lists and undiagnosed ADD (the struggle is real). I find too that when I’m in the process of creating I get really jazzed. I like problem solving and building as I go; I think LEGOS probably had a big part to play in that. Architecture has also been my fastest growing inspiration lately; Hayley has rubbed off on me a lot.
What are your favourite pieces from your jewellery collection? Do any of them feel special or have a particular meaning to you in particular?
Haley: I really love the aqueduct necklace. Its a super delicate gold chain bolo necklace, but is really distinctive. We named it after an aqueduct, which is are massive bridges that transport water from one city to another. For me, its really a symbol of mobilization and a reminder that we all need what each other has, in the case of personal strengths or experience, not just resources. And aqueducts can often have multiple waterways, and I love this common feature – the more single tracks that are piled on one another, the more effective the waterway. It seems obvious, but I think we can forget this sometimes, that we are strongest when we are united.
Jarod: One of mine is the Gauntlet bracelet. It has two parallel cords going through a wooden rectangle pendant and clasps made of bronze. To me it’s a symbol of relationship, particularly long term or life long committed relationships. The two cords are like two people’s lives that are joined together by the journey of partnership. The clasps I like to think represent grace. In our marriage, it’s easy for me to think I’m always right, but asserting myself or pointing out Hayley’s wrongs will create distance between us more than anything. When I give Hayley grace, own up to my own crap, and likewise, seek grace from her, that makes a bond as strong as bronze, that’s what’s going to hold us together through life.
What do you envision for the future, both in business and in life?
We would love to create an in-studio team. That is a big desire of ours; to build a small community of like minded people who really believe in our mission and care a lot about well-designed and ethically produced goods. That is a priceless thing, especially when you are all inspiring one another and there is an open dialogue. Then, we believe, that would help in better cultivating a out-of-studio team. We could both travel and collaborate with other designers and artists and make Apse a more mobile and diverse and community orientated brand.
It’s so important to have vision. We are so super grateful that our minds work this way and at times we probably have an over abundance of it. Like we feel like we could just go on and on here. But being present as to not become overwhelmed is something we are both constantly working on. It can be difficult to, mentally, stay in the same day that you are physically. It can be difficult to stay in the same sentence. And that lends itself to stress and overwhelm, and the function and health of your team becomes compromised at that point. At the end of the day, community is number one, and if we don’t come out having loved one another well and loved our community well, then we missed the mark. So we suppose that is what we are working on the prepare for the future better 🙂
Do you have a personal motivational quote that you’d like to share with us? What would you advise to people who want to start their own adventure and make their dreams happen?
Don’t make decisions out of fear, especially creative ones. Sometimes, we don’t recognize our creative decisions as fearful because we just think that is what is required of us in order to be successful or secure. But if you are creating because you are trying to keep something from happening, avoiding an outcome or trying to control a situation that is taking an unexpected turn, then you are creating out of fear. Whether its a business, relationship or object, creating out of fear will cultivate disunity – your community become your competition, your ideas become secrets to hide instead of inspiration for others, and your believe your success is based on how many hours you put in, all things resulting in seriously compromised relationships. It when you create with the intention to love – love yourself and love others – that something new and distinct is made.
I would like to end this inspiring interview by saying that we will be hosting a GIVEAWAY together with Apse Adorn on instagram throughout the weekend, so tune in with us and come check out our latest posts. We are giving away a duo set of these beautiful necklaces you can see above – David and I have ours and we love them! They can be customized to your taste, they symbolize unity and are perfect for a couple or two partners on a mission 🙂
…And if you feel inspired, make use of this moment and go make something awesome happen!