Ashlyn Fedell is the creative powerhouse behind Traversing Girl Jewelry. While she has an at-home studio in Bozeman, she's been coming in to Hattie Rex to make magic there, too. We sat down with Ashlyn in the shop to get a sneak peak at her process creating her beautiful, one of a kind, natural stone jewelry.
HR: Tell us about your business name, Traversing Girl Jewelry. What's it about?
TGJ: Traversing Girl Jewelry's name is inspired by the forward movement of day to day life. Jewelry should be a representation of your personal journey and how it's come to shape you. Whether that be a place or experience - each piece has a story to tell. Each piece is uniquely designed to connect your personal journey with my own and I think thats truly beautiful.
HR: Speaking of your personal journey, what did you do before you became a silversmith?
TGJ: I have been in the service industry for over 15 years! Wow! Working various serving and bartending gigs over the years have grown my love for people, stories, and self expression, which is a huge inspiration for my product.
HR: Jewelry is a leap from the service industry! How did you get started making jewelry?
TGJ: Honestly, It was a selfish hobby at first. Being in the service industry for so long, jewelry was my only way of reflecting my personality to my customers through the various types of uniforms. You start to feel sheepish - so rockin' a fat chunk of turquoise on your finger or some funky earrings was the only way to be.
But after I had purchased countless pieces of poorly made jewelry I finally decided that I was going to become the maker. I started researching what tools I would need and watching countless YouTube tutorials... voilá! My first (very sad looking) ring was made.
My biggest vision with all of this was to make pieces that are durable, something that will last many generations. My friends and family were in awe over what I was creating. I started doing some commission pieces for those close to me, then a few months later Traversing Girl Jewelry was born.
HR: You've come a long way! What advice has helped you get to where you are today?
TGJ: The best advice I ever received would be to know your worth as an artist - better yet, as a person.
Everyone goes through imposter syndrome and it actually took me years to push through that and identify with my brand. But always always always know the value of the product you are making.
If you are making solid quality art - your clientele will find you and will spend their hard earned dollars on you and support what you are doing. Also, understanding that your product isn't for everyone and that's OK.
HR: Your business logo features an alien among wildflowers. Tell us about that.
TGJ: Haha. I wanted something different. Something weird, but beautiful. The alien and the wildflowers represent how beautifully strange your traverses through life can be, which tied right into what I wanted my brand to look like.