Hope you are all off to a great new year. Things are going well here at ash&dans. We are gearing up for a very exciting photo shoot next week. We just got our new samples in and you are going to DIE when you see the new pieces. Neons, lace, beads, studs- get excited!
We also have some press to share with you. Our interview with Closet Vanity is up and Teen Vogue mentioned us in their "Who, Wore, Wear" section about Vanessa Hudgens. Check out the articles here:
The warmer-than-normal weather has been a huge topic of conversation recently. Today hit over 50 degrees and one year ago today the boyfriend and I were snowed in at JFK on our way to Argentina. Needless to say, each morning has been a guessing game as to what to wear. I caught up with Ashley Cook and Danielle Dankner, the lovely ladies behind the ash&dans line, whose gorgeousscarves are the perfect accessory for this “what’s it like out today?” weather and are the definition of all-weather wear. Their cutout wrap with jersey scarf would have been perfect to wear while shopping yesterday afternoon!
How did you meet and what led to the decision to launch ash&dans?
Ashley and I were set up as roommates our freshman year of college at Washington University in St. Louis. We quickly became best friends and lived together for all four years, but never discussed the idea of starting our own business until after graduation.
I was born in New York City and moved back after school in hopes of finding a job. Ashley was born in Colorado and moved to New York to pursue a career in acting. While Ashley had some luck breaking into the industry, I was not so lucky. As the hiring freezes started, I became frustrated with the fruitless job search. Ash, an entrepreneur and optimist at heart, decided it was time to be proactive and to create the job/business we had always dreamed of. She knew we had the work ethic, will power and creative edge to make it happen. When Ashley brought up the idea of starting our own business together, it seemed too good to be true, but the more we thought about it, discussed and planned, the more we knew ash&dans was going to become a reality.
When it came time to develop our business idea, we were instantly drawn to scarves. Not only are they our favorite accessory, but we recognized that they were one of the few products that women were still buying when the economy took a turn for the worse. From the day Ashley brought up the idea of starting our own company, we have put our all into developing our brand and have been enjoying the results of our hard work ever since.
Where do you find inspiration for your scarf and accessory designs? How would you describe the ash&dans girl?
We find inspiration in everything around us. I always wonder what it would be like to live in Ashley’s brain. She comes up with the most amazing ideas. Sometimes we get inspiration from looking at fabric and materials in the garment district. It’s fun to watch her in action browsing through all of the colored jerseys and embellished trims. Sometimes we are also inspired at by things at home and seek out the fabrics and trims to make our visions reality.
The ash&dans girl is all about the fashion without the fuss. We consider ash&dans to be an affordable luxury. Our scarves are made from the most mushy, comfortable jersey (that makes them as soft as a vintage tee), and then we embellish them with lace, tassel, brooches – you name it! Our scarves always incorporate the latest trends, without going over-the-top. Whether you’re 15 or 50, we make it so that every woman can accessorize with ash&dans.
How would you like to see ash&dans grow? Do you have plans to expand the line?
We would love for ash&dans to be a lifestyle brand someday and would also like to branch out into home design, or something along those lines. For right now though, we are focusing solely on our scarves. The fashion market is so saturated, that it makes the most sense to fill a niche, and do it well, so that we have the staying power to someday expand into the other areas we’d like to try.
Can you share your own wardrobe staples?
Ash’s wardrobe staples include a scarf (obviously), Hanes ribbed tanks, Hanky Panky, a Rag + Bone leather coat, and lots and lots of jewelry.
Dans’ wardrobe staples include black skinny stretch pants, black cashmere sweaters, embellished tanks and Frye boots. Complete with an ash&dans scarf, of course!
What five items do you always keep in your purse?
Ash always keeps lip gloss, hand sanitizer, a peanut butter Think Thin bar, sunglasses and business cards.
Dans never leaves home without Aquaphor, bobby pins, mini Snickers, an ipod and Stila matte red lipstick (you never know when you’re going to need to take your look from day to night, without being able to stop back at home!).
What did you think of Vanessa's outfit?
Hope all is well!