At only 26 years old, Ashley Gilroy has created a jewelry brand that has become known throughout not only the country, but the world. Celebrities have taken a liking (a loving really) to her unique designs, and she has received press in major national publications. Ashley happened to be traveling in India and stumbled upon a jewelry shop unlike any she’s ever seen. After a two year apprenticeship under the family who owned this jewelry shop, she realized it was time to start a line of her own, and so she did. What J/Hadley is most known for would have to be its bright and bold, diamond-accented statement earrings, bangles, and rings – all made from the rarest of stones from all around the globe.
FPTP: What has been your most exciting moment since you’ve started the company?
AG: Too many to choose from! I’d say one of the most outlandish was when I paid a visit to a Middle Eastern royal family member at the Grand Palais in Paris. We originally connected because she saw a client of mine wearing my earrings at George V in Paris, got my information, and 8 months later when she came through New York, she gave me a call! It was a surreal moment to think she loved my jewelry enough to hold onto my info for all that time.
FPTP: What has the biggest challenge been you’ve faced, thus far?
AG: I’d say the biggest challenge has been learning how to navigate the ropes of running a business. I started this company straight out of college, so I’ve effectively never worked for anyone besides myself! In the beginning I was worried if people would take me seriously considering I was just 22. Just picture a naive young girl trying to negotiate stone pricing and production timing with elderly Indian men….. it was a riot!! I had to learn so much on my own and from these larger than life experiences.
FPTP: If you could trade closets with anyone, who would it be?
AG: I mean…. HELLO….Daphne Guinness. Hands down. She owns archive pieces of every major designer and champions new talent. I’d pass out from excitement just opening the doors to her closet.
FPTP: Favorite Twitter account you follow?
AG: I’m honestly not a twitter gal! Kudos to all those witty men and women who can quickly hash out 140 characters of hilarious one-liners.
FPTP: Favorite Instagram account you follow?
AG: @KellyWearstler . I love that she doesn’t just stick to one set look. And not to toot our own horn, but I think our social media director, Lauren, does a killer job delivering jewelry content in a fresh way. I’m always excited to check out our Instagram and see cool photos!
FPTP: What advice do you have for someone starting their own company?
AG: The day you get comfortable is the day you get left behind.I think everyone recognizes that the first couple of years of a business are the most tiring. But what about after that? It’s important to always be changing, learning and improving. This is the difference between a company with staying power and a passing trend. Keep your passion, protect your sanity, and cherish your family, but never let up. I have this quote as my phone’s screensaver. It’s my reminder that I’m only limited by what I’m willing to put in. Get after it! ”It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” Leonardo DaVinci