Give a standing ovation to the boss of the business herself—Barb! Without her, we wouldn’t have this empowering and beautiful store, so we just had to ask her for her favorite products, what she does in her free time, and much more. Follow us as we deep dive into the mind of our fearless leader!
How long have you been working at Embellish Asheville?
I opened Embellish Asheville in the Fall of 2015.
Since you’ve curated everything about this store, from the people who work for you to the artists who create your jewelry, what’s your favorite part of the staff and community?
All of it: I work with great women, and our customers are the best! Beautiful (inside and out), loyal, enthusiastic, and encouraging—they’re our reason to keep doing this! And our makers—such an amazing group of hardworking creatives!
Before opening Embellish Asheville, had you ever worked with jewelry and self-care products?
I owned a store in Chicago, but my love of indie jewelry didn’t wane when I moved here to Asheville 10 years ago, so I’m so happy to be doing it again.
It’s your calling! What’s your favorite thing about working in a woman-run business?
The compassion, care, humor, and honesty we all share. It’s just easy!
That sounds lovely! Do you have any funny work stories to share?
There are so many! I think Alyson mentioned her answering the phone when she first started. I looked over, and she had her head on the counter. Once she was done, she mentioned that perhaps we should get a longer cord. Turns out it was just the charging cord that was attached to the phone, so it could just be unplugged. I imagine it’s hard to visualize, but every time I think of it, I LOL!
Barb’s Product Recommendations
Sounds like they get up to a lot of fun in the store, and how could you not when you’re surrounded by beautiful jewelry, apothecary items, stylish bags, and more? Getting an insider perspective on the can’t-miss products is always helpful, so it’s a treat to hear from the boss herself! Follow along for Barb’s favorites, and you may find your next accessory!
What’s your go-to everyday jewelry piece?
What jewelry piece would you wear to a big occasion?
Depending on the outfit, I would go big and chunky by David Aubrey or elegant and understated diamonds by Ella Stein.
3 Favorite David Aubrey Statement Pieces
- Agate Brass Bars Long Necklace
- Jasper and Black Feather Post Earrings
- Geometric Hammered Brass Post Earrings
What product is your go-to gift for people in your life?
The Ballina or a SoulKu necklace that fits the occasion.
If you’re looking for a gift for someone near and dear to your heart, Barb has the right idea with SoulKu’s jewelry. Different gemstones are believed to have different healing powers, ranging from protection, self-love, peace, feminine energy, and more. SoulKu jewelry features these gemstones in the Sacred Necklace, Be Your Own Hero Bracelet, and more. Give your loved ones a spiritual boost with mystical gemstone jewelry.
What product would you want to receive as a gift?
Ella Stein and Conflict-Free Diamonds
Ella Stein is one of our recent obsessions at Embellish Asheville. If you didn’t know, not all diamond jewelry is ethically made. At Ella Stein, all the diamonds are conflict-free, meaning they were created, used, and shipped without financing conflict and wars in other countries. The timeless necklaces, earrings, and bracelets were all made by talented artisan women in India using recycled materials. Dazzle with these ethical and sustainable conflict-free diamond pieces!
Do you have a favorite indie artist at Embellish Asheville?
I have so many, but because I’ve known her the longest, I’d say Beth from Freshie and Zero (insert heart emoji!).
Go-To Freshie and Zero Products
Do you mainly wear silver, gold, or mixed metals?
Mostly gold, but I’m not afraid to mix it up!
Let’s Get Personal!
In our community, the women we work with are like family. We support each other’s dreams and encourage self-care, whether you’re a customer or one of our indie artists. Whether you like relaxing baths, smudging your home, or curling up with a facemask and a good book, check out our comfort + care section for self-care goodies. Everyone deserves some self-love—including you, Barb!
So, when you’re not working, what do you do for self-care in your life?
I hike - a lot! and I love to garden as well as read fiction.
Are you creative outside of work? In what ways?
I am, I love to do floral arrangements, and I’m always rearranging/repainting/redoing some space in my home.
I’ve got to ask: what’s your zodiac sign?
I’m an Aquarius.
If you could add any type of product to be sold by Embellish Asheville, what would it be?
I’m hoping to create and produce an in-house line of basics, think perfect hoops in just the right sizes or simple quality bangles. Stay tuned!